Fantasy owners, specifically ones that drafted Stevan Ridley, have already had it with Bill Belichick's handling of the Patriots backfield.
Now, another variable is being thrown into the equation, and that's in the form of Shane Vereen. Vereen is slated to get his first action of the season since being sidelined in Week 1 with a wrist injury that landed him on injured reserve with the designation to return.
During that game, Vereen led all of the New England Patriots' backs with 21 touches, seven of which were receptions. But more attractive, was that Vereen totaled 159 yards with those opportunities, racking up plenty of big plays as well as the chances to make them.
Fantasy Spin: There's a concern among Vereen's owners that he may be eased into action after coming off of an injury, and there's also the concern of Belichick's fickleness with his running backs. While the latter has been apparent this year, it's possible that Vereen picks up right where he left off in the season opener. His wrist injury is nothing to scoff at, but it isn't a lower body injury and shouldn't affect his ever-important burst.
Ideally, owners have the running-back depth necessary to play "wait-and-see" and observe Vereen's usage, but owners could do much worse than place him into their flex slots. He is just as much a weapon in the passing game as the running game, and versus the Carolina Panthers' second-ranked run defense, the Patriots may have to get creative and find ways to get the ball to Vereen in space. Vereen is a boom-or-bust flex play this week, but it would not be a shock to see the needle tilt towards "boom" if he's active.