Aaron Hernandez: How TE's Recovery Will Affect Other Patriots' Fantasy Value

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Aaron Hernandez: How TE's Recovery Will Affect Other Patriots' Fantasy Value
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The New England Patriots lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to a high ankle sprain in Week 2, but the latest reports indicate he's making a swift recovery—news that will impact fantasy value for other Pats receivers going forward. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports:

 

Heading into the season, Hernandez got talked up by fantasy experts. Many wondered if he might actually be a better fantasy option than Rob Gronkowski, given the fact that he is more versatile than Gronk

Through one game, the two had both caught six passes and one touchdown, and the Patriots looked to be rolling on offense. Then, Hernandez was injured, and the Pats have struggled ever since. 

Let's take a look at how Hernandez's reintroduction into the Patriots lineup will affect the rest of the receivers from a fantasy perspective. 

 

Tom Brady

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Brady's fantasy value will skyrocket once he has both of his dynamic tight ends back in the lineup.

Hernandez is such a valuable player for this offense, due to his ability to line up anywhere on the field and produce. 

Hernandez's size, speed and hands make him a threat to make big plays on any given snap, and having him back will improve the team's chances to score touchdowns—especially in the red zone. 

 

Rob Gronkowski

As crazy as it sounds, having Hernandez back in the lineup will help Gronk, rather than hurt him. 

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The two tight ends force teams to pick and choose which player to double, and it opens up the entire offense. 

Gronk struggled in Week 3 against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense, catching only two passes for 21 yards, and it was obvious he couldn't get open often against the bracketed coverage the Ravens used against him.

Hernandez will open things up for Gronkowski, helping him become a more dangerous threat.

 

Brandon Lloyd

Lloyd's fantasy value will drop a bit when Hernandez is back. 

Brady's favorite targets are his tight ends and slot receivers, and Lloyd benefited from Hernandez's absence, catching 17 balls in the past two games for 168 yards. 

Lloyd has yet to catch a single touchdown this season, though, and he hasn't been a fantasy stud this year. When Hernandez comes back, he'll be even less attractive.

 

Wes Welker

Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Welker is trending up right now, regardless of whether or not Hernandez plays. Julian Edelman is fighting through an injured left hand, and in his stead, Welker had a monster game in Baltimore in Week 3. 

In the past two games, Welker has caught 13 passes for 237 yards. 

I expect to see Welker continue to play a big role for the Pats going forward the rest of the yea, and Hernandez's insertion into the lineup will only make him more dangerous. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78

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