| Tight End, New England Patriots
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|Draft: 2008 Round 2 (30)
College: Texas A&M
Ht: 6’6” Wt: 265 DOB: 1987-03-10 Age: 29
|The Giants tight end situation took a turn for the worse in the Super Bowl when Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum both suffered torn ACLís during the teamís 21-17 victory over the Patriots. That led to the signing of free agent Martellus Bennett, a career underachiever in Dallas. While Bennett is a talented player with outstanding size and solid speed, he comes to the Giants after a four-year run in Dallas where he failed to emerge as a weapon for the Cowboys. After a solid rookie season in 2008 with 20 receptions for 283 yards and four touchdowns, Bennett averaged just 22 receptions for 188 yards over the next three seasons, failing to find the end zone. While his signing seemed to signal a solid opportunity, offseason reports that he had ballooned to close to 300 pounds put a damper on those expectations. Even though the Giants lack a proven third wide receiver behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, it is hard to get excited by Bennettís prospects for 2012. Pluck him off the waiver wire if he has a solid start to the season.
| Rob Gronkowski remains out of practice -- Mon Aug 22 5:30 pm --|
Mystery injury has sidelined Patriots TE for a week
|New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, who pulled up along the sideline during practice on Aug. 15 with an injury that does not appear serious, was not present for the start of the team's on-field workout Monday.
Gronkowski has walked through the locker room on Sunday and Monday at the time reporters were present and showed no noticeable signs of an injury. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: There's no reason to suspect this is a Dion Lewis kind of situation, although Bill Belichick probably wouldn't let us know if it was. The Patriots have tried to take care of Gronkowski as much as possible lately, full well knowing his injury history and what he brings to the table. Gronk's absence does free up more snaps for Martellus Bennett and impressive first-year player A.J. Derby. For now, Gronkowski is still a fine selection in the early second round of most drafts.
|Patriots to use two TEs 80 percent of the time? -- Thu Aug 18 5:10 pm --|
ESPN reporter suggests Gronk, Bennett will share the field a lot
|With defenses paying extra attention to Rob Gronkowski, it will open up more opportunities for Martellus Bennett. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Patriots run more than 80 percent of their offensive snaps with both tight ends on the field, so it won't be a matter of playing time for Bennett as much as how defenses decide to handle the dual threat at the position. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The Pats are going to run a two-tight package enough that Bennett should perform like a low-end TE1. With Gronk, Bennett, Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis all vying for catches each week, there may not be enough balls to go around to keep the fantasy owners of all four players happy. The injury histories of Edelman and Lewis may take care of that problem, however. Either way, don't be surprised if Bennett joins Gronk as a top-10 fantasy tight end.
| Rapoport: Gronk's injury considered 'minor' -- Tue Aug 16 9:20 am --|
Pats TE seems to have avoided setback
|Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) on Twitter: "Sounds like whatever caused #Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski to pull up at practice is as minor as it seemed. No worries." (Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: It looks like Gronkowski is okay, but given his checkered injury history, Martellus Bennett looks like a pretty interesting value pick. Gronk is still a great early-round selection, but he does carry risk.
| Belichick sings the praises of Martellus Bennett -- Tue Aug 16 9:15 am --|
Pats coach: "Not a whole lot that it looks like he canít do"
|The New England Patriots coach lauded the size and skill of Martellus Bennett Monday before the 6--6 tight end hit the field for a joint practice against Bennettís former team, the Chicago Bears. (NESN)|
FF Today's Take: "It looks like he can do pretty much everything you want a tight end to do. Heís smart, very smart. He handles the formations and adjustments and things like that, which are a big part of our offense at that position. He handles those well, and itís been pretty easy," Belichick said. It may be worth investing in Bennett as a low-end TE1 with upside, especially given Rob Gronkowski's penchant for injury.
| Gronk leaves practice early -- Mon Aug 15 5:10 pm --|
|Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski left today's practice after pulling up while attempting to catch a Tom Brady pass to sideline in 7-on-7 drill. (Mike Reiss on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Gronkowski reportedly did not fall to the ground, so he is most likely dealing with a soft-tissue injury of some sort. With this being the Patriots, however, we can expect to be kept in the dark about the ailment as long as possible. There haven't been any indications the mishap is/was serious, but Gronk has a fairly significant injury history. Martellus Bennett is the next man up and would be a fantasy TE1 in the event Gronk is sidelined for a while.
|Pats could run two-TE base set in 2016 -- Tue Aug 2 12:44 pm --|
Martellus Bennett could have TE1 fantasy value despite Gronk presence
|NFL writer Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) on Twitter: "No surprise, but @MikeReiss says Patriots will return to a massive number of 2TE sets. Gronk and Bennett both heavily involved at goalline" (Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: The two-TE base set could mean a possible return to the glory days of Rob Gronkowski and former Pats TE, convicted murderer and PCP enthusiast Aaron "He Who Shall Not Be Named" Hernandez, though they've had some trouble finding someone as talented as the Florida alum. Martellus Bennett could be the guy, and there should be plenty of TDs to go around.
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