by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously this is geared towards those in PPR formats more than non-PPR formats, but regardless do you believe in Shane Vereen enough to select him this early? According to Fantasy Pros his current ADP is 61.4, so if you really want him it’s going to cost you a selection in the fifth round (most likely).
Of course, reaching that high for him is going to require several assumptions:
To be productive Vereen has to stay healthy, something he has yet to prove capable of. He’s never played more than 13 games in a season, including being limited to 8 last season. It’s hard to expect anything different heading into 2014.
2) A simple extrapolation of last season’s numbers
When Vereen was on the field in 2013 he was a monster, with 47 receptions for 427 yards and 3 TD (as well as 208 rushing yards and an additional TD). Can we just assume that he’s going to double up those numbers over a full season though?
While it’s not impossible, there are a lot of factors to consider. For one, a healthy Rob Gronkowski (though that may be a stretch as well) is going to be a focal point. You also have to think Tom Brady will have a better rapport with his young receivers, something that clearly wasn’t there a year ago.
That’s not to say that Vereen isn’t going to remain an important part of the passing game. However, simply expecting him to replicate that type of production is not something that you can do.
3) Increased rushing attempts
With LeGarrette Blount now in Pittsburgh you would think that there would be rushing opportunities available. At the same time, when have the Patriots trusted Vereen to carry the ball a significant amount? They still have Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden while adding James White in the fourth round. In other words it’s going to be an open competition, as usual, so expecting Vereen to suddenly step up appears to be another stretch.
It’s not to say that there isn’t value in Vereen, but using this high of a pick seems like a tough sell. While the RB around him are questionable, wide receivers like T.Y. Hilton (67.8) and Michael Floyd (65.4) are going around the same time. That tells me that the fifth/sixth round holds significant value in wide receivers, so I’m going to be looking for running backs elsewhere.
Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros
Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: