TIME TO WORRY ABOUT ROB GRONKOWSKI
It is a slow time in the football world. There are still some free agent signings, although none of the blockbuster deals that came through a month or so ago. There is some news out of the National Football League, but overall, Fantasy Football isn’t on the forefront of most people’s mind. The NFL draft isn’t for another few weeks, so let’s just look at a few signings and some of the news that might affect your 2013 Fantasy Football league.
[caption id="attachment_42137" align="alignright" width="300" caption="With another arm surgery potentially on the horizon, Fantasy owners should be wary of Rob Gronkowski. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/74703507@N02/">NH.com</a>"][/caption]
Colt McCoy, QB, SF
In news that interests very few Fantasy owners, Colt McCoy was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. While he won’t compete with Colin Kaepernick for the starting job, he will be competing for the job of his backup. Scott Tolzien, an undrafted rookie, currently sits behind Kaepernick. While there are concerns with McCoy’s arm strength, he’ll be fine as a backup. In deep leagues, he’s worth owning if you own Kaepernick. Other than that, leave him alone.
Julian Edelman, WR, NE
The Patriots decided to re-sign Edelman. He’ll join Danny Amendola and Donald Jones as part of the receiving corps for Tom Brady. While he has experience with Brady, he also has experience on the I.R. Edelman hasn’t played 16 games a season in his four seasons in the NFL. Last year, he only managed 235 receiving yards for three touchdowns. With Wes Welker gone, there might be more opportunities for Edelman, however. He looked promising when playing in the slot last year, and he’ll likely find himself in that position in 2013. Jones shouldn’t provide much competition, and Amendola is an injury risk as well. The Patriots receivers as a whole are going to be tough to trust with the injury history throughout the players. Look at Edelman as a late-round pick that may end up paying off… or may end up back on the waiver wire by the bye week. Edelman also returns punts, so those in leagues that value return yardage should consider Edelman.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR
It is likely that Sanders will end up being yet another Patriots wide receiver. New England has offered the restricted free agent a one-year deal. The complexities of the deal are interesting for those that follow the teams and trades, but for Fantasy owners, Sanders isn’t that intriguing of an option. The Patriots are looking to build a receiving corps that will match that of Welker and Brandon Lloyd. By re-signing Edelman, adding Amendola and now, potentially adding Sanders, the Patriots are likely thinking they are all set. The talent level isn’t quite as high this year, but Brady will be fine. Out of the receivers, Amendola is worth drafting as a risk-reward WR2. Edelman and Sanders are WR4 because of injury history and the number of receivers in New England. With two tight ends that play as receivers, it’s hard to justify owning all the pass-catchers on the Patriots.
David Nelson, WR, CLE
Nelson looked promising after a solid finish to his 2011 season. However, in the first game of 2012, he tore his ACL and has been rehabbing since. The Browns signed him, and he’ll likely be the slot receiver for the team, but that doesn’t mean his Fantasy value is back where it was. In Buffalo in 2011, he had 658 yards and five touchdowns. The problem for him in Cleveland is he joins Josh Gordon and Greg Little in the pass-catching game… and he has Brandon Weeden throwing to him. The Browns have struggled offensively with Weeden, and it doesn’t appear that Jason Campbell will either be the one to make a change or to help that offense. Nelson will likely go undrafted in most leagues, and for good reason. He’s coming off an ACL tear and he is in an offense that may not use him as much as Buffalo did. Leave him alone on draft day.
Rod Streater, WR, OAK
Streater was a late-round gamble in 2012 for Fantasy owners. He ended the season with 584 yards and three touchdowns. He showed promise, but there were too many receivers and too few passes from Carson Palmer. It’s hard to say what the offense will look like with Matt Flynn (or possibly Terrelle Pryor) at the helm. However, the departure of Darrius Heyward-Bey certainly helps Streater’s cause. He’s earned praise from the coaching staff as well on his route-running and raw ability. He will likely be the starting receiver opposite Denarius Moore, but until Fantasy owners see how that offense will shake out, be wary. Streater may end up being a WR4 or late round pick again, but the bust potential is just as high as the success potential.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
Gronk ended the 2012 season injured, but most Fantasy owners were still looking at him to be the No. 1 tight end off the board for the 2013 season. He’s big, he plays for an offense that loves to throw the ball, he creates matchup problems and he gets the ball in the red zone – often. Why wouldn’t you want him on your team? Well, if the reports are true, he might be having a fourth surgery on his forearm. He broke the arm back in November of 2012 and had surgery to repair it. He re-broke the arm in Week 17 and had more surgery. There was an infection that required surgery, and the latest news is that the infection still isn’t clear. While nothing has been set in stone, if another surgery is required, it could put Gronkowski’s Week 1 status in jeopardy. Also, it could put a big question mark over his head heading into the season. This is a situation to monitor as Fantasy owners will have more information by the time they are drafting. Be concerned, however, if your stud is having a problem that will keep him off the field for almost a year.
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