Fantasy Football 2012 Rankings: New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez

It’s safe to say the New England Patriots have the best duo in the NFL when it comes to pass-catching tight ends thanks to Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. While Gronkowski sits at the top of the list at No. 1, Hernandez has made a strong case to be considered the fifth-ranked tight end heading into the fantasy football 2012 season.

Hernandez has quickly emerged into one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the NFL and has recorded 13 touchdowns in 19 career games over his first two seasons with the Patriots. In 2011, Hernandez ended up starting 12 of the 14 games he played in and recorded 79 catches for 910 yards to go along with seven touchdowns.

Obviously, Hernandez has an advantage over most tight ends in the NFL when it comes to the passing game considering opposing defenses will focus mos of their attention on covering Gronkowski–who set an NFL record last year by catching 17 touchdown passes during the regular season. Not to mention the Patriots are loaded with talent in the passing game beyond the tight end position with Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd–so Hernandez should be able to take advantage on offense.

Hernandez seems like the type of tight end that is going to get better each season and expectations will be even higher for him in 2012–especially from a fantasy perspective. He posted some impressive performances during the regular season in 2011 and as long as he stays healthy–there’s no reason why Hernandez shouldn’t be considered No. 5 on the list of top tight ends heading into 2012.

Expect Hernandez to be selected in the mid rounds for most fantasy leagues.