Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal reported that Gronk did not travel with the team Friday. NFL Media's Courtney Fallon reported "Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) is not expected to play Sunday vs Cardinals, per source informed." Given all the info, unless this is next-level Belichick-ian maneuvering, it's safe to assume he's not playing folks.
As you can imagine, Martellus Bennett stock is soaring. His ownership is just 51 percent on NFL.com but in most competitive leagues he is likely long gone. If he's for some reason hanging out on the waivers, scoop him up if for no other reason than to pawn him off on the Gronk manager in your league. No mercy. All's fair in love and fantasy, or something like that.
Vance McDonald and Jesse James are two names that don't instill a lot of confidence but are absolutely playable. McDonald built a solid rapport with Blaine Gabbert on the back-half of last year and Chip Kelly is known to utilize the tight end position. "The Road Dogg" Jesse James walks into a solid target share with Heath Miller retired and Ladarius Green on the PUP. Both are wildly available, even in deep leagues.
By the way, even if you don't trade Bennett, he absolutely has stand-alone value. If Gronk is good to go, expect the Patriots to run plenty of 12 personnel. If Gronk is a no go, well, you got yourself a really good starting tight end. Just as a reminder, while Gronk has played a full 16 in two consecutive seasons, he previously has had surgeries to repair a broken forearm, an ACL and twice had surgeries on his back.
Even playing opposite Gronk, Bennett has the ability and is in an offense that could make him a top-15 tight end. If Gronk misses time, Bennett's value sky rockets.
More news and notes:
NEWS: Marshawn Lynch is considering a comeback according to a Pro Football Talk report citing a source with knowledge. The Mike Florio report goes on to say Lynch could target Week 4 or 5 as possible return date.
- Fantasy spin: You're either super excited or smacking your forehead and muttering to yourself, "Stop." There's no in between.
The Seahawks still own his rights so if he came back, Seattle would have the option of bringing him back, trading him or cutting him. If they brought him back, RIP Thomas RawlsFantasy Value. It seems extremely unlikely that Lynch would be okay with a trade unless it was to a team like like his hometown Raiders or some other team on the West Coast but you never know. If it were to happen, big if (and let's be honest here, most likely not going to happen), but if Marshawn came back, whereever he ended up would likely create backfield havoc from a fantasy perspective.
- Bottom line: There's nothing to do except keep tabs on Lynch but let's be real, if the rumblings are for real, you'll be inundated with information both real and half true.
*- Fantasy spin: *We talked about this last week, but Charles' Week 1 status went from pretty good early this offseason to now unlikely.
Regardless, Ware is the play in Week 1 versus a Chargers defense that was just atrocious against the run last year. The defense allowed 4.8 yards per carry (tied for second worst in the league) and also gave up 17 rushing scores (third worst in the NFL). And oh by the way, Joey Bosa is not expected to play.
- Bottom line: A sleeper pick that could wake early in the season, Ware has a legit chance to be a top-10 fantasy back in Week 1.
- Fantasy spin: It was a surprising move given the positive buzz CAP was generating in camp. The reasoning behind benching CAP is likely related to pass protection. While Artis-Payne has improved his pass blocking this offseason, the team probably wanted to maximize the bubble around Cam Newton and that likely meant Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert.
Still, most expected the second-year Auburn man to get the start if anything were to happen to Stewart. This indicates otherwise and if anything, strongly suggests the team could go to a full committee if Stewart got hurt.
- Bottom line: In deeper leagues if you held CAPPY shares, feel free to release him to the wire.
- Fantasy spin: Obviously Jarvis Landry will eat but other than that who? DeVante Parker is still dealing with a hamstring injury and Jakeem Grant who has been making preseason noise is all of 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds. Leonte Carroo and Kenny Stills are the only other wide receivers and they are both listed at 6-foot-0 even. Hunter at 6-foot-4 has the size that the team covets opposite Landry but Hunter has a lonnnng way to go.
But as the Miami Herald points out, Hunter is reunited with his wide receivers coach from Tennessee in Shawn Jefferson. It's possible that experience will help ease the Hunter's transition to a new team and playbook.
- Bottom line: Hunter isn't worth a look in virtually any format currently but it's conceivable a change in scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for the athletically-gifted receiver. Keep tabs.
Per Adam Beasley, also of the Herald, Ajayi was upset this past week because he was demoted to second on the depth chart behind Arian Foster.
- Fantasy spin: In the words of Ron Burgundy, [boy ... that escalated quickly](C:\Users\matt.franciscovich\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\RDZQUVRG\escalated quickly giphy.gif). Ajayi went from unquestioned starter in Miami to being passed by Arian Foster to then being kicked to the curb by the coaches.
There are serious, serious concerns that Foster will be able to stay healthy given his age, and injury history. Ajayi was largely being drafted as a handcuff but if he's now in the dog house, feel free to drop him.
Shameless Cross Promotion:
If you're interested in playing daily fantasy for the first time but aren't 100 percent sure how it works, Matt Harmon gives you a pretty good walk through here.