The New England Patriots have found success in the running game this year, and Brandon Bolden was a key contributor in two games. That said, his knee injury is a warning sign fantasy owners can't ignore—at least not for their Week 7 lineups.
Per the Boston Herald, Bolden missed the team walkthrough on Wednesday, which is usually the first genuine indication of a player's availability for that week's game. The final verdict probably won't be known until Thursday afternoon, but you have to wonder how effective he'll be if he plays.
The Patriots also have Stevan Ridley, who has been receiving more touches than Bolden all season. If Bolden is available and healthy, he's still a bit of a risk to go off statistically.
He's only had more than six rushes in two of the Patriots' games this season. His fantasy value has ballooned, though, on the strength of one huge game against the lowly Buffalo Bills run defense.
Bolden ran for 137 yards and a touchdown on only 16 carries against the Bills in Week 4. The Patriots won the game 52-28, but it really appeared that the Bills' defense had quit in the second half.
Beyond that breakout performance, Bolden hasn't really done much this season. This week, the Patriots take on the rival New York Jets. The Jets' run defense hasn't been great most of the season, though it did hold Indianapolis Colts backup Vick Ballard to 25 yards rushing last week.
Were Bolden a starter in this offense, I'd give him a look—but he's not.
He's a fringe player in most fantasy leagues. He's a guy you play when your top dogs are injured or in a bye week, and even then he's best suited as a flex position. Bolden simply isn't worth a roster spot, especially considering the injury.
Fantasy owners would be smart to take a pass on him this week, and possibly beyond.
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