Patriots running back Stevan Ridley had his most carries in a game in a while with 15 for 54 yards. It may be a sign that Ridley is back in the fold with New England coaches realizing sitting Ridley’s talent is just silly.
Patriots receiver Julian Edelman paced the New England receivers, leading the team in targets (11), catches (7), and yards (77). Closing in on a 100-catch, 1,000-yard season, it’ll be interesting to see what the Patriots do with the free agent in 2014.
Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith had 11 more tackles, a half sack, and another pass defended. That’s now 19 passes defended on the year to go along with 118 tackles. Smith was supposed to be nothing more than a place holder for Arthur Brown but has taken over Ray Lewis’ position with authority. If he re-signs with Baltimore, he’ll be in the LB2 conversation.
The Patriots running game appears to include Shane Vereen running the ball in addition to catching passes. With Stevan Ridley benched, the Patriots will need to fill the void in the running game. Vereen rushed 10 times for 38 yards along with five catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. For all intents and purposes, Vereen is the running back to own in New England.
On the other side of the field, Texans running back Ben Tate ran for 102 yards for 22 yards and three touchdowns. There was no time share with backup Dennis Johnson and it put Tate back on track to be the starter somewhere else in 2014.
Patriots slot receiver Julian Edelman tied for the team lead with 12 targets for nine catches and 101 yards. You have to wonder if New England would want to bring Edelman back next year or roll with Danny Amendola. Edelman has been the preferred receiver the last couple weeks and is on pace for 90+ catches and 900+ yards.
Texans receiver Andre Johnson went off, again, for eight catches and 121 yards on nine targets. Johnson is quarterback- and team-proof so no matter where he plays next year, he’s still a strong WR in dynasty circles.
Buccaneers rookie tight end Tim Wright is going to be utilized even more this season, providing a golden opportunity to increase his value for dynasty leaguers. He played receiver in college and has the skills to be a force in the passing game.
Raiders running back Rashad Jennings will be forced to give up carries to Darren McFadden this week but should still outperform him. The real question for dynasty leaguers is who will be starting next year in Oakland? Both Jennings and McFadden will be free agents and aren’t getting any younger.
Raiders running back Rashad Jennings will still be involved with the offense when incumbent Darren McFadden comes back. Neither are strong dynasty players and both are free agents after 2013. Expect the Raiders to either re-sign McFadden at a bargain or move on.
Patriots running back Stevan Ridley lost another fumble Monday night. However, he was still in the game for a handful of plays after and was not completely in the dog house. I’d be nervous this off-season as a Ridley owner. You never know what the brain trust in New England is thinking.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finally woke up and went off for 432 yards and four touchdowns. Even with his age, Brady is in a pass-first offense and should be around for at least 2-3 years. He’s still a fine pickup in dynasty leagues.
The recipient of some of those yards was rookie Aaron Dobson who had five receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. If Dobson can improve his catch rate, he’ll be the beneficiary for a long time.
Patriots running back Stevan Ridley also made a bit of a comeback with 115 rushing yards on 26 carries. Ridley will probably never be a top-tier option at running back but he should provide value with his youth and opportunity.
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones had another two sacks to bring his season total up to 8.5. The second-year defensive end should also continue to improve and has an unusually high (for a defensive linemen) 50 tackles in nine games.
The Patriots continue to split carries with Stevan Ridley having 14 against LeGarrette Blount’s 11. The New England running game is one to avoid until there’s some level of consistency.
The Dolphins also seem to not notice who the more talented runner is as they had a 2/3 / 1/3 split with their runners. Lamar Miller (luckily) had 18 carries compared to Daniel Thomas’ 9. This is another situation to monitor to insure Miller gets an opportunity at maximizing his value.
Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace had three catches even though he led the team with 10 targets. Something is off and until Miami switches gears and institutes a game plan that works better with Wallace’s long-ball skill set, just avoid.
Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower had his second solid outing in a row with 10 tackles, a sack and two tackles for a loss. At just 23, Hightower has potential to be a solid LB2/3 for many dynasty years.