Gronk Injured Again

The New England Patriots lost their first game of the 2015 season on Sunday night, as they fell to the Denver Broncos 30-24 in overtime. The Patriots went pass-heavy in this game, attempting just 16 running plays to 42 pass attempts for Tom Brady, as New England did not let the losses of Dion Lewis,Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola impact their passing attack. The pass-heavy approach was working fine until the world’s best tight end, Rob Gronkowski, suffered a knee injury and was carted off the field near the end of the fourth quarter. Gronkowski was the target on 10 of Brady’s throws up to that point and had caught a team-high six passes for 88 yards and score. From that point, the Broncos walked/ran-off in overtime on a 48-yard C.J. Anderson touchdown, but the fantasy world was already consumed with the potential loss of the great “Gronk.”

 

What we know as of Sunday night is that Gronkowski suffered a right knee injury, and was carted off for X-rays. After the game, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe noted that Gronkowski “walked out of the Sports Authority Field at Mile High tonight without crutches or barely even a limp…” A Monday MRI is on the way, but the apparent positivity surrounding Gronk’s status is encouraging, although Tom Brady’s favorite target should still be considered an extremely dicey bet for Week 13 in even the best case scenario. Scott Chandler stands to gain the most fantasy juice if Gronk misses time, but stay tuned to Rotoworld for more Rob Gronkowski news this week.

Wideout and Tight End Notes

Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker has resorted to watching his Louisville highlights to remind himself that he’s good and can make plays. He’s played just 110 snaps and seen seven total targets as the No. 5 receiver. … Lions signed former Giants WR Corey Washington to their practice squad. … Browns waived TE Rob Housler off injured reserve. The free-agent bust caught one pass for six yards before being placed on I.R. earlier this month. … Patriots promoted WR Chris Harper from the practice squad. … Kendall Wright (knee) is expected to miss Thursday night’s Week 11 game against the Jaguars. … Chiefs placed TE James O’Shaughnessy (foot) on I.R. … Ravens signed WR Kaelin Clay and TE Chase Ford. They waived WR Jeremy Ross. … Seahawks waived Super Bowl breakout WR Chris Matthews. He caught just four passes this season. His size should earn him another look. … Tom Brady hinted WR Keshawn Martin could have an increased role in the absence of Julian Edelman (foot). … Titans signed rookie WR Tre McBride off their practice squad. … There’s some belief Roddy White will be more involved on offense moving forward. … Coach Gus Bradley is unsure if WR Rashad Green (thumb) will be activated off I.R./recall this week. … Giants signed WR Hakeem Nicks, their 2009 first-round pick. He takes Victor Cruz’s (calf, I.R.) roster spot. … Julian Edelman underwent surgery on Monday to have a screw inserted into his broken foot.

Vernon Davis Traded to Broncos

davisIf I can get my hands on Vernon Davis, who is now the latest weapon for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, I’m going to do that.  The 49ers traded Davis to the Broncos for draft picks.  I will personally guarantee a booster in his stats which were borderline pathetic for this year.  So, maybe it’s not much of a stretch to predict this, but, as you know, many fantasy owners in EVERY league fall asleep at the wheel.  Davis playing with a putrid 49ers offense this year has zero touchdowns.  Granted, he hasn’t played every game, but other games that he played it was if he wasn’t out there either.  Over 6 games, he has 18 receptions for 194 yards.  Expect those numbers to take a major leap.  I can only predict this player who seems to often focus on his brand on off field business will have more focus, especially if they line him up a few more times as a wideout once in awhile, which the 49ers would never do.

Week 6 TE Start/Sits

TIGHT END

Start of the Week: Owen Daniels at Raiders: Daniels is just about done at 33 years old (next month), but the matchup is just too good for him. The Raiders have been flat-out destroyed by tight ends through four games, giving up 32 catches for 388 yards and six touchdowns. That comes out to over 26 PPR fantasy points per game. Daniels is probably the worst tight end the Raiders will have seen come Sunday, but he’s a really good bet for a touchdown and his normal 4-6 catches for 40-60 yards. Daniels leads the Broncos in red-zone targets at the season’s quarter pole.

Starts

Antonio Gates vs. Steelers: Gates is coming back from his four-game suspension this week and expected to regain his starting spot ahead of Ladarius Green. Green should still play, but this is Gates’ job. Especially with Malcom Floyd (concussion) and Stevie Johnson (hamstring) up in the air for Week 5, Gates could step right back into 6-10 targets and be a factor in the red zone. The Steelers gave up four touchdowns to Patriots tight ends in Week 1 and are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Make sure Gates is activated before Monday and fire him up.

