Even though he played an important role in the 2014 Super Bowl for the New England Patriots, 26-year old Shane Vereen appears to be the newest member of the New York Giants.
Veeren was only able to play in eight games in 2013, but his 427 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns put him on most Fantasy Football players’ radar. In 2014, the Patriots’ rushing attack consisted of four players rushing for 281 or more yards, but even with a timeshare, Vereen was able to complete another season with 400+ receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.
While the former Patriots’ running back isn’t known for his ability to plow through defenders, he is an incredible asset in the passing attack, and he was a key factor in the Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He actually had the most targets in the 2014 Super Bowl for either team, and he had the most receptions with 11.
For Fantasy Football players deciding whether or not to take another chance on Rashad Jennings, the addition of Vereen makes things even trickier. Jennings has yet to to play a full 16-game season or eclipse 750 rushing yards in a single season, but he still earned a spot as a fourth or fifth-round pick in most drafts in 2014. Don’t forget that the Giants also have 230-pound back Andre Williams rearing to go, and he could see an increase in work in 2015.
The Giants’ offense needs to improve on third downs and moving the chains in general, and that is why Vereen was brought in. Obviously, New York can’t send Vereen out on just third-down plays, as the defense will know who the ball is going to. He will have to be mixed in with a variety of plays, and I think that cuts down on the value of Jennings more than it does for Williams or Vereen himself.
To make a comparison, The Denver Broncos couldn’t just use Knowshon Moreno for blocking, and he found himself more involved with the offense in 2013 because of his initial abilities to protect Peyton Manning. Even though Vereen may be known for moving the chains and being slippery, he won’t just be used on third-down plays.
Vereen has been hovering as a ninth-round pick on FantasyFootballCalculator.com over the past month, and I think Fantasy Football players may be weary of him because of the three-headed attack the Giants seem to be employing.
While he won’t fall into the Marshawn Lynch or Le’Veon Bell category of production, Vereen should still be a viable option in the flex spot in most leagues because of the total touches he should see in each game. With the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. and the return of Victor Cruz, the New York Giants’ offense could produce several valuable Fantasy Football players in 2015.