Brandon Bolden and the Riskiest Fantasy Plays of Week 5
What the heck should I make of Brandon Bolden's 16-carry, 137-yard and one-touchdown performance against the Buffalo Bills from a fantasy perspective?
You're not the only one thinking that to yourself this week.
The fact is, the Patriots are more dedicated to the run this season.
Discounting Tom Brady scrambles, New England has called 124 run plays through four games in 2012 compared to 98 attempts through four games in 2011.
So there's that.
But will Bolden be an integral part of the team's offensive game plan as the season progresses?
We'll see. Let's list Bolden and the other riskiest fantasy plays for Week 5.
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Jackie Battle is listed on the San Diego Chargers' team website as the starting running back.
However, Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken tweeted the following about the backfield quandry:
Team spokesman on why Battle listed No. 1 RB ahead of Mathews on online depth chart: "He just started last week, so that's why he's there."— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) October 3, 2012
He had more touches (19) than Mathews (16) in Week 4's win over the Kansas City Chiefs, but it's worth nothing that Mathews finished the day with a 4.4 yards per carry average, while Battle mustered only 2.6 yards per rush.
Mathews appears to be fully recovered from his broken clavicle. It'll be interesting to see if Battle, who's about 15-20 pounds heavier than Mathews, still gets the bulk of the carries at the goal line in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints.
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Donnie Avery exploded for nine receptions and 111 yards in the Indianapolis Colts' win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2, and did so on 10 targets—three more than established veteran Reggie Wayne.
That sparked vast interest for the former second-round pick from fantasy league owners across the country.
However, with expectations at their highest, Avery underwhelmed in the Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He caught only two passes for 28 yards but was still targeted nine times.
Will his high number of targets remain against the Green Bay Packers? Can he turn those into receptions and major yardage?
Avery is the definition of a risky fantasy play.
Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller
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The Patriots, not the Bills, were the team that successfully ran the football last week in Buffalo, as Spiller and Jackson combined for 62 yards on the ground and 2.9 yards per carry.
The Bills dynamic running back duo only received 21 total carries, a number that should be much higher this week against the San Francisco 49ers.
Jim Harbaugh's group is super stingy against the run, having allowed a mere 79.5 yards on the ground and 3.2 yards per carry through four games this season.
Not only will the tandem face one of the best rush defenses in the league on the road, but they'll do so without starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and right guard Kraig Urbik.
The talent and versatility are there with Spiller and Jackson, and you have to believe Chan Gailey will look to control the tempo with the run. But what is a reasonable stat line to expect for these two?
Two risky plays.
On the same team.
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Bolden, Bolden, Bolden.
Boy, we really can't figure you out just yet.
You received seven total carries in the Patriots first three games, then were given 16 carries against the Bills and demonstrated your ability as a runner.
It is worth noting that Buffalo was in a nickel package for the overwhelming majority of the game in fear of Tom Brady putting on an aerial show. The smaller and faster personnel was easily moved by New England's offensive linemen and lead blockers.
The run-heavy game plan was masterful, as Bill Belichick stayed one step ahead of what he knew the Bills would looking to defend against.
Don't be shocked if the Broncos look to slow down Brady by placing more cornerbacks on the field, but they won't be totally unaware of the Patriots new affinity for running the football.
Bolden is another boom-or-bust fantasy play in Week 5.