The staples of the New England Patriots continue to be quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Belichick.
With the impending suspension of Brady, added pressure is on the team to produce in the month of September.
Backup quarterback Jimmy Garrapulo is the face of attention amongst the chaos.
If he exceeds expectations the automatic assumption is a quarterback controversy.
After all many years ago Tom Brady supplanted veteran Drew Bledsoe with his own cementing performances filling in.
Yet, an area of value that continues to be overlooked with New England is their success at the running back position.
In recent years, backup running backs have thrived to catapult Patriots ATS value and fantasy waiver wire success.
Lets take a look at some strong contributions of impact since 2010.
Woodhead emerged as a solid option out of the backfield hauling in thirty-four catches and nearly 900 total yards. His value changed over Brady’s career as he became more of a take what you can get quarterback versus his prior mold of down the field passer.
Ridley was drafted as a third-round pick but the Patriots still had a 1,000 yard rusher in-line with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. As the year progressed Ridley became the main back and finished as the Patriots leading rusher in four of the final five games.
Ridley continued to be the feature back in 2012 but Bolden was the hot hand for one game against the Bills. He finished with 137 yards becoming the popular fantasy waiver wire add. Things did not work out on that move but it shows again how deep the Patriots can go at running back.
After subpar seasons in 2011 and 2012, Blount stood out to become an impact back for the Patriots. He carried over a solid regular season to an even better post-season (4 TD’s, 172 yards) becoming a catalyst to the Patriots Super Bowl run.
Nobody can ever forget Jonathan Gray. He led the Patriots in rushing yards in three consecutive games. Yet, it was an eye-popping Sunday night road performance of over 200 yards rushing that grabbed everyone’s attention. After being late to practice he went from a commodity to Belichick’s doghouse.
The Patriots did it once again with scatback Dion Lewis. The hardly used fourth-year back suddenly became a staple for the Patriots. He was on his way to an outstanding season before an injury cut his season short at mid-season.
The Patriots ability to thrive at the running back position continues to be a main reason for their consistency.
Counting on unforeseen standout contributions is a pattern we can all expect to ease the pressure for Garrapulo and Brady to blossom in 2016.