Delanie Walker vs. Bills: Walker missed Week 2 but came back to catch 7-of-10 targets against the Colts in Week 3. He’s Marcus Mariota’s safety blanket over the middle and is averaging 6.5 targets per game in an offense catered to tight ends by coach Ken Whisenhunt, who played tight end. The Bills have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to the position. Larry Donnell should have had a much bigger day against Buffalo last week, but is so bulky and immobile that he doesn’t get up field as quickly as others. Walker is a plus athlete. Fire him up as a locked-in TE1.

Charles Clay at Titans: Clay has become Tyrod Taylor’s favorite target. His targets have risen from four to five to seven to 13 in Week 4. He gets a big boost with Sammy Watkins (calf) out of the lineup. Watkins may return this week, but Clay should still get “his” with 6-8 targets, especially if the Bills are forced to throw the ball more if LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Karlos Williams (concussion) can’t play. The Titans have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Clay is a top-five play.

Sits

Jimmy Graham at Bengals: Graham is hard to sit, considering the price owners paid for him in drafts, but he’s just not getting the job done. No fault to him; the offense just doesn’t play to get Graham the ball at high volume. He has two eight-target games, but combined for six targets in Seattle’s other two contests. Frustration is surely mounting. The Bengals, with fine coverage safeties Reggie Nelson and George Iloka, have contained tight ends through four weeks. A tight end has yet to score a touchdown against Cincinnati. Graham has become extremely touchdown-dependent.

Gary Barnidge at Ravens: I want to get behind Barnidge just because of his name, but I need to see more. He’s reeled in 12 of his 15 targets the past two weeks for 180 yards and two touchdowns. One of those games was against the Raiders, but Barnidge answered with a 6-75-1 Week 4 against the Chargers. He’s a Josh McCown favorite. The matchup isn’t right this week. The Ravens have allowed just eight total catches for 31 yards and zero touchdowns to tight ends across four games. Inside linebackers C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith, as well as FS Will Hill, are all above-average in coverage.

Larry Donnell vs. 49ers: Donnell is ninth among tight ends in targets with 24, but he’s averaging a pitiful 7.9 YPR. He’s made of concrete with stiff hips and an inability to get upfield. The 49ers have been middle of the road against tight ends, allowing an average of four catches for 41 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. Donnell will need to find the end zone to be a success.

Would You Rather 2015

1. Would you rather have Adrian Peterson no matter what team he plays for or the Chief’s Jamaal Charles?     Answer:  Adrian Peterson

2. Would you rather have Odell Beckham or Calvin Johnson?  Answer: Odell Beckham

3. Would you rather have Julius Thomas or Travis Kelce as your tight end?  Answer: Travis Kelce

4. Would you rather have Jeremy Hill or C.J. Anderson?  Jeremy Hill

5.  Would you rather have Drew Brees or Matt Ryan?   Answer: Matt Ryan (tough call)

Gronk Workin!

gronkhardwork

Rob Gronkowski is working hard tonight!  I like what I saw from him as far as effort before his 16 yard touchdown tonight versus the Bengals.  He was coming out of his stance hard and fast and then really digging in on his cuts for his routes.  And to see Tom Brady playing with an edge tonight and pretty much dismantling a tough Bengal’s defense, bolds well for the Brady-Gronkowski connection going forward.

It’s still in the fourth quarter and Gronk has 6 catches for an even 100 yards and the one touchdown.  If you were thinking of giving up on Gronk or at least down on him, I think he may be turning the corner.  Those of you that took Gronk over “Orange” Julius Thomas of the Broncos, you may not have to feel awful anymore.

gronk

Julius Thomas of the Denver Broncos is the Man to Pick Up at Tight End

ThomasJulius

The NFL just kicked off it’s first game of the year between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens and a star has already been born.  Julius Thomas is the latest Peyton Manning weapon, and he is here to stay.

Pick him up!

I can think of only two other tight ends that played basketball in college, and they are Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham.  That is pretty good company.  Converted basketball players to tight ends ALWAYS PRODUCE.  I feel like it’s about a 90% chance.

Basketball players can easily be argued as the best athletes in sports.  Basketball translates to great hands and offensive wiggle.  Plus, their size is unmatchable and at tight end they produce great mismatches.

Julius Thomas looked the part here in the first half of this game so far.  Fast and athletic with good hands and size is what I saw.  Good luck NFL stopping this guy the rest of the year especially with the weapons around him.  And, if I’m Peyton Manning, I’m throwing it to the big guy down the seem after looking off safeties by glances towards Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.  

Julius Thomas has earned his spot that he claimed during preseason.  Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen were nursing some injuries in recent weeks and now Thomas has his chance.  Tamme will still be in the mix but Thomas will be the primary guy.  And Dreessen is relegated to the blocking tight end.

