Aaron Hernandez Fantasy News

With the signing of Scott Chandler, Rob Gronkowski could see more snaps at receiver

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:16pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

The tight end position is one of great intrigue as the Patriots enter 2015. Ever since Aaron Hernandez was cut, the Pats have been looking for that No. 2 tight end to pair with Rob Gronkowski.

Scott Chandler isn't a "move" tight end, though. At 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, he's similar to Gronk. He's a massive in-line tight end and a matchup problem for all safeties.

The addition of Chandler could mean more snaps at wide receiver for Gronk. The Pats offense was particularly effective a year ago when both Gronk and Julian Edelman were split together on one side.

Keep an eye on Fred Davis here, too. In the midst of the Deflategate madness, the Pats signed the troubled tight end to a one-year deal. It's a flier, for sure, but Davis is a "move" tight end with plenty of talent and plenty of past off-the-field issues.

Fantasy Impact:

Chandler is no slouch. He produced in spots for the Bills and while he doesn't fit the profile of a typical "move" TE, the Pats could elect to use Gronk in that role while leaving Chandler inside.

Patriots take a flier on TE Fred Davis

Monday, May 11, 2015, 9:14am

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Former Redskins franchise TE Fred Davis and New England Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, per source.

Fantasy Impact:

Davis was suspended in 2014 following multiple off-the-field incidents. The Patriots have been aggressive at the tight end position this offseason by signing Scott Chandler and now Davis. It appears the team would like to get back to more of those two-TE sets they ran with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The 29-year-old Davis has receiving chops -- he caught 59 passes for 796 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games in 2011, and had a 48-509-6 season in 2009.

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 7:53am

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Pats TE Tim Wright doesn’t have to be the next Aaron Hernandez.

But if Wright can keep the good times going after last Sunday’s breakout game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Patriots will once again have a tight end tandem to remind everyone of the way it used to be.

Rob Gronkowski was surprisingly electric against the Bengals, busting out with six receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown, and he made his greatest strides from a physical standpoint. If Gronkowski and Wright can continue to play off one another, quarterback Tom Brady’s offense will have an element it had lost in the season’s opening month.

The trend should continue against the Buffalo Bills, who have allowed the seventh-most tight end catches per game (5.6) this season.

Fantasy Impact:

Wright caught three passes on seam routes up the left side — a 30-yarder, a 17-yard touchdown while absorbing a hard shot, and a 25-yarder when Brady looked for Wright after diagnosing a flaw in the linebackers’ coverage scheme, the story said. Because Brady hasn’t gotten consistent production from anyone other than Gronkowski and Julian Edelman this season, Wright’s ability to take a hit to score will help the cause in the future. Wright is worth an add if you're struggling at the position but this is probably still a bit of a wait-and-see situation. While there seems to be no reason for the Pats to go away from two TEs and Wright, their game plan week-to-week always seems to be opponent-specific.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 8:22pm

MassLive.com - [Full Article]

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski told reporters on Monday that he’s ready to play Sunday’s opener in Miami even though head coach Bill Belichick didn't seem so convinced. The uncertainty of Gronkowski's status along with his durability and stamina, make TE Tim Wright’s progress this week all the more important.

“You try to get him caught up in terms of the foundation of your terminology and I’m sure he’ll work real hard to do that; he has so far,” OC Josh McDaniels said. “When you start to get into this time of the year, the focus narrows down a little bit to what you’re going to do during the course of the game so there’s not quite as much volume to consider for a new person who hasn’t had an extensive exposure in the system.”

Fantasy Impact:

Wright has been impressive in his limited time in New England. We heard all along this trade had little to do with Gronk's status, and at this point it's anyone's guess as to whether or not Gronk plays in Week 1 now. Wright is more of a replacement for Aaron Hernandez at the "move" TE position anyway, but if Gronk can't go, Wright could give QB Tom Brady a target in the middle of the field. Wright's probably not fantasy lineup worthy right now, but is certainly someone to watch as the Pats like their 2 TE formations.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:33pm

MassLive.com - [Full Article]

New Pats TE Tim Wright fills a glaring need for the Patriots at a position that's not easy to find: an athletic "move" tight end.

It's a position that was made famous by Aaron Hernandez back in the days when he and Rob Gronkowski ran their famous tight end tandem.

The "move" position is often lined up off the line of scrimmage or split out wide as a sort of bulky, physical receiver. As the name implies, the player moves across the formation a good deal, utilizing the option to have that tight end block and changing the angles from which that block can come. Putting the tight end in different positions also helps to expose opening in the interior passing game.

