Shane Vereen is off to the New York Giants, but have no fear the new ‘this is a Vereen game’ has arrived with Travaris Cadet, the next in line to the throne of the passing back role in New England. The feat that has bested many DFSers and redraft fantasy players alike — predicting the running back usage of the Patriots –is a never ending story. Thankfully we’ll be talking best best ball, where all you need is those few good weeks of upside in mind and a late round pick to cash out.
Above is the ADP of Travaris Cadet. He is valued at about the 225th pick which is in the 18th round, and I think some value can be found here for an extremely cheap price.
One of the biggest propulsion’s of the case for Cadet is the fact that he is only competing with second year player James White, who was on the roster previous to the acquisition of Travaris Cadet. Why would the team go and get Cadet if they thought White would fill the passing back role sucessfully? Jonas Gray and LeGarrette Blount are horrific in the passing game and Brandon Bolden gets his check cut for his special teams play, having only 28 carries for 89 yards and one touchdown in all of the 2014 season whilst healthy. Whilst haha. This blurb helps bolster those thoughts:
“The Boston Globe believes Travaris Cadet has “the leg up” on James White for the passing back role. Shane Vereen averaged 9.9 touches per game over the last two seasons, playing the majority of third-down and two-minute drill snaps.“
Putting up the Numbers
In his passing back role on the Patriots, Shane Vereen had 47 receptions in 2013 and 52 in 2014 with three receiving touchdowns each year along with 427 and 447 yards respectively. He coupled that with 44 rushes for 208 yards and one touchdown in 2013 with 96 rushes for 391 yards and two touchdowns in 2014. This is mid level usage and production that I think Cadet can obtain and even exceed when he takes the reins.
Cadet’s numbers are all decent for his limited usage, but what stands out here is his Fantasy Points Over Expectation Per Target (reFPOEPT), where he has about a 28% better mark than Vereen, who is a standout in his own right. This shows Cadet could do up to 28% more than Vereen fantasy points wise with the amount of opportunity Vereen had in 2014. Also, Cadet’s catch rate of 75% in 2014 is supreme and above Vereen’s 68% catch rate. Cadet’s numbers show room for improvement on Vereen’s stats although he had far less volume contributing to those lines.
If Cadet gets the aforementioned 2014 reception total for Shane Vereen of 52 with his career 7.8 yards per reception rate along with the 96 rushes at his sparing career yard per carry rate of 3.2 that would be 712 yards. We can use Vereen’s miniscule five touchdowns that year as a general predictor for Cadet. With that, the yards, and the 52 receptions that lands you at 152.2 PPR fantasy points. That would have made Travaris’ the RB24 in 2014. If you give Cadet that 28% increase in fantasy points because of his greater than Vereen efficiency in the passing game and that brings you to 519 receiving yards, 826 total, and 163.5 fantasy points, which would have been the RB21 in 2014 behind Shane Vereen. Shane Vereen finished as the RB20 with 166.8 points in 2014, so even if Cadet just mirrors Shane Vereen’s production from the past season, he will be a usable asset. Top 20 fantasy point RB finishes are definitely usable in the standard MFL10 10 team leagues having 2 RB spots per team finishing in your optimal lineup. That doesn’t even include the possibility of your RB filling your flex spot for the week.
We are talking best ball here so you will be using Travaris’ high scoring weeks. When the passing play RB is heavily utilized in a game it is game planned and happens in bunches, which is perfect for the best ball format This is especially the case in New England. If you looked at Shane Vereen’s RB fantasy point finish average for 2014 as a measure for Cadet when he fills the passing role this season, it wouldn’t be great, but he had some standout weeks. If you look at those top finishes you may feel a lot better about this 2015 fantasy prospect. Shane had 5 usable week’s having PPR point finishes of RB11, RB18, RB3, RB10, AND RB18. I think Cadet will certainly match Vereen’s number of 2014 high finishes and there is a great chance he surpasses that number.
Last, but not least, the eye test was great for Cadet. In the games I saw him perform he flashed quickness, agility, and burst.
A passing back is a beautiful thing in PPR, which is the main best ball league, MFL10’s, format. With a late round pick, when you are selecting your defenses, you can grab one of those said passing backs that will be entering the productive New England Patriot offense for near free, who has a decent floor and an excellent ceiling. The Patriot’s backfield goes round and round, and you will be cheering and jeering when you can scream ‘Cadet game!’ this season after you draft Travaris in the late round of your MFL10 draft.
Charts courtesy of Rotoviz.com
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