We all know Peyton Manning loves to throw to tight ends.  Remember how he made Dallas Clark a star?  It’s actually sad to see how Dallas Clark has regressed since he and Manning parted.  Clark dropped a first half touchdown pass right in his hands tonight.

This time it’s a 25 year old former 4th round pick out of Portland State standing 6’5″ and 246 pounds.  The only negative I see on the radar was a recent arrest for failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket.  He was stopped by the police for speeding, and they noticed an outstanding warrant for his failure to appear in court for the traffic ticket.  With Thomas speeding on and off the field, you might want to speed over to your waiver wire to get him.

Patriots to activate Rob Gronkowski from PUP to 53-man roster

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

As I mentioned in my Preseason Week 3 NFL Stock Watch, it sure seemed like the Patriotswould like to keep Rob Gronkowski from being on the PUP list before the season begins. On Saturday, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that that’s exactly what will happen.

Gronkowski is still recovering from multiple surgeries and there is no set timetable for him to return fully to practice, much less play, but there is an expectation it would be before the PUP window opens, a source with knowledge of the situation told La Canfora.

Had the Pats put him on PUP the Pro Bowl tight end would have missed at least the first six weeks of the season. Gronkowski’s health will continued to be monitored closely but getting him back would be huge for a team that relied on two tight end sets in the past and with Aaron Hernandez facing murder charges and no longer a part of the organization.

 

Jordan Cameron and Zach Sudfield Top 10 Tight Ends?

SudfieldZach

Are you onto Jordan Cameron or Zach Sudfield yet?

If you’re getting late in your draft and you still need a tight end, pick one of these guys and you won’t be disappointed.

It won’t be a reach.

You will have gotten great value.

Branden Weeden seems to have taken the next step in being an NFL quarterback which bodes well for Cameron.  In the Browns second preseason game, Cameron hauled in 2 TD catches and looked good doing it.

Zach Sudfield is a 6’7″monster of a tight end with good hands who is replacing the void left by Aaron Hernandez.  The Patriots are going to be able to continue their two tight-end sets.  With Tom Brady passing, it’s hard to pass up this guy.

I’d like to give Zach an additional “thank you” as he will help keep Tim Tebow off of my T.V. and computer as he takes away any chance of him stealing some tight end reps.

**Breaking news on ESPNAccording to Adam Schefter, sources say Rob Gronkowski like out for Week 1.  And it’s still a decision for the Patriots whether or not to put him on the PUP list for the first 6 weeks of the season.

In light of that news, Sudfield’s stock continues to rise.

In 10-team drafts, you can get these guys in round 13 or 14.

CameronJordan

Tim Tebow A Secret Weapon?

Is this the best kept secret since Randy Moss owned a Juice Bar?  Or maybe since Jim Harbaugh once appearing on Saved by the Bell?  Tim Tebow is going to be used on offense other than a quarterback…..and NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT IT!  Are the Patriots having secret practices in an indoor facility getting Tebow ready to play some form of tight end?

I’m convinced they have to be even though there is absolutely zero reports or talks on it.  Belichick is a “genius,” right?  Then you know he is not about to waste a guy that could actually be a really good tight end after Aaron Hernandez allegedly murders someone(s) and Rob Gronkowski turning into the next Ryan Mathews as far as injuries are concerned.

I mean Coach Belichick has a built in excuse.  It’s so perfect that nobody would ever fault him for trying if it doesn’t work.  And he’d get all the credit for it working.  Then why aren’t they practicing it at training camp?  Naturally, this is due to Coach Belichick orchestrating the art of Zen-like coaching in combination with him showing off his unbelievable powers that he is in control of the situation, not the media.

Tebow will roll out there by game 4.   You know he won’t do it through the entire season starting with game #1 as Coach loves the element of surprise.  Belichick loves to change up his game plan week to week, in fact.

BelichickThen he’ll probably use Tebow in several different ways during various games such as an H-back, traditional tight end on the line, split out, double tight end, etc.  Never doing the same thing twice.  It might end up being Coach’s best trick yet.  We all think Tebow isn’t going to play and just be relegated as the 3rd string quarterback.  Then poof!  Without practice seemingly, he will be able to play all over the field.  Thus, trumping Rex Ryan again and making him look like the fool he is.  I don’t think there’s many more things that make the coach of the Patriots any happier.

The Value in Jimmy Graham

 

Jimmy Graham

 

Is it a MUST to grab Jimmy Graham?  –Assuming you have to pick him late mid to late 2nd round or early 3rd round

(If Rob Gronkowski didn’t have all these surgeries in a row lately, he would be right in the same conversation.  Nonetheless, he is more likely a 4th or 5th rounder with huge upside here if he stays healthy.  I’m assuming many leagues will have a guy that take him earlier than that and risk it.  I will wait to see him in preseason.)

