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38 Brandon Bolden RB
Height/Weight: 5-11/220 | Birthdate: 1/26/1990 | Birthplace: Baton Rouge, LA, USA | Team: New England | College: Mississippi | NFL Experience: 3 | Owned/Started%: 5/1 | Average Draft Position: 183.00
NE

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Patriots' backfield remains an enigma


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12/21/2014) LeGarrette Blount was out for Week 16 at the Jets with a shoulder injury, which meant surely the Patriots would make Jonas Gray their go-to running back. After all, he had a 200-yard, four-touchdown game earlier this season and finally got out of coach Bill Belichick's doghouse with 11 carries for 62 yards last week.

Wrong again.

Gray was the Patriots' only running back to score a touchdown in Week 16, plunging in from 1 yard out in the fourth quarter, but to say he was the go-to back would be disingenuous. He and Shane Vereen tied for the team lead in carries with six, but Brandon Bolden also had five. And Vereen and Bolden were both more productive with their carries, averaging 6.3 yards and 6.4 yards, respectively, than Gray was with his, averaging 0.8 yards.

And then there's the fact that Vereen is far and away the best pass-catcher of the three, but he was hardly involved in the passing game on a quiet day for quarterback Tom Brady.

So basically, you wouldn't have gone right with any of Blount's three replacements, and considering they were all equally involved, you have to wonder how they'll impact Blount's role if he returns Week 17 against Buffalo. Given that it's a tough matchup anyway, you might just want to avoid every Patriots running back.


Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden each chip in for LeGarrette Blount


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) With LeGarrette Blount sidelined with a shoulder injury, Patriots running backs Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden did most of the heavy lifting on the ground against the Jets in Week 16.

Bolden only carried the ball five times for 32 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per attempt. Vereen was more involved, as he rushed for 38 yards on six carries. He also caught one of two targets for 12 yards in a 30-14 victory.

New England will face Buffalo in Week 17.


Patriots running backs continue to confound


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12/1/2014) Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a longstanding tradition of zigging when Fantasy owners expect him to stay in a nice, predictable zag, and he did it again in Week 13 with his running backs.

Shane Vereen still played the majority of the team's snaps Sunday against the Packers, but was largely a nonfactor in the loss. He had just three carries and one reception, and was only targeted twice in the passing game overall.

LeGarrette Blount led the team in rushing for the second week in a row since signing as a free agent, however this time he didn't get the goal-line work. Blount, who scored twice the previous week, ceded a goal-line carry to little-used reserve Brandon Bolden, who scored his first touchdown of the season, while finishing with three carries for 17 yards overall.

Jonas Gray , the star of the team's Week 11 win, was back on the field after failing to touch the ball in Week 12, but had just one carry for 4 yards.

Belichick knows he can wring value out of any back he chooses, which is what makes this situation so perpetually frustrating for Fantasy owners. Any back could get work in any situation any week, but it still looks like Blount and Vereen are going to be the team's top options moving forward. Relying on anyone here on a weekly basis is frustrating, but Blount and Vereen are the only ones that are must-own players down the stretch. 


Patriots backup rushers can't do much Week 13


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/30/2014) The Patriots backup rushers could not do much Week 13 against the Packers.

Brandon Bolden managed to make an impact despite limited work. He carried the ball three times for 17 yards, but one of those attempts went for a 6 yard touchdown. Bolden was not involved in the passing game. Shane Vereen also had three carries, but gained just 6 yards. He caught one ball for 26 yards during the contest. Jonas Gray also made an appearance, picking up 4 yards on one carry. 

The trio will look for more Week 14 against the Chargers. 


Patriots' Blount, Gray expected to form 'thunder and thunder' duo


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount was not signed by Bill Belichick to replace Jonas Gray, but will likely leapfrog Brandon Bolden and James White on the depth chart to provide a powerful "thunder and thunder" duo moving forward, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe on Friday.

According to the paper, the move was made in case Gray, who exploded for 201 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in a Week 11, becomes ineffective, or if he suffers a second ACL injury. Gray suffered a torn ACL during his senior season with Notre Dame in 2011.

When asked about his role with the club, Belichick said it will be up to Blount.

"That'll be up to him, just like everybody else," Belichick said, per WEEI. "When he gets an opportunity, how much he can take advantage of it, how much he can be productive, what he can do with those opportunities will determine how many more there are. It’s totally up to him. He’s knows that. We've talked about that. He knows that's the way it is and I think he's excited about it."

Blount rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns on 65 carries with the Steelers this season before getting waived by the club and reuniting with Belichick and the Patriots.


