Brandon Bolden could easily become the walking, breathing embodiment of the novice fake team manager this week, inducing self-loathing in a three-step process.
The first step was the waiver claim made by the lusting owner who used their high priority to aggressively pursue Bolden, expecting more ludicrous production from a running back who had 137 yards on 16 carries last week. That came after Bolden — an undrafted rookie — had only seven carries prior to New England’s Week 4 pumping of Buffalo, and he had gained only 15 yards with that minimal workload while being buried behind Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen.
Bolden is still widely available out there in fantasyland, and is only 16.4 percent owned in ESPN leagues despite his boom this past Sunday. But that nearly matches the growth in his ownership (16.1 percent) since wavier claims cleared Wednesday morning. So while the population of their kind may be sparse, the proud Bolden owner is out there, and beaming.
That brings us to steps two and three, which could be quick and painful. The Bolden owner will start their waiver prize, and he’ll then do nearly nothing, and function as only a change-of-pace RB behind Ridley. At this point on a Thursday afternoon with gameplans very much getting made and settled, not even Bolden has any idea how much Bolden will carry a football Sunday against the Broncos.
Oh please, crush our dreams, Boston Herald:
Bolden said he doesn’t know how much he’ll be used this week (sorry fantasy owners), just as he didn’t know he’d carry the ball 16 times against the Bills.
“It’s the NFL — you never know what can happen,” Bolden said. “Guys might go down – you never know.”
Bolden and Bill Belichick could force feed me and others a heaping pile of crow, and as long as it’s slowly roasted and sprinkled with salt, that’s fine. But unless you’re in a deep league, I don’t think Bolden is a great play as even a bye-week filler for the DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden, or Doug Martin owners.
The primary concern around Bolden this week is the quality of the Broncos’ defense, and their superiority over the wet blanket fielded by the Bills. At the quarter pole of the season, Denver has given up only 87.5 rushing yards per game with just one touchdown, while Buffalo is toiling at 137 yards weekly and six TDs.
That also gives credence to another vital point that’s been repeated all week regarding Bolden. Belichick saw an opportunity to exploit a weakness against the Bills by drilling them on the ground, and after giving Bolden a few carries, he decided to keep feeding the hot hand. That led to his absurd day which overshadowed Ridley’s own quite successful effort (106 yards on 22 carries), giving the Pats two 100-yard rushers in one game.
At best there will be a time share this week, and one that leans towards Ridley (likely 60-40, and maybe even 70-30). There’s always an overwhelming element of recency in fantasy, so it’s easy to forget that in Week 1 Ridley had his own very similar boom, finishing with 125 yards and a touchdown on an average of six yards per carry during a win over Tennessee.
For now, Bolden is still a complementary option, and a product of Belichick being very Belichickian, .