Shane Vereen offers little for fantasy owners, but neither do his teammates

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It was the receivers who produced for the Patriots Sunday; the running backs all struggled in a big way. We break down the fantasy implications.

After averaging 12 fantasy points per game since coming back from injury -- including a 21-point outing a week ago -- New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen was shut down almost completely Sunday. His teammate running backs -- LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley -- were similarly unsuccessful in the Patriots' 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Vereen had 13 rushing yards on two carries, adding eight receiving yards on three catches. It is the first time all season Vereen has played and gotten fewer than five catches; he was averaging eight catches a game, and coming off a 12-catch, 153-receiving-yard game against Cleveland last Sunday.

Blount led the team in rushing, with 47 yards on 11 carries; Ridley added 34 rushing yards on eight carries of his own. None of the three found the end zone.

Fantasy impact: The (slight) good news for Vereen owners is that the targets were still there -- the running back is quarterback Tom Brady's favorite dump-off target, and he was thrown to seven times Sunday. Still, the running-back situation in New England has become a wasteland for fantasy owners, as it's tough to count on any of the group as anything more than a desperation play.

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