With Aaron Hernandez trading in his Pats jersey for an orange jump suit and the Gronk continuing to break dance following arm and back surgeries – the top flight depth at the TE position has taken a hit this offseason. If you miss out on Jimmy Graham – we suggest owners target other positions and wait to nab a TE in rounds 7-8 as there are many options that should surprise with a change of scenery.
In 2012, rookies Andrew Luck, RG3, and Russ Wilson had impressive first seasons and Ryan Tannehill showed solid potential. This year’s crop of rookies (Geno Smith, EJ Manuel) are not positioned to post the same levels of success keeping them off the fantasy radar for the most part. In this article we profile some of the signal callers changing uniforms as Carson Palmer will look to breathe life back into Larry Fitzgerald’s WR1 status and Alex Smith will look to prove his worth as a former #1 overall pick as he’ll be under center in Andy Reid’s pass happy West coast offense.
In this article series we will profile the ball carriers that will be changing uniforms in 2013 (Bradshaw in Indy and Ivory with the J-E-T-S) as well as a few potential impact rookies (Bell in Pittsburgh and Ball in Denver) that could make a splash in their first season in the big leagues. With Reggie Bush taking his talents from South Beach to Detroit, Lamar Millar will be given a chance to excel as the feature back in a Dolphin offense that could surprise after the offseason additions of WR Mike Wallace and TE Dustin Keller.
Ray Rice has a hip pointer that limited him in practice today. The injury doesn’t appear serious and we would be very, very surprised to see him not start and play the majority of the snaps on Sunday against the Broncos. New OC Jim Caldwell is going to be anxious to get the most out of Rice and get the Ravens offense moving.
After missing four weeks with an ankle injury, Oakland running back Darren McFadden appears ready to return for the Week 14 when the Raiders host the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Marcel Reece has filled in admirably especially for PPR leaguers but is dealing with quad and hamstring injuries that have him listed as questionable (short week won’t do him any favors). If Reece is unable to suit up, Mcfadden could be worth rolling the dice on as he should see 15-20 touches in his return as the Raiders look to keep Peyton on the sidelines.
The Steelers are expecting their star QB back against the Chargers for Week 14. None too soon for the receivers who have struggled to post legitimate numbers without Big Ben at the helm.
The official timeline for Rob Gronkowski’s return is 4-8 weeks. Albert Breer and others are saying that Gronk will be pushing to return in Week 14 after just 2 weeks missed. We find that unlikely. If he does return in Week 14 then he will have a couple challenging matchups against the 49ers who are surrendering the 4th fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends (5.9) and the Texans who are not quite as tough, but are still only giving up 7.9 fantasy points per game.
A few big name pass catchers will be sidelined by the BYE in week 11 including Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Percy Harvin, and, or what it’s worth, the unpredictable receivers in Tennessee and Seattle are off. Julio Jones is a game time decision. As always, injuries will surely play a role in your lineup decisions and our interactive injury chart/fantasy advice feature will keep you up to date.