Rob Gronkowski has missed a full weeks worth of camp: The Fantasy Implications

New England tight end and fantasy football stud, Rob Gronkowski, has been quietly absent from The Patriots mandatory minicamp.

While according to both Gronkowski and Head Coach Bill Belichick he has been busy doing “other things“, ESPN’s Mike Reiss is reporting that the star is “working back from [an] undisclosed ailment that isn’t viewed as a long range concern”.

Gronk has had a rocky injury history, including a broken arm in 2012 that had him on the sideline for six games, a torn ACL in week seven 2013 that ended his season, and four surgeries on his forearm in 2013. Gronkowski also had a lot of people worried in 2015 when he suffered a hard hit to his previously ACL repaired knee. Though the hit looked nasty, Gronk was only out one game.

While his current injury is very likely and as report a minor one, it is worth noting for fantasy players. Bill Belichick is doing all he can to keep his stud player fresh, but being Tom Brady and The Patriots go-to-guy does take a toll on the body. It makes sense that Belichick would continue to keep a close eye and a tight leash on Gronk through the 2016 season as well. The Patriots already took a step in this direction by drafting former Chicago Bear TE Martellus Bennett, and Bennett isn’t just a pretty face. He was a consistent performer for The Bears and beat out even Gronk for receptions in 2014. It’s hard to imagine him not eating in to some of Gronkowski’s fantasy points.

Gronkowski is one of the best offensive weapons on the field and barring injury it’s hard to imagine him not cracking the top five most productive fantasy tight ends in 2016. However, I’m tempering my usually high expectations for Gronk this upcoming season. According to FantasyPros.com his current ADP is in the first round, and that’s just too steep a price to pay for me.

 

Advertisements

Kevin White’s Possible Return?

Kevin White’s NFL debut was over before it had even begun, but it looks like there’s now a chance we’ll see him take the field. With the deadline for teams to submit their final 53 man roster, check out my article at Jock Journal, about White’s odds of a playing in his first rookie game of 2015.

http://jockjournal.com/2015/11/18/bears-kevin-white-injury-update/

Le’Veon Bell Leaves Game Due to Serious Injury

Le’Veon Bell left the game this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals with what appears to be a pretty serious knee injury. Anytime a running back is unable to support his own weight on a leg is scary, and it appeared he was clutching his knee in particular.

Initial reports are slightly optimistic. It appears Bell may have avoided a serious ACL tear, and the staff is hoping his injury is limited to his MCL. MCL tears are typically easier to recover from than ACL tears. If Bell escapes with just a torn MCL, the Steelers star running back could be back on the field in six to eight weeks depending on severity. If it’s an ACL tear he will of course be out for the season, and require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Le’Veon Bell is an amazing running back and an integral part of The Steelers. We’re all wishing him a speedy recovery. Check back for updates on his injury status.

The Steelers went on to lose the game 10-16.

Julius Thomas Injury Update

Julius Thomas and the Jacksonville coaching staff are still mum on a timetable for for the return of their pricey tight end. The Jaguars certainly didn’t expect for Thomas to be sidelined going into week four after signing the tight end in March to a five year $46 million dollar deal. Thomas has been dealing with a broken finger that he sustained on his only catch during The Jaguars preseason. He underwent surgery on September 2nd after his healing wasn’t progressing as the Jacksonville coaching staff would like. He was originally set to return in week four, but obviously that’s not going to happen. He has received a check up as recently as Tuesday which Thomas said was positive. “The good news [from the surgeon] was no bad news”. Coaching staff has speculated that he should be back in time for their London game against Buffalo Bills, October 25th.

In spite of not having played a single down of football and still having no set timeline for his return, Thomas is owned in over 55% of fantasy football leagues. Fantasy owners, and the Jacksonville coaching staff alike, are eager to see him take the field. The Jaguars are desperately in need of a offensive weapon. They are currently tied for 29th as the lowest scoring team in the NFL, ahead of only the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, fantasy owners have him stashed in a valuable roster spot, in the hopes that their sacrifice will pay off. Thomas was very successful in his last two seasons with the Denver Broncos where he averaged 54 receptions, an 11.8 YPC average, and 12 touchdowns. With the Jaguars desperate need of an offensive boost, it’s likely that once Thomas returns, he’ll put up strong fantasy numbers. At least this is what his owners are banking on. Expect his fantasy stock to rise as we get closer to week seven. My advice is to pick him up early week six if you have the roster space.

Arian Foster Injury Update: Foster Returns to Practice

Foster owners rejoice! We have our first Arian Foster practice spotting since suffering his groin injury back in August. So does this mean Spring is just around the corner?

While Foster’s participation is certainly good news for the Texan’s and his fantasy owners, it’s likely we won’t see him take the field for at least another week, and more likely two. Even so Foster is making good progress in his recovery. Originally it was thought that Foster’s groin injury, and subsequent surgery would have him sidelined for the majority of the season. The Houston Texan’s coaching staff seems motivated as well, with Coach Bill O’Brien saying he expects Foster back, “sooner rather than later”.

So when Foster returns, what sort of fantasy production can we expect to see? In seasons where Arian Foster participated in more than eight games, he averaged over 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns. The most encouraging stat is that every season, even those where Foster missed multiple games due to injury, he never dropped below a 4.1 YPC average. The take away from this is that as long as Foster is on the field, he’s a fantasy producer.

The one area where we may expect less production from Foster is in the passing game. Last season Foster recorded 38 receptions, for five touchdowns. The Texans need a reliable runner. Anyone that watched the Texans last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs will agree. Alfred Blue just doesn’t cut it as an every down back. However, they don’t lack for passing targets. DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington, and Cecil Shorts III all look to contribute to the passing game. The addition of Nate Washington in particular as a possession receiver should really help take some strain off the running game, and off of Foster. The Texans are going to want to keep Foster healthy, and while they can’t cut out too many of his rushing possessions, they can cut back on passing possessions.

So maybe Foster doesn’t see as many receptions on passing downs. He will still produce impressive numbers on the ground, and is the go to guy for the Texans in the endzone. Even if Foster sees a passing reduction, he should remain a fantasy RB1, and produce for his owners every week.

Subscribe to FootballFemme for more Arian Foster updates!

Alshon Jeffery’s Week One Status

Once again the Chicago Bears are keeping their cards close to the vest when it comes to the health of one of their receivers. There has been little talk about Alshon Jeffery’s injury status though he missed much of the preseason training camp, and didn’t play a single down during the preseason games due to a calf injury. He continued his absence today, and was a no show at practice. ESPN has him listed as questionable, and word from The Bears is that their are no concerns over his week one availability. What’s baffling to me is how little his health has been speculated about by fantasy football news authorities. Jeffery is an integral part of The Bears offense and his attendance affects the fantasy projection of pretty much every other offensive player. If Jeffrey is again absent from practice on Wednesday, I would start looking for a replacement for him on your roster. With Jeffery out, Eddie Royal will see the most significant boost in fantasy points, and becomes a viable flex option. I’d also expect Martellus Bennett to see a few extra balls thrown his way. So far this offseason the only thing we have to go off of from The Bear’s camp is how they handled fellow receiver Kevin White’s injury. If that’s any indication then we should be getting an update soon that Jeffery will be undergoing surgery on his entire lower body. I’ll continue to monitor and update on his status.