Fantasy Impact:

Wright has struggled to block this preseason and was buried on the Bucs depth chart. But the article says the Patriots will likely be counting on Wright to contribute early as a threat in the interior passing game, particularly as a complement to Gronkowski. It goes on to say, at the very least, the offense needs a player who can be a legitimate threat to run down the seam while taking some pressure off the team's outside receivers. Whether Wright can establish himself as a complimentary redzone threat remains to be seen, it went on. His fantasy value is also in question, but certainly seemsm to have some potential at least in deeper leagues. Wright may not be Hernandez but it seems like he could give the Pats more looks in two TE formations.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 11:19am

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

Though the Lions spent the bulk of Monday’s practice on the running game, TE Eric Ebron looked crisp in his route-running in snippets of position drills and for the second straight practice caught everything thrown his way.

Fantasy Impact:

Ebron has been struggling with drops, so it's good to hear that he had a good day catching the ball on Monday. The Lions want him to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to catch the ball.

Lions TE Eric Ebron continues to struggle with drops

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 12:15pm

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

The biggest knock on Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron through off-season workouts and the first two days of training camp has been an inordinate number of dropped passes that have negated his big-play ability.

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to catch the ball.

Eagles TEs Ertz, Celek 'playing two different positions'

Friday, July 25, 2014, 12:34pm

Philly Mag - [Full Article]

Brent Celek is the starter and that's not expected to change this year. In a way, Celek and Zach Ertz are playing two different positions. Kelly explained that Ertz [as well as James Casey] is being used as a "move" tight end in this offense. That is similar to the way Aaron Hernandez was deployed in New England -- as more of a "Joker" that lines up in various spots and is used primarily as a pass-catcher. Celek is more of the traditional "in-line" tight end where blocking is a bigger priority.

Celek could very well end up with more snaps, but that doesn't mean that Ertz won't be featured prominently.

Fantasy Impact:

Ertz averaged 2.8-32-.56 over the final nine games of the season (including the Eagles' sole playoff game) and that included two goose eggs in Week 10 and Week 14. That equates to 6.6 fantasy points per game, which is what Martellus Bennett averaged as the #10 TE in fantasy football. With Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson gone, Ertz could play a lot in the slot, though the arrival of WR Jordan Matthews may limit Ertz’s snaps there.

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 12:30pm

Detroit Lions - [Full Article]

Expect to see a lot of two tight end sets by the Lions, which will give them an opportunity to mix things up pre-snap and move pieces around. Ebron can play in-line, in the slot and outside, which will give offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback Matthew Stafford a lot of options after reading defenses.

Ebron gives Stafford something he hasn’t had from that position in his five years in Detroit. In Ebron, Stafford has a tight end that can take a five-yard pass and turn it into an 80-yard touchdown. He also has a player who can run by defenders down the seam and create mismatches from the tight end position.

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense, which was the case in OTAs.

Beat: Lions TE Eric Ebron 'far more comfortable' in offense

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:57am

MLive.com - [Full Article]

TE Eric Ebron wasn't always sharp during the Detroit Lions' offseason program. He struggled with drops early in OTAs. But by send-off day, he flashed the possibility of what could be.

Ebron appeared to be far more comfortable in the offense during last week's minicamp, and capped it off on the final day by hauling in one remarkable sliding catch with safety Isa Abdul-Quddus draped all over him. It was one of the finest catches of the offseason.

"It's lovely now," Ebron said. "Figuring out the offense. It'll never be 100 percent, but at least knowing what to do, where to lineup, where to be. Now I can do the things that got me here.

"I'm starting to earn a lot more respect. I'm starting to produce a lot more, and I'm starting to get a lot more reps."

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense.

Beat: Expect more two-TE sets from the Eagles

Monday, June 16, 2014, 11:01am

Philly Mag - [Full Article]

A closer look at the 2013 numbers shows that Eagles TE Zach Ertz played 45 percent of the snaps during the second half of the regular season, compared to 36 percent over the first eight games. Twenty-two of his 36 catches came in the second half of the year, as did all four of his touchdowns.

Asked how he sees his role expanding this year, Ertz replied, "I think you kind of saw it the second half of the season what went on, I was used all over the field, so hopefully it's more of that."

HC Chip Kelly explained that Ertz [as well as James Casey] is being used as a "move" tight end in this offense. That is similar to the way Aaron Hernandez was deployed in New England -- as more of a "Joker" that lines up in various spots and is used primarily as a pass-catcher. Brent Celek is more of the traditional "in-line" tight end where blocking is a bigger priority.

