Patriots Fantasy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 5:05pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss on how quickly TE Rob Gronkowski will be practicing fully: "I wouldn’t be surprised if Gronk is eased in rather than going full bore from the get go because you are talking about a player who had surgery for a torn ACL less than seven months ago. They’re going to want to bring him along slowly."

Fantasy Impact:

Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news that he avoided preseason PUP, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Don't expect him to practice fully right away, but it looks like Week 1 is a realistic possibility.

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Rob Gronkowski (ACL) 'cleared to play'
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 10:52am

New England Patriots - [Full Article]

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been “cleared to play.”

That was the short, sweet and easily biggest news to come out of Bill Belichick’s morning pre-training camp press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.

Rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL suffered last Dec. 8 against the Browns, Gronkowski did not take part on the field in New England’s spring OTAs and mini-camp, instead working with the team’s medical staff.

But he reported to Foxborough earlier this week with other injured players, rookies and quarterbacks and was cleared to return to the field. Therefore, PUP (physically unable to perform) is not an option either during the summer or the regular season.

Fantasy Impact:

Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Don't expect him to practice fully right away, but it looks like Week 1 is a realistic possibility.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:48am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski said Friday that he plans to play the entire season as he recovers from a torn ACL. He hasn't been placed on the PUP list at this point, but that's still an option prior to the first practice of training camp Thursday.

Fantasy Impact:

Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is a major concern heading into 2014. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). The fact that he hasn't yet been placed on preseason PUP is a positive sign, but as the article states -- the Pats still have time to do so.

Rob Gronkowski (ACL) not placed on preseason PUP list
Monday, July 21, 2014, 6:54pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

According to ESPN Boston's Field Yates, wide receivers Aaron Dobson, Matthew Slater and Jeremy Gallon, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard are all slated to start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Fantasy Impact:

Rob Gronkowski's name was absent from the PUP list, which bodes well for his potential availability in camp. Players on PUP aren't allowed to practice, so we may see Gronk sooner rather than later. As for Dobson, it appears that his foot injury is going to keep him out of practice for the time being.

RB James White to make 'early impact' for Patriots
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 11:42am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Patriots RB James White, the fourth-round pick from Wisconsin, shouldn’t be overlooked at running back. White had a solid spring minicamp "season", and his combination of production as a rusher and receiver appears to be an ideal fit for a Patriots offense that values a diverse skill set. We’ll define “early impact” this way: White will play more than 20 percent of the offensive snaps this season.

Fantasy Impact:

White could eat into the snaps of Shane Vereen and/or Stevan Ridley. We feel Vereen is safe in PPR formats and Ridley will be the primary 'big back' as long as he holds onto the football, but that's no sure thing.

Rob Gronkowski (ACL) won't know his status until camp begins
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 11:35am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is determined to stay on the field in 2014.

"I'm planning on playing the whole season this year," Gronkowski said Friday at a women's football clinic, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.

"I don't know yet until I report, so I'll sit down with the coaches and training staff and we'll see," he said. "I'm just working with the trainers right now, improving every single day and whenever it starts up, whatever the trainers have, whatever the coaches have for me, whatever we feel comfortable with (we'll be) doing as much as possible every day that I can do."

Fantasy Impact:

Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is a major concern heading into 2014. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, but don’t be surprised we don’t know his status until deep into August or even early September. This makes him a major risk in 2014 fantasy drafts. The ACL surgery was the eighth (known) surgery of his career.

Panthers are 'better' at receiver
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:10pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Panthers are better at receiver than they were a year ago. Nothing against Steve L Smith, but at 35 he was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. Hixon wouldn't have been a loss at all were it not for the game-winning touchdown against New Orleans. The key here will be chemistry, but first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Free agent signees Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are solid possession receivers, and more dependable than the players they replaced. Who steps up as the fourth receiver will be the biggest question, whether it's free agent Tiquan Underwood or one of the young receivers. The Panthers plan to run a lot more two tight-end sets makes that less critical.

Fantasy Impact:

We project Cotchery and Benjamin to start but believe that Greg Olsen will once again lead the team in catches. Benjamin has upside, but Cotchery is a dirt cheap WR5/WR6 option available in the final rounds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:13pm

Masslive.com - [Full Article]

After Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, depth gets hazy, which is surprising, since the Patriots were expected to go hard after a tight end in the NFL Draft or in free agency. So far, though, the Patriots have come up with only the rookies, Justin Jones and Asa Watson.

Michael Hoomanawanui is a serviceable tight end and is likely to make the roster, save for an unforeseen development from the rookie tight ends or a free agent signing. The only reason he's not a lock is because the Patriots' options remain so open, especially with Jermichael Finley and Dustin Keller still available in free agency.

Fantasy Impact:

In terms of fantasy, no one after Gronk will likely make an impact. In fact, you can probably expect the Pats to use more WRs in their formations, since they are pretty deep at that position, but especially if Gronk isn't ready to go.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 1:47pm

Masslive.com - [Full Article]

So why is Patriots RB Brandon Bolden on the bubble?

When there has been a chance to take the reins as a feature back, Bolden hasn't impressed. It wasn't the case in 2012, and it wasn't the case in 2013 before LaGarrette Blount earned finally earned the nod toward the end of the season.