TAKE GRAHAM EARLY:

Pros To This Argument:

-You will definitely have an advantage in the Tight End scoring each week as most of the competing tight ends, besides Gronkowski, do not compare statistically.

-You know what you are getting.  For example, there is no guessing game here on whether or not you’re going to get production.  Jimmy is a sure thing.  Think of all the question marks when you take guys like Steven Jackson, Matt Forte, Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, for example.

Cons To This Argument:

Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez will put up somewhat comparable numbers.

-Are you prepared to give up that end of 2nd round or early 3rd stud at another position where 80% of your league is going to be playing bad tight ends anyway?  There really isn’t going to be any separation between guys like Daniels, Bennett, Olsen, Cook, Rudolph, Pettigrew, or even Pittta who you will be playing in most of your weeks.  So maybe you should grab that position player since you might be losing points in that category then.

-As good as Jimmy Graham’s (or Gronk’s) statistics will be, especially for his position, will they be enough for you from your 2nd/3rd round pick?  You can really only count on 1,000 yards maximum from Graham for example.  You might be passing up more points in total if you don’t take a guy like MJD who might fall to you there.  Plus, running back AND wide receiver is a position you NEED TWO players possibly THREE.

CONCLUSIONThe kicker for me is that I need to load up on running backs and wide receivers that can play and don’t think I can afford taking a tight end that high who don’t light it up like the quarterback position, for example.  Unless, Jimmy Graham fell to the end of the third round, I will let someone else grab him.

2010 Tight End Draft Class

Big Rob Gronkowski owns the title for the most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in his first 3 seasons in the NFL by a wide margin. And Jimmy Graham is third on the list in the entire history of the NFL? Can we already mark them down to the Hall of Fame one day? Maybe not with the recent injury problems with Gronk, but these two guys are tight end monsters!

What’s most impressive is the entire 2010 class of tight ends. Aaron Hernandez happens to be #11 with 18 touchdowns. Jermaine Gresham is #20 with 15 TDs, and Dennis Pitta is #66 with 10 TDs. This list obviously takes a huge hit going forward with Aaron Hernandez being in trouble with the law. He was also on his way to a great career. Of the top 100 tight ends listed for most TDs in their first 3 seasons, Aaron Hernandez was one of ONLY 8 players who averaged more than 50 yards per game.

Well, it’ll be interesting to see if Gronk and Jimmy can handle the test of time. Tony Gonzales (103) holds the title for most TDs by a tight end of all time followed by Antonio Gates (83) and Shannon Sharpe (62). They are a long way from 103 as Tony Gonzalez really separated himself especially as he has been relatively injury free. In this passing era, they have a chance to catch him, but it’ll be tough.

Receiving
Rk Player Rec Yds TD Y/G
1 Rob Gronkowski 187 2663 38 61.9
2 Mike Ditka* 173 2774 25 66.0
3 Antonio Gates 194 2454 25 54.5
4 Jimmy Graham 215 2648 25 57.6
5 Raymond Chester 104 1574 22 38.4
6 Kellen Winslow* 202 2620 21 67.2
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/10/2013.

Top 10 Tight Ends

  1. Rob Gronkowski
  2. Jimmy Graham
  3. Aaron Hernandez
  4. Tony Gonzalez
  5. Jason Witten
  6. Vernon Davis
  7. Kyle Rudolph
  8. Antonio Gates
  9. Dennis Pitta
  10. Owen Daniels


2013 Tight Ends

Need advice on how to draft tight ends?  It’s fairly simple as you can do one of two things.  You can either wait on a tight end and see who falls in your lap in the later rounds.  Or you can target Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham in round 3 depending on how your draft is going.  Although, I would say, if you did take a quarterback in the early rounds, then don’t take one of those two tight ends.  I say this because you are going to deplete your key positions which are running back and wide receiver if you take both a tight end and quarterback in the early rounds.  If you do grab Gronk or Graham, you can definitely land a quarterback late this year since there are so many worthy quarterbacks especially with all the rule changes that favor passing in the NFL now.  Last year I let Owen Daniels fall to me in the 13th round, and he ended up being the 8th ranked TE overall.  That being said, having Daniels as the 8th best overall isn’t saying much as he started the season solid but finished terrible which basically is saying that TE isn’t a very deep position in fantasy football.  Aaron Hernandez will probably be tempting in the middle rounds for some people, but I am thinking Kyle Rudolph might be great late value this year.  The only issue with Rudolph is his quarterback, but then again, maybe Ponder relies on him more.  I would also keep an eye on how things fall out for Andrew Luck and his tight ends.  Luck is the next great quarterback and you know eventually he is going to have one of his tight ends blow up.  That may not be in 2013, but down the road either Fleener or Allen is going to have a great fantasy year.