New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley carried the ball 20 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-27 Week 6 win over the New Orleans Saints. Ridley's performance marked the first time this season he's seen more than 16 carries.
Fantasy impact: Since the start of the season, the Patriots' running back situation has been regarded as one that coach Bill Belichick would manage pretty closely, not necessarily designating a feature back. Things changed after the team's Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills, when Shane Vereen hurt his wrist.
Now that Ridley has missed a game and LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden have filled in nicely in Week 5, the Patriots have four options at running back, which doesn't make things easier for fantasy owners.
That said, Ridley's heavier than normal workload suggests the Patriots coaching staff still trusts him over the other options on the team and it's definitely a positive sign for Ridley's owners. Overall though, the Patriots don't usually distribute 20 plus carries in a game to any of their backs.
In Week 7, Ridley will be in tough as the Patriots head to New York to take on a tough Jets run defense.