by Nathan Powell @NPowellDFW
If you were held at gunpoint would you draft Aaron Hernandez right now?
Aaron Hernandez is in trouble, and his actions have not helped his case. Generally, innocent people don’t destroy their phones and home security systems as well as bring a cleaning crew to possibly dispose of evidence. One thing we do know is Hernandez was at bar with the murder victim the night before his death. We also have seen a bizarre O.J. Simpson-like live TV circus as the Patriots star led the media on a two-hour joyride as he drove to the team stadium in Foxborough. Hernandez was then “booted” from Gillette Stadium after he showed up to work out on Thursday.
Hernandez, as of now, has not been charged but it looks as though he will be charged with obstruction of justice, and many believe the main purpose of this charge is to get Hernandez to cooperate with police (EDITOR’S UPDATE – authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Aaron Hernandez). If this ends up being his only charge, I can still see Roger Goodell giving Hernandez a 2-4 game suspension. However, things do not look good. Sports Illustrated reported that Hernandez “got more brazen” after signing his seven-year, $41M last August and it is starting to become clear that he is too close to being involved in a thug lifestyle.
WHAT TO DO? As for those who currently own Aaron Hernandez in your dynasty leagues, if you get an offer for a player you like, for example a package including a guy like TE Jordan Cameron, then I say you should take it. However, if you have always been averse to the Panthers’ Running backs, as another example, just because someone offers you Jonathan Stewart, doesn’t mean you have to take it. You don’t want it to end up that Hernandez only gets a 2-game suspension and all you got for him was a player you don’t really even want.
One example of a trade involving Hernandez since this news broke was Hernandez/Stevie Johnson for Torrey Smith/Coby Fleener. I actually would have considered this a pretty fair trade before the Hernandez news broke, but to each his own I guess. Another trade I saw was Hernandez for Ryan Broyles/2014 3rd – for me if that is all I’m getting I would roll the dice and keep Hernandez, as opposed to selling him for pennies on the dollar.
From a redraft perspective, if you are going to be the guy who drafts him before this is all figured out, you shouldn’t be drafting him earlier than the 10th round in my opinion – until the 10th round, there are quality starting tight end options with much less risk than Hernandez still available until the 10th. You also need to ensure you have a solid backup, maybe a guy like Owen Daniels or Tyler Eifert who you can draft in the 12-14 round range.
If your draft occurs after a punishment to Hernandez is handed down you just have to weigh, would you rather have Aaron Hernandez for 12 games (if he is suspended for four games) for example or a guy like Vernon Davis or Kyle Rudolph for 16 games, barring injury. It’s close in that case but I’d rather roll with Davis or Rudolph.
Once the legal system and the court of Goodell has figured this whole situation out, Hernandez’s fantasy prospects will be much clearer, at the moment it just seems like we are driving into a fog and don’t know what is next.
Prior to this bizarre (and sad story), Hernandez projection for the 2013 season on FFW was 79-912-8 TDs as the #3 tight end so this is clearly major fantasy news for redraft and dynasty-ballers alike. It also could have major implication on the success of Tom Brady for 2013. Currently, we have Brady ranked as the #6 QB in 2013 projections at over 4700 yards and 33 TDs. As great as Tom Brady is (and he’s made even marginal players look like stars), at some point he needs to have some weapons. Rob Gronkowski’s status is still murky, Hernandez could potentially miss some time to all season, leaving the Patriots to make hay with newly-signed Danny Amendola, rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, and lower-tiered players like Michael Jenkins, Lavelle Hawkins and Donald Jones. It also is possible that the Patriots will rely much more heavily on the running game. Look for potentially a significant adjustment to the 2013 projections over the next few days as more facts are uncovered.
A teenage jogger discovered Odin Lloyd’s body in an industrial area in North Attleborough, Mass.
Massachusetts State Police sift through rocky debris at the industrial park on Thursday.
Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (in the car) is swarmed by reporters during a stop at a gas station.