The demand for a 29-year old tight end who tore his ACL, MCL and PCL last season is obviously not very high, but Keller would be a solid addition to the Patriots. With Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola missing several games last season, Tom Brady was visibly frustrated with young receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. Receiver Julian Edelman was reliable, but Brady still needs a big target to get the ball to, and 6-foot-2, 255-pound Keller fills that need.
Gronk is dealing with an ACL injury that he had surgery for at the beginning of 2014, so his status will be questionable up until the hour before the first game of the season. The Patriots have proved to fantasy players that the team can have two tight ends who are not only fantasy relevant, but two players at the same position who can be absolutely dominant. In 2011, Aaron Hernandez totaled 910 receiving yards, averaged 65 receiving yards a game and caught 7 touchdowns while Gronkowski had 1,327 receiving yards, averaged 82.9 receiving yards per game and caught 17 touchdowns.
The determining factor for success will obviously not only revolve around the health of Keller, but the health of Gronkowski as well. Keller would find more work without Gronk in the mix, but this could open him up to more injury if he becomes overused. Having two tight ends in the game will keep the defense on its toes and help Keller find the endzone more often.
Having said all that, the former tight end for the New York Jets should not be your starting tight end if he signs with the Patriots. You should draft Keller as the handcuff to Gronkowski whether you own him or not, and if Keller starts to shine early, you can use him as trade bait to fill any holes you have. Adding Keller is more about future strategy, so don’t plan on keeping him around for long. If he does find consistency and is solid from week to week, however, that is a bonus and you can rotate him into your lineup.
While drafting Keller is mainly about strategy, he must be drafted if he is catching passes from Brady.