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.

 

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Paxton Lynch Profile

With the giant absence left by Peyton Mannings retirement, I take a look at Paxton Lynch’s odds of starting this season for the Denver Broncos. Check it out here:

 

Paxton Lynch: Your Fantasy Football Coach

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/

Jacoby Jones joins the Pittsburgh Steelers: Should force an interesting conversation with Mike Tomlin

Back in 2013 Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin caused quite the stir by interfering with what looked to be a touchdown return by the then Baltimore Raven Jacoby Jones. Tomlin claimed to not be aware of how far onto the field he was at the time, and since Tomlin has a pretty clean record otherwise, I’d be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Either way, their first few face to face meetings between the two may have some interesting undertones. I expect Jones to take over some of the return duties for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the season ending injury to stud running back Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh is going to be taking more precautions to protect their other super star, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and the Steelers have a pretty up close and personal view, of just how lethal Jones can be on the return.

We wish Jones luck with his new team. Watch the video of Tomlin’s interference here:

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.

Is Andy Dalton is the real deal? Fantasy Football Implications

Andy Dalton’s hair is not the only thing on fire, his game is pretty on point too. Dalton is currently the top scoring fantasy player, beating out notable names like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Andrew Luck. Dalton went undrafted in many leagues, and is currently still unowned in 18% of leagues, and remaining benched in 46% of leagues. Veteran QB’s like Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees aren’t playing up to snuff, and the new recruits, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota aren’t consistent fantasy producers. It would seem like Andy Dalton would be rising in the ranks of fantasy quarterbacks. So what is stopping managers from playing Dalton on a weekly basis?

I think it’s just name recognition. Fantasy players are more likely to play a big name like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees over someone like Andy Dalton. Even though Dalton has been putting up some serious numbers, the media doesn’t paint him as an elite quarterback. In spite of that Dalton is making some serious headway into building an MVP resume.  Only two other quarterbacks in NFL history have started 5-0 with at least 1,500 pass yards and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of at least five. Those signal-callers were Aaron Rodgers in 2011, and Peyton Manning in 2013. Both went on to win MVP honors in those respective seasons.

Through his last five games, Dalton has 11 touchdowns, 1,518 passing yards, and a 67.5-percent completion percentage. He’s also gained 55 yards rushing and rushed for two touchdowns. He’s surrounded by talent, and has the support of his team his coaching staff, and his fans. If you’re not betting on Dalton, you should be.

 

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.