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PPR Redraft Tight End Tiers (1 Viewer)

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
New Bloom article: AN EARLY LOOK AT TIGHT END TIERS IN REDRAFT PPR LEAGUES

Didn't see another thread that seemed like a good place to discuss this article and the general topic of redraft TE tiers.

A few comments:

1. Bloom prefers Allen over Fleener, and there are many who agree. I'm with Bruce Hammond on this one and believe Fleener will outscore Allen this year. There isn't much discussion on these two in the article, but perhaps we can discuss the situation here.

2. The article characterizes Moeaki as a deep sleeper and doesn't mention Fasano or Kelce at all. Similarly, Dodds' default Draft Dominator rankings have Fasano ranked as TE #50 and Kelce ranked as TE #72. But Moeaki is currently rehabbing injury and is #3 on KC's TE depth chart, behind Fasano and Kelce. Meanwhile, there are rumors that Moeaki could be traded. I'm interested in others' thoughts on the KC TE situation, as the FBG take on it right now seems off base to me.

3. The article identifies Gates as a TE2 depth play. In 15 games last season, Gates finished as TE13 in PPR, less than 3 points behind TE12 (i.e., a #1 TE). The season before that, he was TE7 in 13 games, and he was a top 4 TE for 7 straight seasons before that. He just turned 33, so IMO he is not too old to rebound back to a #1 TE. The entire San Diego offense imploded last season, and there are many reasons to believe it will be better this year. I think Gates is being underrated for redraft purposes.

That should be enough to get some discussion started.

 
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steveski

Footballguy
3. The article identifies Gates as a TE2 depth play. In 15 games last season, Gates finished as TE13 in PPR, less than 3 points behind TE12 (i.e., a #1 TE). The season before that, he was TE7 in 13 games, and he was a top 4 TE for 7 straight seasons before that. He just turned 33, so IMO he is not too old to rebound back to a #1 TE. The entire San Diego offense imploded last season, and there are many reasons to believe it will be better this year. I think Gates is being underrated for redraft purposes.
Did you watch him play at all last year? Especially early on in the season. He couldn't get open. He looked like he was running with 20 pound weights in each shoe. He "hit the wall" last year at age 32. Expecting him to bounce back at 33 is crazy talk.

 

ConnSKINS26

Footballguy
That take on the Cheifs TE situation is bizarre to me. I loved Kelce coming into this draft, so im biased, but it's only a plus that he landed in a spot where he can earn a 3-down role almost immediately. Moeaki's injury doesn't help him, but I don't think he was going to be a huge threat anyways. Kelce is really, really talented. Fasano brings that comfortable veteran steadiness, but I don't consider him a huge threat either.

I wouldn't necessarily expect a low-end TE1 finish his rookie year or anything, but he's being seriously underrated in general, and especially in dynasty.

Even just for this year, #72 is crazy low.

 
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Just Win Baby

Footballguy
3. The article identifies Gates as a TE2 depth play. In 15 games last season, Gates finished as TE13 in PPR, less than 3 points behind TE12 (i.e., a #1 TE). The season before that, he was TE7 in 13 games, and he was a top 4 TE for 7 straight seasons before that. He just turned 33, so IMO he is not too old to rebound back to a #1 TE. The entire San Diego offense imploded last season, and there are many reasons to believe it will be better this year. I think Gates is being underrated for redraft purposes.
Did you watch him play at all last year? Especially early on in the season. He couldn't get open. He looked like he was running with 20 pound weights in each shoe. He "hit the wall" last year at age 32. Expecting him to bounce back at 33 is crazy talk.
Yes, I am a Chargers fan, so I saw him play a lot. Despite what you just posted, he was 3 points from being a #1 TE, despite missing a game. This year, the Chargers OL, the receiving targets around Gates, and the offensive playcalling should all be improved. That creates an excellent opportunity for Gates to play better than he did last season. He has reportedly looked good in minicamp this year.

Where do you think he deserves to be ranked for redraft?

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
That take on the Cheifs TE situation is bizarre to me. I loved Kelce coming into this draft, so im biased, but it's only a plus that he landed in a spot where he can earn a 3-down role almost immediately. Moeaki's injury doesn't help him, but I don't think he was going to be a huge threat anyways. Kelce is really, really talented. Fasano brings that comfortable veteran steadiness, but I don't consider him a huge threat either.

I wouldn't necessarily expect a low-end TE1 finish his rookie year or anything, but he's being seriously underrated in general, and especially in dynasty.

Even just for this year, #72 is crazy low.
Agreed. Kelce's omission from the article and DD ranking is really what led me to start this thread. Either my view of the KC TE situation is way off base, or FBG's is.

 

Phenix

Footballguy
Having Graham at a position where most have a TE as a must start is head and shoulders a huge advantage. Finding a TE that puts up 6 catches and 85 yards with a score most weeks on average is huge. Gronk scares me, so I am avoiding him in any league I am in.

