Ridley had a breakout season for the Patriots in 2012, rushing for 1,263 yards with 12 touchdowns, but it didn't take him long to end up in Bill Belichick's doghouse to open the 2013 campaign.
After nearly losing a fumble on one carry, he finished the job soon thereafter without even being touched, as noted by Bleacher Report's Erik Frenz:
Stevan Ridley with a huge mistake to fumble the ball there without being touched. Under review, but looks like the play will stand.— Erik Frenz (@ErikFrenz) September 8, 2013
He was immediately benched, as Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld.com points out, opening up the door for Vereen and Blount to get in on the action:
At least for now, Stevan Ridley is benched.— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) September 8, 2013
After finding success on the ground in 2012, the Patriots have a newfound love for running the football, despite the fact that Brady is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Last season, only the Seattle Seahawks ran the ball more often than New England, and the Patriots scored 25 rushing touchdowns.
Blount looked great in preseason against second- and third-string defenses, but his production has precipitously fallen since his breakout rookie campaign.
He's also struggled with fumbles throughout his pro career with nine total in three years.
Which player will be more productive for the Patriots this year?
Vereen, on the other hand, is a player whose stock is rising, and his ability to make big plays in the passing game gives him even more value as a running back for your fantasy team.
As far as fantasy value goes, Vereen offers more upside than Blount, and the early results in the game against the Buffalo Bills show this to be true. At the time of publication, Vereen had 31 yards on three carries and two catches for 23 yards, while Blount had six yards on five carries.
If you have Ridley and are looking to make a change on your fantasy football roster, take Vereen over Blount.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78