Patriots Fantasy News
Rob Gronkowski's infection has cleared up
Monday, May 20, 2013, 7:12pm
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that the star tight end had new plates put into his troublesome left forearm, and doctors have determined the infection in the arm is gone, according to a source. No further surgery is planned at this time.
The team now can turn its primary focus to Gronkowski's other issue -- chronic back pain. Gronkowski recently underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the injury and will see spine specialist Robert Watkins in three to four weeks in California for a consultation, NFL.com's Albert Breer reported.
The Patriots hope Gronkowski's back issue can be treated without surgery and the rehab process can be concurrent with the forearm. Gronk isn't in the clear by any stretch, but Monday was a positive development in the Patriots' hope that they have their star on the field by Week 1.
This is obviously great news for Gronk and his owners. The plan now is to see a spine specialist. If he has to have back surgery, it is estimated to take 10 weeks to recover which would put his return somewhere around mid-August. He could still be a great value in 2013, but he does come with considerable risk. We'd be more comfortable with Jimmy Graham in the 2nd/3rd rounds.
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Monday, May 20, 2013, 10:05am
The date was somewhat up in the air, but come tomorrow Gronk will have some definitive answers about whether he’s finally free and clear from an infection that’s dogged him for months.
Monday, May 20, 2013, 9:55am
Considering what a transcendent talent Patriots QB Tom Brady is, the career he's had, and that he turns 36 in 11 weeks, this statement he made to me over the weekend is significant: "Going into my 14th year, I have never had more confidence in how I am throwing the football. I've never felt better throwing the football."
"Over the years, I was a little inefficient and I learned how to get away with it. I've been working with Tom House on what's called ground-force production ... Kinetic sequencing, getting the power from the ground, which translates from the ground to your legs, to your hips, to the shoulder, and all the energy is going toward the target. I've always had confidence throwing the football, but you have to stay on top of it. That's going to be a never-ending quest for me."
Rob Gronkowski also needs minor back surgery
Friday, May 17, 2013, 5:17pm
Just as the news was getting better on Rob Gronkowsi's arm, there's word his back is once again acting up and could require surgery as well.
The New England Patriots tight end recently underwent an MRI on his back to check on a disk issue he had dating back to last season, a person informed of Gronkowski's medical status told USA TODAY Sports.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the Patriots' policy of not publicly detailing injuries, said the issue was with a different disk than the one that needed to be shaved down in surgery in 2009 and a final decision on whether surgery would be required had not been made. The person said Gronkowski would see spine specialist Robert Watkins in the near future, after next week's surgery to install a new plate into his forearm.
The person said the hope was, if surgery on his back was required, Gronkowski would be back within the same time frame as his recovery from the arm injury, which he initially suffered in November but has been prolonged because of an infection in the limb.
Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season – his last year in college, at Arizona – with his first spinal issue. He was sidelined for the NFL scouting combine that February, which hurt his draft status and allowed the Patriots to select him in the second round.
Adam Schefter reported that the surgery would be minor. We still love Gronk's production, but the red flags are piling up. Stay tuned.
Rob Gronkowski to have fourth surgery soon
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 10:47pm
Rob Gronkowski is heading back to the operating table.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday on "NFL Total Access" that the New England Patriots tight end's fourth arm surgery is imminent, according to two sources informed of Gronkowski's prognosis. Doctors will examine Gronkowski's forearm Monday to see if the infection in it has persisted.
Gronkowski had X-rays taken Wednesday as a precursor to surgery, and NFL.com's Albert Breer reported that Dr. Jesse Jupiter, one of America's top fracture surgeons, is set to perform the operation next week at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews was consulted in the case.
The Patriots expect Gronkowski to be ready for training camp, but they won't have a true idea on his timetable until the plate in his arm is replaced.
If the infection has cleared -- Gronkowski has been on antibiotics -- no more surgeries likely will be needed. If not, Rapoport reports there almost certainly will be a fifth surgery that would make it unlikely he'd be ready for training camp in July.
No worries yet; we're just awaiting word about whether the infection in the arm is gone. If it is, Gronk should be fine for Week 1. If it's not, his status for opening weekend will be in doubt.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 6:44pm
The Patriots have added LeGarrette Blount and Leon Washington to their backfield mix this offseason, but replacing Danny Woodhead's role in the passing game and on third down appears to be Shane Vereen's job to lose.
Considering his late-season production and the fact that Danny Woodhead is out of the way, Vereen's prospects are looking good. He gained at least 38 total yards in six of his last nine games and scored three TDs in that span. We currently have him ranked as the #31 RB in standard formats and #24 in PPR. Woodhead quietly finished as fantasy football's #25 RB in 2012, so Vereen could post similar numbers if given the same workload.
Sunday, May 12, 2013, 10:32am
Last season, the Bengals’ most effective personnel package might have been one tight end, three wide receivers and one back with Mohamed Sanu and Andrew Hawkins complementing A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham. OC Jay Gruden said the plan is still to feature that package quite a bit, probably in nickel.
“It’s just that our base package will probably feature more two tight ends (including rookie Tyler Eifert), two receivers rather than one tight end two backs,” he said. “We can get everything in our running game in that personnel group. It’s taking out a fullback and putting in a heck of a pass catcher and hopefully a good blocker. We like to mix up our personnel groupings and keep defenses off balance hopefully and be diverse in what we do. Our goal is to get our best players on the field.”
