I’ve been busy for the last hour or so trying to justify my fantasy, um, fantasy of Tim Tebow becoming a thriving member of the Buffalo Bills, if such a thing exists. So, let’s catch up quickly on the most important yet still least surprising injury news of the day (so far).
Rob Gronkowski was set to be, at best, a desperate flex play for anyone who has still held on to him over the past month. Your hopes were raised when he practiced — albeit on a limited basis — throughout this week, although you still remained aware that even if he did play against the Jaguars, his usage would significantly decrease. But hey, a limited Gronk is still a fine flex option, yes?
Sure, but that debate is useless now. With an easy game upcoming against those Jags, the Patriots will reportedly sit Gronkowski down for the fifth straight week, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe. That clearly makes Aaron Hernandez owners smile wide smiles, as he’ll continue to receive all of the tight end targets from Tom Brady. Hernandez’s target volume has been just ridiculous lately, topping out at 19 (!!!) last week during the Patriots’ loss to San Fransisco. But even before that his targets were exceedingly high, and over the past three weeks Hernandez has been targeted 43 times. Not a typo.
But the true beneficiary here may be Brandon Lloyd. Gronkowski’s continued absence combined with the loss of Julian Edelman has led to a significant uptick in Lloyd’s production. He has 279 receiving yards over the past two weeks, 190 of which came last Sunday night against the 49ers and their fifth-ranked secondary.
There was a time earlier this year when Lloyd owners should have had him chained to the bench (he’s had five games with less than 35 receiving yards). Now against the Jaguars he’s a high-end WR2 during championship weekend. As for Gronk, with the exception of leagues that extend into Week 17, you’re free to drop him now.