Aaron Hernandez Fantasy News

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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Zach Sudfeld is new 'move' TE
Monday, September 2, 2013, 9:31am

ESPN Boston - [Full Article]

Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld, the undrafted rookie from Nevada, is the new "move" option, replacing Aaron Hernandez.

Fantasy Impact:

The big thing to take from this is it seems like Sudfeld could not only be involved while Rob Gronkowski recovers, but he could also have value when Gronk gets back. Sudfeld looks like he could be a potentially worthy middle round pick. His ADP has crept into the 10th round in recent days.

Zach Sudfeld 'looks like a lock' to start in Week 1
Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 11:00am

Boston Globe - [Full Article]

The Patriots have been without Rob Gronkowski since the start of training camp, and have been preparing for this exact situation. In case you haven't heard, tight end Zach Sudfeld has emerged in practices and in games, and looks like a lock to be the top tight end when the Patriots take the field against the Bills.

Fantasy Impact:

We have Sudfeld ranked as a TE2, but he has significant upside in the Patriots offense if he can earn an Aaron Hernandez-type role after Gronk returns.

Monday, August 19, 2013, 10:16am

Sports Illustrated - [Full Article]

Patriots RB Shane Vereen looks like the kind of multi-threat weapon the Pats could use out of the backfield to take some of Aaron Hernandez’s touches.

Soft hands, can break a tackle, makes linebackers miss.

“This is going to be a year we really have to grind it out,” said Vereen.

Fantasy Impact:

It's nothing we haven't been preaching for a while here at 4for4.com. We're high on getting Vereen near the middle of drafts. His ADP is the seventh round in 10-team standard leagues and he makes a real nice RB3.

Beat: Zach Sudfeld could play in an "Aaron Hernandez type" role
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 8:53pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld is listed at 225 pounds, so he's hardly cut from the same cloth as Rob Gronkowski. Yet, Sudfeld's receiving ability should put him in a position to succeed in an Aaron Hernandez type of role, and Sudfeld has even improved enough as a blocker to earn more chances to stay on the field in one-tight end formations.

Fantasy Impact:

Sudfeld is a good handcuff for Rob Gronkowski owners and could graduate to a larger role in the Patriots offense. Other than Kenbrell Thompkins and Danny Amendola, the WR corps seems to be unsettled, so if the Pats want to play two-TE once Gronk returns, Sudfeld is the obvious choice. He's an interesting upside pick in the later (10th-13th) rounds.

Sunday, August 11, 2013, 1:27pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Patriot TEs Zach Sudfeld, Daniel Fells, Jake Ballard and Michael Hoomanawanui all filled their roles nicely in the opener. Sudfeld will assume some of Aaron Hernandez’ responsibilities, lining up offset or in the slot and catching passes, and his nifty spin move by the sideline was eerily familiar. Fells, who has had a nice camp, played well in his blocking and receiving assignments.

Ballard was counted on as more of a blocker, and Hoomanawanui did some of the same, including several snaps at fullback. All four would be useful on the 53-man roster until Rob Gronkowski returns.

Fantasy Impact:

Sudfeld and Fells have stood out the most in camp and there was talk of Ballard not making the team as he tries to get back to 100-percent. It seems like all could make the team if Gronkowski misses time or starts on PUP. But with the lack of info about Gronk, it's even possible Gronkowski is ready for week one. Either way, don't expect any of the other TEs to put up Hernandez-like numbers as the Pats are expected to run more and/or use more three WR sets.

Patriot WRs: 'faster, bigger, smarter, deeper...'
Sunday, August 11, 2013, 8:43am

ESPN Boston - [Full Article]

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston had the following to say about the Patriot WRs:

Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and rookies Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce will make up the Patriot receivers this year. If things continue on their current course -- and that remains an "if" at this point because everyone still expects some rocky moments and adversity along the way -- the Patriots should be faster, bigger, smarter, deeper, tougher and more explosive than they were last year.

To get to that point, the Patriots went the tear-down-and-rebuild route, with each decision on last year's top receivers (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch) having its own unique dynamic. What has resulted for the 2013 corps is a higher upside. But also still an element of the unknown.

Fantasy Impact:

It seems the tune has changed a bit from before camp and the whole Aaron Hernandez mess. The Pats have looked good in joint practices and the first preseason game against the Eagles, but the Eagles defense likely isn't going to be very good. Still, guys like Dobson and Thompkins are now on the fantasy radar map.

Sunday, August 4, 2013, 10:18am

Boston Globe - [Full Article]

Patriots TE Daniel Fells appears to be the No. 1 guy right now, with Michael Hoomanawanui taking on more of an H-back role.

Fantasy Impact:

Don't expect Fells to put up Aaron Hernandez-like numbers, though. The Pats will likely go to three receiver sets more often and/or run more.

Sunday, August 4, 2013, 10:15am

Boston Globe - [Full Article]

There’s talent among the TEs after Rob Gronkowski, especially with undrafted rookie Zach Sudfeld, who may be the best all-around member on the field right now. He’s a tall red-zone target (6 feet 7 inches), the most fluid athlete on the field, and was graded as the best blocking tight end in this year’s draft. His injury history at Nevada scared teams, but if he stays healthy he’s got a roster spot locked up.

Fantasy Impact:

Sudfeld would likely be the third TE, behind Daniel Fells, unless Gronkowski isn't ready to start the season. Regardless, don't expect Aaron Hernandez-like fantasy production from whomever is behind Gronkowski. The Pats will likely run more and/or use more of a three-receiver set.