Then there's the issue of Bolden's role in the passing game -- he hasn't been great at it. According to Pro Football Focus, Bolden actually graded behind both Vereen (4.8 rating) and Ridley (-2.6 rating) in the passing game, finishing the season with a -3.3 grade. This, combined with propensity for bad drops when coming out of the backfield, calls his future as a receiving back into question.

Bolden's pass blocking wasn't much better. He received a -1.6 grade, and was charged with giving up three sacks and three QB hurries on the season. Meanwhile, Vereen received a grade of 2.0 while Ridley received a grade of 1.9. Neither was charged with a sack.

Fantasy Impact:

The team drafted James White, and in a news story we had a few weeks ago, a beat writer projected Vereen and White as the locks at RB with Stevan Ridley a pretty safe bet. The story mentioned undrafted rookie Roy Finch as someone to watch out for who could steal Bolden's roster spot.

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 10:17am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss listed WRs Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce as 'near-locks' and WR Aaron Dobson as a 'sure-fire lock' to make the roster.

Friday, July 11, 2014, 9:13pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Signed in May, Colt Lyerla's college game tape led one former teammate, Josh Huff -- now a rookie receiver for the Eagles -- to issue a string of lofty comparisons.

"There are tight ends in the league now I know he's better than -- an All-Pro tight end like Jimmy Graham," Huff told Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in May. "That's saying a lot. Guys like Tony Gonzalez, who's no longer in the league. Those athletic guys. Rob Gronkowski. I feel like he can be better than those guys."

The Packers were willing to take a chance, signing Lyerla to a free-agent contract in May. One of the more fascinating prospects in Green Bay's camp, the rookie's supporters continue to suggest one thing: His future is up to him.

"Just a monster," former teammate Terrance Mitchell told the newspaper. "Colt is a beast. I don't know how to explain it. A monster, a beast. ..."

Fantasy Impact:

While these comparisons are wild and probably inaccurate, it's still good to hear that his former teammates have a lot of confidence in him. If he can get his head on straight, he has a great opportunity to shine for the Packers, who are looking for a tight end to carry the torch.

Sorting out the Patriots' WR corps
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 12:08pm

Boston.com - [Full Article]

Patriots WRs Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola, and Brandon LaFell look locked in to the roster, but the other spots are up for grabs. That means Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, Matthew Slater, Jeremy Gallon, and a host of others will be battling it out for one or two spots on the roster.

Fantasy Impact:

The article went on to predict that Thompkins and Slater would make the team while Boyce and Gallon would be cut.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 5:43pm

MLive.com - [Full Article]

Aaron Dobson might be ready for training camp.

The New England Patriots wide receiver missed spring practices after undergoing offseason surgery on his foot, but there is now optimism that Dobson will be ready in time for training camp, according to a source.

The source added that it is still too early to be certain of Dobson’s status, but this is the first time since his March surgery that anyone has spoke of his situation with optimism.

Fantasy Impact:

Over 12 games during the regular season, Dobson caught 37 passes for 519 yards with four touchdowns. He is expected to play a major role in the passing game during his second season. In fact, one beat writer went as far as saying Dobson was a lock, along with Julian Edelman, among WRs to make the team. Missing time in camp could end up setting him back especially with a deep bunch of receivers on the roster, so it's a situation to monitor.

Monday, July 7, 2014, 12:44pm

MiamiDolphins.com - [Full Article]

In the grand scheme of things, it probably wasn’t a very big deal. But Armon Binns’ touchdown reception in the Dolphins’ intrasquad scrimmage on the last day of the June minicamp did mean something.

It meant that Binns is all the way back from the knee injury he suffered early in training camp last summer, a knee injury that cost him the entire 2013 season. It also meant that Binns continues to find a way to get himself noticed on the practice field, the same way he did last offseason and in the first days of training camp before his unfortunate injury.

In the big picture, it means that Armon Binns continues to be a player worth watching.

“I’m just trying to pick up where I left off,” Binns said. “It was a tough blow. I was doing well. I just tried to pick up where I left off and be the same player that I was and better.”

Binns, who will turn 25 the day after the 2014 regular season opener against the New England Patriots, is still trying to establish himself as an NFL wide receiver.

Fantasy Impact:

Binns isn't on the fantasy radar right now, but at 6-3, 211, he is among the biggest receivers on the Dolphins roster, the story said. And what he showed last year in practice and this spring is the ability to use his size to his advantage, as well as the ability to make the tough catches.

Beat: 'all signs point' to Gronk being ready Week 1
Sunday, July 6, 2014, 4:40pm

patriots.com - [Full Article]

As has been the case in recent seasons, the Patriots TE situation all comes down to the health of arguably the Patriots best player: Rob Gronkowski.

At this point all signs point toward Gronk being ready to go in Week 1, but that’s really not the important part of the equation for the Patriots. Can he withstand the rigors of an NFL season and put his injury problems behind him? If he can then the lack of depth at the position won’t be much of a concern. If he can’t, then Tom Brady will have to go without a reliable pass catching tight end for the second straight season.

Fantasy Impact:

Backup Michael Hoomanawanui is not a fantasy option. So, if Gronk misses the start of the season, or any time during the season, it will likely affect the Pats offense much like last year when more WRs saw the field a greater percentage of the time without Gronk. Julian Edelman appears to be the only safe fantasy WR right now, but we should learn more about the Pats offense in camp, the status of Gronk, as well as the fantasy roles of guys like Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce and Danny Amendola. This news certainly helps Gronk's value, though, as he's our number-three TE with an ADP of the fourth round.