The injury to New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen was supposed to mean that Stevan Ridley would be able to put up some nice points in fantasy football, but it might already be time to give up on that after another disappointing performance Thursday in the Pats' 13-10 win against the New York Jets.
Unless you had Julian Edelman, it wasn't a good game to watch for any players you had playing in this game. Tom Brady finished with fewer than 200 yards and just one touchdown, Geno Smith had three interceptions and zero touchdowns and none of the running backs broke more than 52 yards rushing.
Ridley definitely didn't have a good game. He got 16 carries, but ran for just 40 yards in the Patriots' win. His longest run went for nine yards, and he averaged just 2.5 yards per carry.
It wasn't much better in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. Ridley had nine carries and ran for 46 yards, but was unable to record a reception or find his way into the end zone.
If you're looking for some trade value out of Ridley at the moment, the unfortunate truth is that you probably won't get much for him. Right now, it's probably fair to call Ridley a bench player more than anything.
Things won't get easier for Ridley heading into the rest of the season. The Patriots will be playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, who allowed just 1,320 yards rushing last season, the best mark in the NFL.
The Patriots will also be playing in tough games against the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals after that, and if it's a close game then the Patriots will rely more on Brady and the passing attack than the ground game.
What's interesting is that Ridley struggles when he's not involved in the offense and getting more carries; his average yards per carry goes way down and he struggles to find his way into the end zone.
Those 10 games were decent, but they were inflated by the big game against the St. Louis Rams. In the other six games, when Ridley did get 20 or more carries, he ran for 651 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
It's not likely that the Patriots will give Ridley 20 or more carries on a consistent basis, so this could be a real issue. He won't get the momentum he needs to break off big plays, and he will likely put up more games like the first two of the 2013 season.
If you have Ridley, I wouldn't let go of him just yet, but I certainly wouldn't start him next week. The forecast isn't good for Ridley, and he currently isn't worth a starting spot as an RB or flex player.
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