It's not really about taking snaps away from the vet at this point -- Ertz and Celek are playing two different positions in a way -- it's more about using packages where they are on the field together. Chances are we'll see a good deal more of Ertz, who averaged 13 yards per reception in '13.

Fantasy Impact:

It's going to come down to whether Kelly wants to play Ertz ahead of one of his receivers (Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper or Jordan Matthews) or ahead of Celek. Only four of those five players can be on the field with LeSean McCoy. A rotation could lead to plenty of passing downs for Ertz, but his upside will depend on his playing time.

Eric Ebron has 'rough indoctrination' to the NFL

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 5:12pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The player of the final day of Lions minicamp might have been TE Joseph Fauria. The tight end caught multiple touchdown passes in team drills and used his size well in the red zone. Some of the touchdowns were over undrafted free agents, but he needed to have a good camp and he did that.

Conversely, Eric Ebron had what seemed to be a rough indoctrination to the NFL. He struggled with dropped passes throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp, including two drops on the final day of practice. Drops were an issue for him at North Carolina, so to see him continue this trend during his first few weeks as a professional should be at least a little bit concerning to the Lions. That said, it is still early and he is clearly still learning everything, so it could be an issue of just overthinking on routes and not letting instincts take over. This will be a situation worth monitoring during training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense.

Eric Ebron has had 'some terrible days' learning offense

Monday, June 9, 2014, 11:00am

MLive.com - [Full Article]

During multiple interviews, Eric Ebron has joked about needing the headache medication while studying the Lions' playbook. The learning process has proved challenging.

"It was rough," Ebron said about his first month of practices with his new team. "I've had some terrible days. I've had some great days."

Detroit's offense, under new coordinator Joe Lombardi, isn't anything like the spread attack Ebron played in during his days at the University of North Carolina. The most difficult aspect of the transition has been understanding where he needs to be every snap.

"It's just remembering concepts, remembering where to be, remembering how deep to be," Ebron said. "It's all concepts. Just remembering is the hardest part."

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense.

Lions want Eric Ebron to fill Jimmy Graham role in offense

Friday, May 9, 2014, 10:25am

Detroit Lions - [Full Article]

Lions GM Martin Mayhew and Co. hope they have the next Jimmy Graham. At least that’s how they’ve explained the job to draft pick Eric Ebron.

“The same way Jimmy Graham was (used) when (new OC Joe Lombardi) was coaching Jimmy Graham,” Ebron told reporters in a conference call after the pick about the role coaches have told him he'll have.

Ebron explained that he and Graham are very different players, but the role still fits.

Lombardi spent the last five years as the quarterback coach in New Orleans and watched Graham become one of the best matchup weapons in the NFL. He’s bringing over a lot of those elements from the Saints offense to Detroit and needed to fill a role for an athletic tight end, one that could stretch the field vertically.

“They are not exactly the same players but they are both very athletic guys,” Lombardi said of the comparisons to Graham. “Jimmy has a little bit more length while Eric has a little more quickness.

“There are some things that we did with Jimmy in New Orleans that we will be able to do with Eric and maybe some things we can do with Eric that we didn’t do with Jimmy. They are both unique but (Ebron) is going to have a pretty big role in what we plan on doing.”

“The guy’s a very special offensive weapon,” Mayhew said. “I talked earlier (this offseason) at the league meetings about there being a certain number of elite, I thought, athletes and prospects in the top 10. He’s one of those guys I was talking about.

Fantasy Impact:

Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season.

Jaworski: Jordan Reed 'will be sensational'

Friday, October 25, 2013, 9:44am

ESPN - [Full Article]

ESPN's Ron Jaworski on Redskins TE Jordan Reed: "The guy will be sensational. He’s one of the guys that jumps off the tape at you. I like to use the word flash. We saw a little bit of it earlier this season but clearly against Chicago I saw a lot more of it. We were talking here, he reminded us on the field of an Aaron Hernandez. He has that kind of wide receiver movement for a big guy. This guy is going to scare the hell out of defenses. They can’t load up the box when you have the ability to get him down the field matched against linebackers and safeties. That’s a mismatch. He has a chance to be really good. We talk about splash plays; the splash plays against Chicago came from him."

Fantasy Impact:

Over the past three games, Jordan Reed has averaged 6.0-99-.33, including his 9-134-1 effort in Week 7 against the Bears. He holds low-end TE1 value in redraft formats. He's a rookie, so he's bound to have some struggles, but as the #2 option in what has become a pass-happy offense, the sky is the limit.

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