Patriots TE Jake Ballard is almost fully healthy
What are you looking for?
Latest NFL News and Rumors...

Colts tight end Dwayne Allen said last month that he is ... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
When the Eagles open their 2014 season at home against the Jaguars, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin will be ready to go. Heck,... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden are expected to provide the Raiders with an interesting one-two punch out of the ba... [read more] [All News & Rumors]
Bill Lazor has replaced Mike Sherman as the Dolphins' offensive coordinator this year, and one of the differences between ... [read more] [All News & Rumors]

Patriots TE Jake Ballard is almost fully healthy

Patriots tight end Jake Ballard @TheJakeBallard is almost back to full strength following his 2012 ACL reconstruction and microfracture surgery. That's the word on Friday from USA Today's Mike Garafolo. Ballard hasn't played in a game since Super Bowl XLVI in which he tore his left ACL.

Fantasy Analysis:

Who would have ever thought that Jake Ballard would be this important to the New England Patriots? He was picked up off the Giants' scrap heap in 2012 when everyone knew he wouldn't be able to play for at least a year. And on a team with two elite tight ends, there didn't look to be a big opportunity for Ballard to do much with the Pats. But with Rob Gronkowski @RobGronkowski coming off surgeries on multiple body parts that will leave him unavailable to play until at least August, and Aaron Hernandez @AaronHernandez connected to a homicide investigation that may leave him unavailable to play for much, much longer than that, here we are.
Ballard still needs to show that his major knee surgeries have not taken away his ability to get open and athleticism, which weren't in large supply to begin with. He can be a big red-zone threat, much like a Scott Chandler. But with Tom Brady as his quarterback and a Week 1 start a realistic possibility, Ballard needs to be on all fantasy radars. He would still be a late-round draft pick, but if Gronk and Hernandez end up in worst-case scenarios -- Gronk's back continues to act up and keeps him off the field well into the season, and Hernandez ends up suspended or in jail or both -- Ballard could a huge value pick. I won't say that he will make it into the TE1 range, but he could be a high-end TE2.

Mike Garafolo via Twitter

0 Comments | Add Yours

There are no comments on this article yet.

You must login in order to comment:

If you do not have an account yet, register here -- it's free

Warning: You don't have cookies enabled in your internet broswer. Without cookies, you will not be able to login. Some web browsers allow cookies to be managed on a per-site basis.

News Archive
NFL News Feed: XML Feed
Subscribe to FFToolbox NFL News and Rumors by Email
Brian Murphy -
Follow on Twitter
Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties