2012 Team Outlook: New England
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE - Stud (low risk)
Rob Gronkowski is a pure beast. It seems that guys like him and the Saints' Jimmy Graham are the new wave of Tight Ends-- bigger and stronger than wide receivers and almost as fast, making them very hard to cover. Gronk set all sorts of records last season, including most yards (1327) and most TDs (17) in a single season, to go along with his 90 receptions. Gronk is the #1 TE in fantansy and in leagues where you can use a TE as a WR he is top 10 on that list as well.
Update 8-11-2012- Gronk played in the first pre-season game, proving he is back and ready to play after injuring himself in the playoffs last year. Don't be shy in drafting and enjoy watching the points he will put up for you.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
TE Kellen Winslow, NYJ - Deep-league Only
The Patriots signed veteran tight end Kellen Winslow following the ankle injury to Aaron Hernandez. The former Bucs and Browns star has name recognition, but limited fantasy value even with the Patriots known for playing two tight ends. Maybe playing for a contender and in a TE-friendly offense lights a fire under K2, but Winslow was on the street for a reason. Unless he suddently starts catching Tom Brady's eye - not to mention passes - just monitor the situation very casually and move on.
TE Aaron Hernandez, --- - Stud (low risk)
On any other team Hernandez would be getting much more acclaim, but playing alongside Rob Gronkowski doesn't allow for that. Regardless, Hernandez is still a top 5 fantasy TE; no reason his numbers won't stay the same or rise a little.
Update 8-11-2012 - While Hernandez will be the #2 TE on the roster, he will see the field as often as Gronk. Look for the Pats to get the ball in Hernandez' hands as often as possible, including a few times a game out of the backfield. Hernandez will score points in many different ways.
PK Stephen Gostkowski, NE - Stud (low risk)
As long as he is healthy and kicking for the Patriots, Gostkowski will be a top 5 fantasy Kicker. Don't expect much competition for his job, you should feel very safe drafting him.
New England Defense - Solid/Safe Pick
The Patriots defense was one of the worst in the NFL last season, especially in terms of yards given up. However, despite being at the bottom of the league in yards given up, they were middle of the pack in terms of points given up. While they gave up a lot of yards, they did create a lot of turnovers and had a decent amount of sacks. The Pats spent most of their 2012 draft on picking defensive players, so the unit should be much improved. Depending on how your league gives out points for defense will dictate where the Pats defense should be taken, but defenses should never be drafted until the last few rounds.