If I’m going to say Rob Gronkowski might not be all Yo Soy Fiesta in New England, I should probably explain where I expect those points to go. And besides the obvious choice in Brandon Lloyd, there’s another tight end in New England who had a not-too-shabby year in 2011.
For some reason, ESPN has disabled video embeds for the roundtable discussion they had on Aaron Hernandez, but you can watch it here on ESPN.
KC Joyner makes a compelling argument.
The targets were there last year. As you hear in the ESPN video, Hernandez ranked highly when it came to targets and, unlike Gronkowski, not the vertical balls that Brandon Lloyd should cut into this year as a Patriot.
He did run the ball, but I doubt that adds much to his value for fantasy. New England has two young running backs, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, who should step it up this year now that Law Firm isn’t there to hog carries.
For Hernandez to meet and exceed his draft position this year, he only needs to be more effective with his targets this season versus last.
Hernandez looked like THE tight end to own in fantasy for several weeks early in 2011, but after Hernandez’s injury, Gronkowski seemed to take over and never let up for the Pats.
So while you might not be looking for a “sleeper” tight end in the middle of your draft as the No. 6 or No. 7 tight end on the board (and yes, I realize this isn’t truly a sleeper draft position), Hernandez could surprise you with what he gives you this year and could jump into the top 3 tight ends if given the opportunity.
I’ll certainly look to target him if I miss out on the best of the best, Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.