Hernandez' impact on fantasy draft boards
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The fallout from tight end Aaron Hernandez' arrest and subsequent release from the New England Patriots has fantasy owners' draft boards all shook up.

That is evident in looking at average draft position (ADP) results from fantasyfootballcalculator.com over the past month.

On June 17, Hernandez was going off draft boards as the third tight end overall with an ADP of 53.4. One month, later, he's predictably no longer being drafted, while several other tight ends have seen their ADP rise.

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was the sixth tight end being draft a month ago, at an ADP of 70.3. As of Thursday, he's going as the fourth tight end, at an ADP of 61.2.

While Michael Crabtree is likely done for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon, San Francisco still has receiver Anquan Boldin. Plus, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick didn't really click with Davis last season.

Davis had 83 yards and a touchdown on six catches in Kaepernick's first start, but caught a total of six balls on 11 targets in the final six regular season games.

In seven seasons, Davis has exceeded 900 yards just twice and produced more than seven touchdowns once. He'll likely have similar fantasy value to Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta, Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph and St. Louis Rams TE Jared Cook with a much higher price tag.

Pitta is being drafted sixth among tight ends and at an ADP of 78.2 as of Thursday; he went at an ADP of 84 a month ago.

The Hernandez situation also has been consequential for his former team.

Future Hall of Famer and perennial elite fantasy quarterback Tom Brady's ADP has dipped to 52.4. One month ago, he was being taken nearly 10 picks before that, at an average of 43.2.

While Brady has dropped, fantasy owners haven't elevated another QB to take his place in the first four rounds. There are now just four quarterbacks going there -- Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.

Brady is still going ahead of Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan (56 ADP), Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (65.3), Kaepernick (69.4), Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (73.7) and Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (76.8), but passing on him for one of those players could be a better play for fantasy owners.

Meanwhile, the uncertainty surrounding New England's passing game has made its running backs more attractive.

Stevan Ridley has leapfrogged Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and is going at an ADP of 16.1, 3.7 picks ahead of where he was going a month ago.

Ridley's backup and third-down back Shane Vereen's ADP has jumped more than 20 spots, which makes sense because Vereen could see the biggest role alteration of anyone on the team due to Hernandez' absence.

As the replacement for last season's passing-down back Danny Woodhead, who touched the ball 116 times (76 carries, 40 receptions) last season, Vereen was already expected to see an increase in playing time, so he was going at an ADP of 87 a month ago. As of Thursday, his ADP is 66.7.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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