Jake Ballard reached the pinnacle – playing in a Super Bowl that his team would ultimately win – and now he an example of how quickly an NFL player’s fortunes can change. Ballard tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and today he was released by the New York Giants.
UPDATE: Ballard was claimed by the TE rich Patriots but is unlikely to suit up in 2012. He won’t be on the fantasy radar this season but will be a restricted free agent in 2013 (he’ll only be 25) and could regain fantasy relevance depending on where the Ohio State alum lands.
CBS warns that Bennett may continue to be a disappointment – same results different team essentially.
FootballNation.com projects the Gaints starting lineup and no surprise, they have Bennett filling the starting TE role (by default).
William Del Pilar of ProFootballWeekly.com says Bennett is a TE#2 with upside and they project a career year for the first year Giants TE in 2012.
FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN
This isn’t a surprise and it really changes nothing. Ballard’s unfortunate injury happened so late that 2012 is essentially being written off for him. We think the Giants will ultimately resign Ballard and give him a chance to compete for the starting job in 2013. We’re not willing to say that this does anything for Bennett’s dynasty value either because he is on a one year deal and the Giants could bring Ballard back in 2013.
Much was made of Martellus Bennett beefing up to 291 lbs this offseason but all reports are that he is carrying the extra weight well and looks lean. Bennett is unquestionably a very good athlete but he has been plagued by lapses in concentration and judgement and he isn’t in an offense that produces big stats for tight ends. Last season the Giant’s combination of three tight ends caught 55 passes for 833 yards and 5 TDs. The Giants have lost Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks is unlikely to be full speed when the season opens, that may bode well for Bennett. But, he is still not a TE#1. Draft him as a TE#2 with some upside and a guy that you can feel comfortable inserting into your lineup short term in case of byes and injuries.