Aaron Hernandez arrested, cut by Patriots and charged with murder
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Unless you're living under a proverbial rock, you have heard that Aaron Hernandez was arrested and released by the Patriots this morning and charged with first-degree murder this afternoon among other charges.
Currently being held without bail, Hernandez faces a potential sentence of life without parole.
Based on the prosecutor's argument, the evidence appears to be very compelling. As you would expect, the high-priced attorney for Hernandez described the evidence as "circumstantial" and the case against his client as "not strong."
On so many fronts, it's a terribly sad situation and the legal process will play out in the courtroom.
From a fantasy football perspective, the release of Hernandez most negatively impacts the fantasy value of quarterback Tom Brady, who will now be without Hernandez, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and possibly/likely Rob Gronkowski (to start of the season). Brady has been productive with no-name receivers, however, so I will only move him down a spot to my No. 5 fantasy quarterback.
If Gronkowski (shoulder, forearm) is unavailable at the start of the season, Jake Ballard has the potential to become a sleeper at tight end. That said, the team is unlikely to use Gronk and Ballard together in many 2-TE sets the way they have with Gronk and Hernandez. A lot of the targets that would have gone to Hernandez will likely go to Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Julian Edelman.
The Patriots will also likely run the ball more often so Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen stand to benefit as well, but the Patriots (523) ranked second in the NFL behind the Seahawks (536) in rush attempts last year.