Aaron Hernandez: Fantasy Owners Should Buy Low on Patriots TE

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21: Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots celebrates with Tom Brady during a game with New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Aaron Hernandez has played in four games this season, has just 17 receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns on the year and has generally killed owners who decided to overpay slightly at the draft to select one of last year's most productive tight ends.

And I'm really telling you to go and make a trade for him right now?

You're darn right I am.

Hernandez remains up in the air for this week's game against the Buffalo Bills, but we all know when he's on the field he's an elite option at the tight end position for fantasy owners. If you need an upgrade at the position but don't want to overpay for a Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels, Heath Miller or Tony Gonzalez, Hernandez is the way to go. 

And take away games against the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers, and Hernandez has some promising matchups down the stretch against the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins (twice) and Jacksonville Jaguars. 

In 20 games over the last two years, Hernandez is averaging 9.5 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring leagues. His lowest fantasy output in that time is a 3.6-point effort last year, and he's scored fewer than five fantasy points just four times in that span.

When he's on the field, he's as reliable as it gets. 

Now, I know you'll have some reservations. For one, Hernandez hasn't been able to stay healthy all season long. Why trust him now?

For another, the Patriots have suddenly discovered a potent rushing attack this season. Will there be enough pigskin to go around with Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd needing some love as well?

Of course there will be, and if you were worried about every player with an injury concern throughout the season, well, you probably would have a team with about three players on it.

Besides, Hernandez is easily the most difficult matchup for opposing defenses to handle. He has the speed of a wide receiver, the strength of a fullback and the size of a tight end. He can line up out wide, as an H-back or, yes, even as a tailback in the backfield. 

Go get Hernandez right now if you need help at tight end. He'll come for a price below market value, and he'll give your team a big boost down the stretch.


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