Fantasy Football 2013: Aaron Hernandez out, New England Patriots Will Show Resiliency

By Jim Heath
Aaron Hernandez
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have released 2010 fourth round draft pick Aaron Hernandez.

His arrest on Wednesday doesn’t spell a positive resolution to the disturbing story that has captivated the worldwide NFL crowd for over a week now. The Patriots are without Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Danny Woodhead in 2013 and now find themselves without the services of the former Florida Gators player.

The Patriots offseason can be well described as “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” The tumultuous time began with the loss of Welker and Woodhead in free agency followed by the injury saga that possibly clouds the season of Rob Gronkowski, capped by the Hernandez arrest Wednesday.

On the surface, that should put the Patriots’ offense in “Code Red” status and immediately crash the Fantasy Football stock of all of the team’s offensive personnel.

That is, if the Patriots were a traditional team led by mere commoners.

Bill Belichick’s standard operating procedure, dubbed by many as “The Patriot Way”, may be an unorthodox approach on the surface, but it nets success 100 percent of the time. Belichick knows his personnel, and he knows how to use players seen by most NFL scouts as average talent in positions that transform the average into the extraordinary.

Which brings us to your mission, if you should chose to accept it. Take advantage of your league shying from the Patriots’ offense during fantasy drafts. Tom Brady will sling the ball a gazillion times, he will rack up his close to 5,000 yards passing and he will get his 30 plus scores. Someone will have to grab those receptions, run for those yards and score those touchdowns. Find those people.

Gronk is the high-profile guy and if he’s healthy, he will be a fantasy monster. Danny Amendola will play the slot and if he’s healthy, the century mark is not only realistic, but probable. Don’t sleep on 2013 draft pick Aaron Dobson — he will be Brady’s deep threat. Find lesser-known role players like Shane Vereen, who now sit on the threshold of break out seasons.

And not to beat a dead horse, or gator – do not forget about Tim Tebow.

Obviously you cannot draft him as a quarterback when he becomes a Patriots role player. However, if the position you see next to Tebow’s name changes from QB to say FB, HB, WR or most likely TE — he’s worth serious consideration.

The Patriots have shown their resiliency during tough times in the past, and they will endure once again. They will be competitive within the conference and they will be relevant in Fantasy Football. My statements may seem bold to some, to me it is simple common sense: these are Belichick’s Patriots, period.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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