Patriots RB Shane Vereen listed questionable due to illness


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/24/2014) Patriots running back Shane Vereen was a late adition to the injury report due to an illness. He was officially ruled as questionable for Sunday's game against the Bears, the Boston Globe reports. Vereen was unable to practice Friday because of the ailment. He's coming off a two-touchdown performance in Week 7 against the Jets.

If he is unable to play on Sunday, the team will likely turn to Brandon Bolden, Jonas Gray and James White to shoulder the load.


Patriots' running back situation mostly clear


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/21/2014) Forget about Brandon Bolden. The Patriots' use of him against the Jets in Week 7 -- he played only one snap -- pretty much tells the story there. Granted, they've had their share of about-faces at the running back spot over the last few years, so I wouldn't dare claim to know what they're thinking, but if they've decided their next-best choice at the position is Jonas Gray, who at least saw the field for 11 plays Thursday, it's pretty clear what direction they intend to go, right?

With that in mind, I cautiously, carefully and with a preemptive tinge of regret plan to start Shane Vereen Week 8 against Chicago and hopefully every week thereafter. Yes, he played 80 percent of the snaps in Week 7, and yes, he scored two touchdowns. But you'll notice both of them came through the air. True, he also got more than two-thirds of the Patriots' carries, but I can't help but wonder if in a different matchup, one that encouraged them to pound the ball instead of rushing just 15 times as a team, they would have been more creative. That would work to Vereen's detriment, obviously.

For more of my biggest takeaways from Week 7, be sure to check out my latest post to the Fantasy Football Today blog.


Patriots' backup pass-catchers contribute Thursday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/17/2014) The Patriots received contributions from a number of players Week 7 against the Jets.

Brandon LaFell led the way, hauling in four passes for 55 yards. He finished third on the team in yardage, and was targeted five times. Danny Amendola caught one pass, but made it count. In the fourth quarter, Amendola scored on a 19 yard reception from Tom Brady. Amendola should have had a better game, but had a couple catches taken away due to penalties. Brandon Bolden also caught one ball for 4 yards. 

They'll look for more Week 8 against the Bears. 


Take a wait-and-see approach with Patriots' backs


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/16/2014) The Patriots are going to have a tough time replacing Stevan Ridley in the running game, and we will get our first glimpse of how the team plans to do that in Week 7 against the Jets Thursday. The primary options to replace Ridley are Brandon Bolden and James White, though Bolden would not tell the Boston Herald Wednesday how he expects to be used in Thursday's matchup.

"I'm going into this game just doing whatever they ask me to do, whether it's special teams or offense," he said.

Neither Bolden nor White has much of a track record, though Bolden does at least have one 100-yard game under his belt back in 2012. He should get the first crack at an increased role, as he received six carries in Week 6, but Patriots head coach Bill Bellichek is notoriously fickle with running backs, so he could have a short leash Thursday.

We should have a much better idea of how the Patriots' backfield share will shake out after Thursday, but Fantasy owners will want to steer clear for Week 7. The Jets have allowed just 3.6 yards per carry and 13.0 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, so Bolden only makes sense as a desperation player this Week. White is just a long-term flier for now. 


Stevan Ridley injury opens door for Brandon Bolden


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/12/2014) After Stevan Ridley departed in the third quarter with what's feared to be a torn ACL, the Patriots turned to Brandon Bolden as their primary ball carrier Week 6 at Buffalo. He picked up just 10 yards on six carries, but Ridley himself wasn't much better against a Bills defense that entered the day ranked second against the run, picking up just 23 yards on 10 carries.

Obviously, the Patriots also have Shane Vereen to share the workload, but he's always been more of a receiver out of the backfield. If Ridley does miss significant time, the Patriots will need somebody to pick up the tough yards, and that somebody figures to be Bolden.

So does that make him a player to add in Fantasy? He's gotten double-digit carries only three times in his career, but he averaged 5.8 yards per carry in those three games. He had 137 yards on a career-high 16 carries back in 2012.

Of course, he's no Ridley, and Ridley himself had become a frustration to Fantasy owners with the Patriots not always so committed to the run game. So if Ridley's injury ends up being not as serious, maybe you add Bolden only if you have a real need at running back. But otherwise, he's a must-add.


Brandon Bolden, Timothy Wright contribute little


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Patriots running back Brandon Bolden ran twice for 4 yards Week 3 against Oakland. Tight end Timothy Wright caught the only pass thrown his way for 20 yards.

The two will continue to play just a supporting role Week 4 at Kansas City.


Patriots list inactives for last preseason game


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/28/2014) The following players will not suit up for the Patriots Thursday night against the Giants: Brandon Bolden, Michael Hoomanawanui, Jarod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, Chris Martin, Dominique Easley, Sebastian Vollmer, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Jones and Sealver Siliga.

