Fantasy: Tom Brady now throwing to plenty of unproven targets

Tom Brady will be throwing to plenty of unproven targets in 2013. (Getty Images)
Tom Brady will be throwing to plenty of unproven targets in 2013. (Getty Images)

The Patriots have long been the NFL’s offensive geniuses, thinking outside the box to create mismatches to put crooked numbers on the board. That genius is about to put to the test.

Following Wednesday’s release of Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots arguably have the worst group of pass-catchers in the entire NFL. What’s Tom Brady to do?

Moving Tight Ends
Jake Ballard is technically next up on the tight end depth chart, but he is not Hernandez’s backup. Last season, Hernandez lined up in the slot 41 percent of the time and out wide on 18 percent of his snaps. He was only a traditional, in-line tight end 36 percent of the time. The lumbering Ballard is not capable of filling that role – very few people on the face of the planet are. Expect Julian Edelman to get a long look at extended snaps. He was eating into Wes Welker’s workload early last season before a hand injury stopped that momentum. Ballard will only have value if Rob Gronkowski (back surgery) starts the year on PUP. Tim Tebow is not a tight end.

Danny Boy
Danny Amendola was already in line for a big role as Wes Welker’s clear-cut replacement. Now that Hernandez is gone and Gronk is in doubt, he’s a threat to lead the entire NFL in targets. Amendola was reportedly impressive during spring practices, quickly gaining the trust necessary to play with Brady. The only question left is if he can stay healthy. Owners willing to gamble on that will want to use a third-round pick on Amendola.

Sleeper Alert
The mess at the “F” and “Y” positions in the Patriots’ offense doesn’t directly affect the battle undergoing at “X.” That’s the outside receiver spot where Aaron Dobson will battle Mike Jenkins and fellow rookie Josh Boyce for the starting job. But indirectly, the winner of the battle will project to see even more targets than originally anticipated. As the best talent in the competition, Dobson is the one to watch at camp.

Draft Day
Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard were predictably two of the best players in fantasy basketball last year. There are no such prospects this time around. The two potential No. 1 overall picks, Nerlens Noel and Alex Len, are both rehabbing injuries and very raw offensively. Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter are known more for defense than offense. Trey Burke’s size and athleticism have been questioned. Yawn.

MLB Pickups
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres – Expected off the DL this weekend. Had eight homers and 17 RBI in the 35 games prior to his injury.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Marlins – Finally healthy, Eovaldi has 10 strikeouts in his first 12 innings of the season. Can hit 98 mph on the gun.
J.J. Putz, RP, Diamondbacks – It’s perfect timing for Putz as his elbow is getting close to 100 percent as Heath Bell scuffles.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…