The New England Patriots have been waiting for a running back to emerge in wake of Shane Vereen's season-ending injury, and that may have happened Sunday. However, instead of presumptive key guy Stevan Ridley, the running back with the big half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was Brandon Bolden.
Bolden rushed three times for 51 yards in the half -- including a single 46-yard carry -- and added three receptions for 25 yards. Ridley, meanwhile, has only 30 yards on seven carries, plus eight yards on a single reception.
Fantasy impact: This is Bolden's first game action of 2013. He had 137 rushing yards and a touchdown against Buffalo just under a year ago, but only 122 yards in six games the rest of the season. Ridley, meanwhile, has been disappointing so far this year, with only 86 yards -- and a lost fumble -- in the season's first two games.
Fantasy owners burned an early pick on Ridley, while Bolden went largely undrafted. It's hard to imagine Bolden supplants Ridley as the team's No. 1, but owners have to pay more attention to the backup going forward. Ridley's value keeps falling.
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