Patriots Weapons: Thanks to Rob Gronkowski’s injury risk and Aaron Hernandez’s incarceration, the Patriots offense is in a state of flux right now. The big question at the moment is: who will step up with the big fantasy numbers this year?
We’ve got a few leads on that front, so let’s start by looking at Shane Vereen. He could see an up-tick in snap counts, as he’s a versatile weapon and a multi-positional threat. There are some indications out there that he could morph into a Percy Harvin-type player.
Zach Sudfeld is another Patriot to watch. He’s a rookie tight end who was reportedly turning a lot of heads in practice. Sudfeld has a long way to go, but if he can maintain form and catch on as a reserve TE, he could become a nice sleeper in fantasy.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Coming off a down year in 2012, there are a lot of questions surrounding Roethlisberger. He had arthroscopic surgery on his knee early last month, and maintains that the joint is healthier than ever.
A healthy Roethlisberger is the first step to a bounce-back campaign, but we’ll have to see some on-field chemistry before we can declare the Steelers offense resurrected. He’ll probably go No. 15-20 among QBs at your fantasy draft, putting him squarely in backup territory.
Checking in on Morris: Alfred Morris sits high atop many fantasy draft boards as we move toward the preseason. He’s likely to go somewhere around No. 10 or so among his position, which should provide some nice value. Morris is coming off a 1,613-yard, 13-TD season, and there’s reason to believe he could duplicate those numbers.
Depending on your draft position and size, you may even be able to snag Morris as your No. 2 RB, which wouldn’t be a bad strategy. Going 1-2 with running backs is probably a good course of action, given the logjam of talent at the top end of the rankings.