If the Bengals can force defenses to go nickel on first and second down with two tight ends on the field as the Patriots do, running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard are going to see a lot of daylight. The key is Eifert being multi-dimensional—not just a pass catcher.
“If Tyler is a good blocker, that puts us in a good advantage in the run game,” Gruden said. “That’s what New England does so well. They get teams to match up nickel with them and they can run the ball effectively out of that two tight end set. They have an extra big body blocking. Tyler has a long way to go to prove he’s a good blocker. Training camp will help him. Coach [Jonathan] Hayes has been around tight ends for a long time and is a great tutor for him.”
Eifert is going to have a tough time getting enough snaps to be fantasy relevant as a TE2.
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 2:28pm
Rob Gronkowski to have 4th surgery, 5th possible
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 11:13am
While there has been some suggestion recently that this step might be avoided, the source indicated the fourth operation still has to happen. The plate has to be switched, no matter what, and the surrounding tissue tested. The real question is if Gronkowski, who has been taking part in the team’s offseason program, will need a fifth operation.
If tests show the infection has been completely flushed out, the plate will be replaced, and the recovery process begins. If there are still signs of infection, that won’t happen.
That’s a scenario no one wants to contemplate. Ultimately, Gronkowski would need more surgery and his participation for the start of the season and perhaps beyond would be in jeopardy.
So we are in wait and see mode. Hopefully Gronkowski's arm will be infection-free and he'll be ready for Week 1.
Julian Edelman in walking boot
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 10:16am
WR Julian Edelman is in a walking boot after re-injuring right foot (the same foot that put him on IR). He could be ready for minicamp June 11-13.
Aaron Dobson could start immediately
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 11:57am
What makes Dobson intriguing is the ability to be a factor on the perimeter and after the catch. The Patriots relied on Brandon Lloyd as a perimeter target in 2012, but Lloyd's limited run-after-catch ability limited the offensive explosiveness. While Dobson is just a sufficient make-you-miss runner, he has the acceleration, straight-line speed and contact strength to explode up the field vertically.
On paper, it would appear that Dobson has landed in a role conducive to early playing time and production.
Dobson is entering a great situation opportunity-wise, but don't forget that the New England tight ends are going to eat up a ton of targets, as will Danny Amendola, whom the Patriots signed to fill Wes Welker's considerable shoes. Even if he starts, he's likely to be the fourth option in the passing game.
Bill Belichick likes Aaron Dobson's hoops background
Sunday, May 5, 2013, 7:09pm
Coach Bill Belichick sounds as if he is counting on WR Aaron Dobson, who will wear No. 17, to provide the help he is seeking.
“He’s big, he’s fast, he’s got good hands, he’s a strong player, smart, very smart,” Belichick responded when asked to describe Dobson. “He has some position flexibility and versatility. (He) catches the ball very well. We’ll see how it goes.”
Dobson had 57 receptions for Marshall last season. He did not have a single drop. Belichick spoke Friday about how he has seen that receivers who played a lot of basketball growing up tend to have good hands.
“I would say that, just based on my experience as a coach through the years, that basketball players, most have good hands. They have to handle the ball a lot,” he said. “The ball is on them quick, tight passes and handling the ball in traffic and that kind of thing. Usually, when you get a good basketball player, those guys usually have pretty good ball skills in terms of handling the ball: strong hands in being able to keep it and quick hands, being able to snatch it and handle it cleanly and, hopefully, without losing it.”
Of all the rookie WRs, Dobson may be landing in the best situation opportunity- and offense-wise. The Patriots desperately need a playmaker on the outside and Tom Brady is one of the best there is. Keep an eye on his offseason progress -- if he's starting Week 1, he's going to be fantasy relevant.
Rob Gronkowski "looking great"
Sunday, May 5, 2013, 7:03pm
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is still a couple of weeks away from having a definitive answer as to whether he will need a fourth surgery on his left forearm, according to sources. The last month has been more of a “wait-and-see” period, with Gronkowski essentially buying more time for doctors to determine if the infection has cleared. Gronkowski has been working in the Patriots’ offseason program, and for what it’s worth, one opinion from someone who has seen him is that he “looks great.” A month ago, surgery was seen as “very likely” but there has always remained a chance that it could be avoided. At this point, there have been no unexpected setbacks; however, as Gronkowski has already learned, things can always change quickly.
It would obviously be a boon to Gronkowski's fantasy stock if he can avoid surgery and can basically guarantee his availability for Week 1. If so, he's going to hold 1st/2nd round value due to his relative value to other tight ends.
Stevan Ridley has added muscle, looks "like a house"
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10:17am
Stevan Ridley looked like a house today. He's added a noticeable amount of muscle. Might be even more difficult to tackle in 2013.
Ridley doesn't catch many passes, which limits his upside in PPR formats, but he still looks like a solid value as the 17th RB coming off the board in PPR drafts. He finished as the #10 standard RB and the #15 PPR RB in 2012.
Patriots acquire LeGarrette Blount
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 12:21pm
Saturday, the Bucs got Demps in a swap of running backs, sending LeGarrette Blount to Foxborough in exchange for Demps and a seventh-round draft pick.