Brandon Bolden: Patriots RB Is Sneaky Fantasy Start at Flex Position

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2012

Sep 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (38) is chased by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Nick Barnett (50) in a run during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots beat the Bills 52-28. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Brandon Bolden didn't run like the New England Patriots' No. 2 running back against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, giving fantasy football owners plenty to think about for the Patriots' Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos.

Bolden racked up 137 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries in Week 4. Too bad only 0.3 percent of the owners in ESPN's standard scoring leagues received those points, but it appears that many people got the message after that performance. 

Now, with his "owned percentage" up to 18.4 percent, a handful of crafty fantasy owners are in position to slot him into their starting lineup on Sunday, and they should.

Don't put Bolden in as one of your top-two backs. He is listed as questionable this Sunday, according to the the team's injury report on ESPN, but it sounds like it could be Bill Belichick's normal injury ruse could be the reason.

He didn't show any visible signs of injury during last week's game, leaving his status more on the positive side for this game.

Starting Bolden certainly carries some risk, but the upside is there.

Denver is a Top 10 rushing defense. That leads you to believe that Tom Brady will throw the ball 40-plus times, but balance will still be key. Last week's rout of the Bills didn't begin until the Patriots started gutting their front seven with long runs.

Bolden will play with Stevan Ridley whether he's healthy or not. His shifty running style complements Ridlye's north-south ability perfectly, giving the Patriots a strong one-two punch behind Brady's prolific passing attack.

New England will stick with the dual-back approach, because it's working. It keeps Brady fresh, the offensive line active and the opposing defense on its heels. It also allows the Patriots' questionable defense to rest.

Bolden is averaging 6.6 yards-per-carry on the season. He gives New England a home-run threat that they don't have otherwise. 

Belichick is known for throwing the word "questionable" next to players' names to keep opponents guessing. That could definitely be the case here.

Denver and New England will both throw the ball plenty this week, but it's going to take more than that to win. The Patriots have discovered their two-pronged rushing attack, and they will lean on it again this week.

Play Bolden in your flex position. He's going to get touches, and we've seen what he can do when he gets the football.