Shane Vereen lining up everywhere in offense
Friday, August 2, 2013, 8:12pm

Boston Herald - [Full Article]

Who could emerge as an X-factor in the Patriots offense?

Here’s one vote for Shane Vereen.

During camp, we’ve seen QB Tom Brady utilize Vereen as he would have Kevin Faulk or Danny Woodhead in the past. If he doesn’t see anyone open, he’ll hit Vereen with an outlet pass. Or, he’ll simply swing it to Vereen and let him take off and do his thing.

Vereen, who barely played as a rookie, now appears to be one of Brady’s safety valves during passing situations along with Amendola. But there’s more. Vereen’s versatility allows him to not only line up in the backfield, but also in different wide receiver spots.

“Shane can do whatever the coaches ask him to do. Out of the backfield, or lining up at receiver, he can do it all,” teammate Stevan Ridley said earlier this week. “That’s something he had to do for Cal, and something he’s going to have to do for us.”

Fantasy Impact:

Vereen's stock has been on the rise, especially in PPR formats because he is expected to fill Woodhead's third-down role and possibly take over some of the routes run by Aaron Hernandez. For a breakdown of Vereen's prospects in 2013, be sure to read John Paulsen's The Case for Shane Vereen.

Thursday, August 1, 2013, 11:19am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld has good size (6-7, 260), which showed up Tuesday in the red zone. He also has shown, for the most part, solid hands going back to spring camps and into the early part of training camp. Haven't seen as much from him in the blocking game -- he's not as thick in his trunk as the tight ends ahead of him on the depth chart -- but it seems fair to say that the momentum he carried into training camp from a strong spring has been sustained.

Fantasy Impact:

Sudfeld is a player to watch as the Patriots try to account for the loss of Aaron Hernandez and possible absence of Rob Gronkowski.

Tom Brady putting in extra work
Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 9:55am

Boston Globe - [Full Article]

Patriot QB Tom Brady’s attendance in the offseason program had slipped in recent years, as he has morphed into more of a family man and worldwide icon, but this offseason was different.

Brady stayed in town this spring and put in time with his new teammates. Last week, he reported to training camp four days early, along with the rookies.

Brady didn’t suddenly rediscover a love of conditioning drills. He knew that for the Patriots to be successful this season, he better start working with his new cast of receivers, who lack experience.

“I’m just willing to do whatever it takes,” he said.

Fantasy Impact:

Despite the signing of WR Danny Amendola, Brady has to deal with the loss of TE Aaron Hernandez, TE Rob Gronkowski (at least for a little) and WR Wes Welker heading into this season. From a fantasy standpoint, his stock has slipped at bit. Ranked 8th on our QB list, he's getting drafted in the 5th round, which is probably a bit higher than he should be. Other QBs around him like Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III are going in the seventh round. Brady is a bit of a risk this year despite his track record. The Pats will likely have to run more in 2013. Brady should still be productive and a low-end top-10 QB, but certainly don't reach for him considering how deep the position is this year.

Beat: Shane Vereen will help to replace Aaron Hernandez
Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 1:21pm

98.5 The Sports Hub - [Full Article]

Former Patriots beat writer on RB Shane Vereen: "When [Aaron Hernandez] went down last year, and they were dealing with [Rob Gronkowski] being out...and they were really looking at some options, I kept hearing from people inside the organization to keep an eye on Vereen, that they think he can fill some of the role that Hernandez did so I don't see why that can't happen this year."

Fantasy Impact:

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 five TDs in that span. Woodhead quietly finished as fantasy football's #25 RB in 2012, so Vereen could post similar numbers if given a similar workload. The Vereen/Woodhead duo posted #14 RB numbers in standard formats and #12 RB numbers in PPR. Throw in some extra work to account for the loss of Hernandez, and Vereen's arrow is clearly pointing up.

Monday, July 22, 2013, 7:02pm

CSN New England - [Full Article]

While Patriots TE Jake Ballard has seemed like the reasonable fill-in for Rob Gronkowski, he didn’t appear to be fully back to health during minicamps. He slogged through some routes and wasn’t a full-go participant. Microfracture surgery is hell to come back from.

Fantasy Impact:

Ballard could be a viable stopgap solution for Gronk owners, but he's not going to explode in this offense as some sort of replacement for Aaron Hernandez.

Shane Vereen will be used in "various alignments"
Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 3:45pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Among the Patriots worth closely monitoring is running back Shane Vereen, a third-year pro who has natural talent as a receiver. Like Aaron Hernandez, he has the ability be used in various alignments around the formation, opening the door to the Patriots using him as a pre-snap motion player.

He might leapfrog from the backfield to a flexed out alignment to a wide receiver alignment in three successive plays. He was successfully used as a split wide receiver on occasion in 2012, taking advantage of man coverage against linebackers (a Thanksgiving night performance against the Jets was the pinnacle of his season). The Patriots have long excelled at dictating matchups, something they can explore further with Vereen this season.

Fantasy Impact:

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 five TDs in that span. Woodhead quietly finished as fantasy football's #25 RB in 2012, so Vereen could post similar numbers if given a similar workload. The Vereen/Woodhead duo posted #14 RB numbers in standard formats and #12 RB numbers in PPR. If Vereen will be used to replace Aaron Hernandez, his PPR value will be considerable.