 

Sigmund Bloom

Footballguy
Staff member
That take on the Cheifs TE situation is bizarre to me. I loved Kelce coming into this draft, so im biased, but it's only a plus that he landed in a spot where he can earn a 3-down role almost immediately. Moeaki's injury doesn't help him, but I don't think he was going to be a huge threat anyways. Kelce is really, really talented. Fasano brings that comfortable veteran steadiness, but I don't consider him a huge threat either.

I wouldn't necessarily expect a low-end TE1 finish his rookie year or anything, but he's being seriously underrated in general, and especially in dynasty.

Even just for this year, #72 is crazy low.
Agreed. Kelce's omission from the article and DD ranking is really what led me to start this thread. Either my view of the KC TE situation is way off base, or FBG's is.
Kelce I believe will just be a role player. TE is one of the toughest positions for a rookie to make an impact at, especially for FF - only very talented high first picks and Gronk. Moeaki is a very talented receiver, just needs to stay healthy. Fasano is steady, but very boring for fantasy. If there's going to be a consistent TE2 to emerge from this offense this year, it'll be Moeaki. Otherwise, I would expect McCluster/Wylie to pick up the slack from the slot.

I LOVE Kelce long-term, but I don't think he'll be rosterable in typical redraft leagues this year.

 
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Shutout

Footballguy
I thought Allen last year just because I figured he would never leave the field and I just generally dwongrade hype (and Fleener was getting the connect the dots love a lot last year).

This year, I flip it and say Fleener and mainly because I think just being realistic, they have changed as a team and seem to be moving towards more involvement with him. It does not hurt having such a great young QB and one that you are familiar with, to boot.

 

Sigmund Bloom

Footballguy
Staff member
I thought Allen last year just because I figured he would never leave the field and I just generally dwongrade hype (and Fleener was getting the connect the dots love a lot last year).

This year, I flip it and say Fleener and mainly because I think just being realistic, they have changed as a team and seem to be moving towards more involvement with him. It does not hurt having such a great young QB and one that you are familiar with, to boot.
Fleener only caught 34 balls in his senior year at Stanford, and less than 100 in his whole career there. It isn't like he was far and away Luck's #1 target. Luck is going to lean on the guys that get the job done. Last year, that was Allen, not Fleener. Until I hear Allen is slipping or Fleener is making massive strides, I see no reason to assume otherwise. Allen didn't just produce as a by-product of being on the field more, he played better football than Fleener. By a pretty good margin.

 

rocketsauce

Footballguy
My PPR Tight End Tiers are very wacky this year. It goes something like:

Jimmy Graham

A bunch of guys I won't draft at their required price (Gronk, Witten, Gonzo)

A bunch of guys I'm flat out not interested in (VD, Pitta, Rudolph)

Guys I would pull the trigger on about Round 10 (Finley, Gates, Olsen)

Guys I'll end up drafting (Heath Miller, Gresham, Keller, etc.)

I'm perfectly fine taking 2 of these Round 12+ guys and seeing if anything happens.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
I thought Allen last year just because I figured he would never leave the field and I just generally dwongrade hype (and Fleener was getting the connect the dots love a lot last year).

This year, I flip it and say Fleener and mainly because I think just being realistic, they have changed as a team and seem to be moving towards more involvement with him. It does not hurt having such a great young QB and one that you are familiar with, to boot.
Fleener only caught 34 balls in his senior year at Stanford, and less than 100 in his whole career there. It isn't like he was far and away Luck's #1 target. Luck is going to lean on the guys that get the job done. Last year, that was Allen, not Fleener. Until I hear Allen is slipping or Fleener is making massive strides, I see no reason to assume otherwise. Allen didn't just produce as a by-product of being on the field more, he played better football than Fleener. By a pretty good margin.
I like the TE screens they ran with Allen and until Fleener becomes an inline blocker his opportunities for that are slimmer. Luck did a great job of looking off the defense on screens and creating situations where the MLB has to try to get through trash to get to Allen. I don't see any reason they won't keep doing that, it was pretty effective.

I do expect Fleener to be more involved. I just don't see that taking away from Allen much. I think targets to Reggie Wayne will go down to the 150 range and those 45 get distributed to Fleener and some of the other WR.

Their ADPs are somewhat close right now also. Part of that is uncertainty. Part of that is both will likely improve somewhat in year 2.

