SMITTY: There are a few sources right now talking up Jonas Gray. No one is predicting amazing things, but what we are hearing is that he is considered the big back on that roster, which could spell goal line work. It could turn into more, it could be nothing. Basically, if you count on Gray this week for whatever reason, realize that using him is the definition of high-risk/reward. Shane Vereen should have a big Week 8, as he is the most dynamic rusher on that New England roster, but stranger things have happened in New England at the position. As for Vereen, he is probable after battling an illness this week — expect him to play unless you soon hear otherwise. Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Shane Vereen, for the first time this season, looked like a feature back. Sure, he only ran the ball 12 times, but that was his first double-digit carry game this year, and he totaled 47 yards on those carries. His 71 receiving yards and two TDs on five catches was beast-like and it’s starting to look like New England knows what they have in Vereen. He is back to RB2 status, folks! Tom Brady was solid once again this week, tossing for 261 yards and 3TDs against the Jets. Rob Gronkowski pulled in five passes for 68 yards. On the Jets side of the football, Chris Ivory rushed the ball 21 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. He has RB2-type upside as far as talent goes, however, will the Jets feed him constantly? That’s always the question. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: This is a cloudy situation for sure, and just because Stevan Ridley is out for the year, that doesn’t make this situation easy to figure. Shane Vereen deserves double-digit carries moving forward now that Ridley is done, but will New England feed their best rusher carries? They are kind of known for doing the opposite of what you’d imagine at the running back position, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Jonas Gray, a power back from Notre Dame, somehow earned significant playing time. Granted, it won’t be surprising if he is a non-factor as well, but the point is, he deserves monitoring. Brandon Bolden is the logical choice for goal line work in Week 7. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: It’s tough to predict how the Patriots will use their running backs moving forward, but with Stevan Ridley (ACL) done for the season, you have to think the team will start giving Vereen double-digit carries, something he surprisingly hasn’t yet seen this year. Brandon Bolden could either see a whole bunch more action, or he could just remain the goal line back — It’s really tough to predict this situation, so just grab Bolden in all formats just in case he starts to see starter-type carries. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Update: Updating the report below, Stevan Ridley is done for the season with tears to both his ACL and MCL. Awful news.
SMITTY: It looks like it is a torn ACL, but we will likely know for sure soon, and this news wire and our Smart Alerts will let you know. Shane Vereen gets a significant bump in value with this news, while both Brandon Bolden and James White could somehow rise up from all this.
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