New England Patriots

Brandon Bolden: Fantasy Owners Should Avoid Breakout Patriots RB

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Brandon Bolden #38 of the New England Patriots carries the ball during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012

Of all the trendy waiver-wire pickups this week, Brandon Bolden of the New England Patriots will surely be atop the list after a huge Week 4 performance against the Buffalo Bills.

I'm here to tell you to ignore him and look elsewhere. He's going to be a one-week wonder, mark my words.

Yes, I know his 148 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 17 total touches will be tantalizing for fantasy owners who have a thin bench and need some help with the bye weeks upon us.

But let me tell you a little story before you go ahead and waste your waiver spot on him.

Last year in Week 4, the New England Patriots had a running back who surprised a lot of folks with 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Despite the congested backfield I knew the Patriots had, I went ahead and added him anyway, hoping he was the next big thing in New England. 

He wasn't. That player was Stevan Ridley, who finished 2011 with 454 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. 

The lesson I learned was this—unless a player is the clear No. 1 guy in the New England backfield, he's going to break your heart, even if he has a big week or two.

And that's the problem for potential Bolden owners—Ridley is clearly the No. 1 guy in New England. While Bolden was opening eyes, Ridley was carrying the rock 22 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. 

He's now had nine fantasy points or more in three of the Patriots' four games this season. If you own a running back from New England, it should be Ridley.

Plus, rolling with a running back from New England is always a tricky proposition, as the team is so dangerous through the air. You always run the risk of your player seeing limited touches and even more limited fantasy points if Tom Brady has things clicking through the air.

Now, if you are only adding Bolden as a handcuff for Ridley, I applaud your guile, you savvy fantasy owner you. He's looked better than either Danny Woodhead or Shane Vareen have this year, and I think he should be the second back on New England's depth chart now.

But if you need immediate help and have waiver priority (or are high up on the list), look elsewhere. Mr. Bolden may have been a fantasy star in Week 4, but if history is any indication, that's one of the last times we'll see him put up numbers like the ones he mustered against the Bills.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are on point like Geno Smith.

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