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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: DUST OFF JAKE BALLARD FOR 2013 DRAFTS

Clearly the blockbuster news of the day Wednesday was the arrest of FORMER (cut earlier in the day) New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on a charge of murdering one of his former friends.  There is no debating how much of a lowlife Hernandez is and really there is no reason to even discuss the guy anymore as he hopefully will get what deserves.  The fallout from this however in fantasy football terms brings us to Jake Ballard who on paper was the third-string tight end for the Patriots behind Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.  However with Gronkowski undergoing back surgery and in jeopardy of missing the start of the new season, Ballard will now be thrust into a much more prominent role in the offense.  The Patriots passing attack emphasizes throwing the football to the tight end more than any other unit the in NFL and so Ballard instantly carries immediate intrigue as a last round sleeper bomb.  In his last healthy season in 2011 (Ballard sat out 2012 after ACL surgery), he caught 38 passes for 604 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Ballard also was a big weapon during the New York Giants' Super Bowl playoff march which shows that he can handle the pass catching duties.  While he is nowhere in the same league of both Gronkowski and Hernandez, Ballard can hold his own in the receptions game.  So right before you snag your kicker in drafts the next few weeks, be sure to leave a spot open for Ballard as the upside could be sizable.


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