Patriots to sit three offensive skill position players Friday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/22/2014) The Patriots will be without the services of wide receiver Aaron Dobson, running back Brandon Bolden and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui Friday night at home against Carolina, per NESN Sports.

Brandon Bolden off to bad start in camp


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/25/2014) The Boston Herald has noticed that Patriots running back Brandon Bolden has had two bad practices to begin training camp. He's fumbled twice and had a bad drop. Fumbles were a part of Bolden's rookie training camp as well. 

It's believed Bolden is in the running for the backup running downs job behind Stevan Ridley in camp, but if he keeps fumbling he could be released. 


Brandon Bolden in danger of getting cut


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Patriots running back Brandon Bolden is not projected to make the team, according to the Boston Globe. Bolden ran for 271 yards and three touchdowns and caught 21 passes for 152 yards last year.

But he's battled injuries and he lacks "top-end long speed to make big plays," the paper said.


How might the Patriots RBs shake out?


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5/24/2014) Stevan Ridley led all Patriots running backs in snaps played the last two seasons, but ESPN believes that nothing will be handed to him and he'll have to earn his keep this year. Additionally, ESPN thinks Ridley would not have led the backs in snaps had Shane Vereen stayed healthy for a full season. Vereen played nearly as many snaps as Ridley as it were. 

The belief from ESPN's Mike Reiss is that there will be a tandem situation "if everyone is healthy, with the numbers trending heavier toward Vereen."

Behind Ridley and Vereen are Brandon Bolden and rookie James White. Either one of them could earn decent playing time with a strong training camp and/or turnover issues from Ridley or Vereen. 

 


Patriots get offensive contributions


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12/22/2013) The Patriots got several offensive contributions in their win over Baltimore. Among them, running back Brandon Bolden caught two passes for 16 yards and had a 6-yard run. Wideout Aaron Dobson hauled in one of four targets for 21 yards.

Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui added a 9-yard reception. They'll all face the Bills in Week 17. 


Patriots release Week 14 inactive list


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2013) Wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins (hip), Aaron Dobson (foot), tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) and tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) are four injured Patriots who have been ruled out for the Patriots Sunday against Cleveland.

The healthy inactives are linebacker Steve Beauharnais, defensive end Jake Bequette and running back Brandon Bolden.


Five Patriots probable for Week 14 game


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/6/2013) Five Patriots, including quarterback Tom Brady (shoulder) have been deemed probable for Sunday against Cleveland.

The others are wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin), running backs Brandon Bolden (not injury related) and Shane Vereen (wrist) and wideout Matthew Slater (wrist).


Brandon Bolden disappears to bench after getting early reps


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/1/2013) Patriots running back Brandon Bolden got the early work out of the backfield Sunday at Houston with Stevan Ridley a healthy scratch. However, Bolden hardly made an impact in a 34-31 win Week 13.

Bolden got the first carry of the game for New England and had three carries on the first two drives, but he would touch the ball just one more time as LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen got most of the work the rest of the way. 

Bolden finished with just three carries for 2 yards and had one catch for 18 yards. The Patriots host the Browns Week 14.


Brandon Bolden steps up with TD in OT win


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11/25/2013) With Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount benched for fumbling, Patriots running back Brandon Bolden made the best out of his opportunity as he scored his third touchdown of the season during Sunday’s win over the Broncos in Week 12.

Bolden punched it in the end zone from 1-yard out in the opening drive of the second half. He also broke free for a 33-yard run in the second quarter for his longest gain of the night. He finished the game with 13 carries for a team-high 58 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and a touchdown in a 34-31 overtime victory.

Bolden has two touchdowns since Week 8. He will look to stay productive in Week 13 at Houston.

Shane Vereen jumps right into the fray


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11/18/2013) Patriots running back Shane Vereen, activated off short-term injured reserve Monday, is active against the Panthers. He has not played since breaking his wrist Week 1.

Vereen will step in as the passing-down back, as Brandon Bolden is inactive.


Patriots list Week 11 inactives


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11/18/2013) The Patriots listed seven players as inactive for Monday Night Football: guard Chris Barker, defensive end Jake Bequette, running backs Leon Washington (ankle) and Brandon Bolden, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (knee) and safety Steve Gregory (finger).

Brandon Bolden's knee not an issue


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11/16/2013) Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (knee) was removed from the injury report for Week 11 against the Panthers, a sign that he is not going to be limited in Monday's game. Bolden had been limited in practice Friday, but had no issues Saturday.

RB's return could provide 'relief' for Brandon Bolden


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/12/2013) The return of Shane Vereen (wrist) is expected to provide a boost to the Patriots' backfield and help in more ways than expected. Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears told the Boston Globe running back Brandon Bolden (knee) has been playing hurt and could use some "relief."

Bolden carried the ball only three times Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh, but he averaged 12 yards per carry.