Brandon Bolden: Knee Injury Must Make Fantasy Owners Bench Patriots RB in Week 7

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 14:  Running back Brandon Bolden #38 of the New England Patriots rushes against middle linebacker Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 14, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Patriots 24-23.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden should not start on your fantasy football team in Week 7 because of his knee injury and the amount of touches that running back teammates Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead are getting in the team's offense.

Here is the latest on Bolden's situation, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston.

Team announces it as a knee injury. Bolden had been on the injury report with a knee injury, which had limited him in practice. He was spotted after the game walking under his own power.

Bolden finished Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks with 28 yards on six carries. The Patriots have made Bolden an important part of their running game, but his injury, combined with the team's depth at the running back position, makes him a risky start in Week 7.

Ridley has been given the majority of the carries over the last three weeks, and since Woodhead is effective in third down situations because of his pass-catching ability, Bolden probably won't be very productive against the New York Jets in Week 7.

After Bolden's breakout performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, the rookie has rushed for just 82 yards over the last two weeks. Bolden will probably play in Week 7, but it's unlikely that he gives your fantasy team the amount of production it needs from the running back or flex positions.

Woodhead had five receptions for 46 yards against the Seahawks on Sunday, and will be relied on to be a safety blanket for quarterback Tom Brady against the talented Jets pass defense this week. He also averaged 6.3 yards per carry versus Seattle.

However, Ridley is the real concern for Bolden's fantasy owners. He rushed for just 34 yards on 16 carries against the Seahawks run defense, which is the second best in the NFL. In the two previous weeks, Ridley racked up 257 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The Jets are ranked 28th against the run this season, but only allowed 41 rush yards in a 35-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and will have extra motivation to achieve similar success this week against the rival Patriots.

Since Bolden isn't likely to rack up 100 total yards or more against the Jets this week with Ridley still the No. 1 running back on the team's depth chart, plus the fact that Woodhead is still productive in the passing game, don't start Bolden on your fantasy team in Week 7.

His lack of production in Brady's passing attack (two receptions through six games) should also worry fantasy owners.

Monitor Bolden's knee injury throughout the week, but even if he plays Sunday versus the Jets, starting him on your fantasy team is not a risk worth taking.