 

Borden

Footballguy
3. The article identifies Gates as a TE2 depth play. In 15 games last season, Gates finished as TE13 in PPR, less than 3 points behind TE12 (i.e., a #1 TE). The season before that, he was TE7 in 13 games, and he was a top 4 TE for 7 straight seasons before that. He just turned 33, so IMO he is not too old to rebound back to a #1 TE. The entire San Diego offense imploded last season, and there are many reasons to believe it will be better this year. I think Gates is being underrated for redraft purposes.
Did you watch him play at all last year? Especially early on in the season. He couldn't get open. He looked like he was running with 20 pound weights in each shoe. He "hit the wall" last year at age 32. Expecting him to bounce back at 33 is crazy talk.
Yes, I am a Chargers fan, so I saw him play a lot. Despite what you just posted, he was 3 points from being a #1 TE, despite missing a game. This year, the Chargers OL, the receiving targets around Gates, and the offensive playcalling should all be improved. That creates an excellent opportunity for Gates to play better than he did last season. He has reportedly looked good in minicamp this year.

Where do you think he deserves to be ranked for redraft?
This is an honest question, in what ways do you see the Chargers OL improving outside of Fluker? And even he isn't known for his pass blocking. King Dunlap was brought in to play LT but had hamstring issues (an injury that seems to linger) and I don't think has ever been known as an even average player. Rich Ohrnberger is projected as their LG but since he's coming from AZ, I doubt he's going to be much of an improvement. And I've read Clary is getting moved to RG and Hardwick is back at center. I haven't watched enough SD games to have an opinion on this line but every thing from last year was negative and the pieces they brought in (outside of Fluker) don't seem to be that great.

Just wondering why you think they'll be improved and by how much?

 

EBF

Footballguy
I thought Allen last year just because I figured he would never leave the field and I just generally dwongrade hype (and Fleener was getting the connect the dots love a lot last year).

This year, I flip it and say Fleener and mainly because I think just being realistic, they have changed as a team and seem to be moving towards more involvement with him. It does not hurt having such a great young QB and one that you are familiar with, to boot.
Fleener only caught 34 balls in his senior year at Stanford, and less than 100 in his whole career there. It isn't like he was far and away Luck's #1 target. Luck is going to lean on the guys that get the job done. Last year, that was Allen, not Fleener. Until I hear Allen is slipping or Fleener is making massive strides, I see no reason to assume otherwise. Allen didn't just produce as a by-product of being on the field more, he played better football than Fleener. By a pretty good margin.
Even when Luck was their QB, Stanford was a run-first offense. There were several NFL pass catchers on that offense (Whalen, Baldwin, Fleener, Ertz, and Toilolo) and none of them ever cracked the 1000+ yard barrier. I think Fleener's production was fine in the context. Yea, he only caught 34 passes in his final season, but those catches went for 667 yards. Allen at Clemson had 50 catches, but only 598 yards.

I think those numbers offer a pretty good hint about what these players might offer at the NFL level. Allen can become a reliable possession target, but he doesn't offer much in the way of speed or explosiveness. He might be better at the short/intermediate stuff than Fleener, but he's a limited athlete. Fleener has a lot more potential as a red zone weapon and seam threat due to his vastly superior height/range/speed. If we're expecting either of these guys to become a force, we might be in for disappointment. I don't think either is a complete player. I think they have contrasting skill sets that complement one another well.

If I had to pick one for dynasty, I would actually go with Fleener because he has a higher ceiling. I don't currently own either player anywhere though.

 

az_prof

Footballguy
Sigmund Bloom said:
Shutout said:
I thought Allen last year just because I figured he would never leave the field and I just generally dwongrade hype (and Fleener was getting the connect the dots love a lot last year).

This year, I flip it and say Fleener and mainly because I think just being realistic, they have changed as a team and seem to be moving towards more involvement with him. It does not hurt having such a great young QB and one that you are familiar with, to boot.
Fleener only caught 34 balls in his senior year at Stanford, and less than 100 in his whole career there. It isn't like he was far and away Luck's #1 target. Luck is going to lean on the guys that get the job done. Last year, that was Allen, not Fleener. Until I hear Allen is slipping or Fleener is making massive strides, I see no reason to assume otherwise. Allen didn't just produce as a by-product of being on the field more, he played better football than Fleener. By a pretty good margin.
Wouldn't a change at OC, specifically, the Stanford coach coming to IND, be a reason to think Fleener might be more involved. Also, I think Fleener got injured and that held him back last year. Could be wrong, but I think Fleener leapfrogs Allen this season because of the change in offense and coordinator.

 

RushHour

Footballguy
That take on the Cheifs TE situation is bizarre to me. I loved Kelce coming into this draft, so im biased, but it's only a plus that he landed in a spot where he can earn a 3-down role almost immediately. Moeaki's injury doesn't help him, but I don't think he was going to be a huge threat anyways. Kelce is really, really talented. Fasano brings that comfortable veteran steadiness, but I don't consider him a huge threat either.

I wouldn't necessarily expect a low-end TE1 finish his rookie year or anything, but he's being seriously underrated in general, and especially in dynasty.

Even just for this year, #72 is crazy low.
Agreed. Kelce's omission from the article and DD ranking is really what led me to start this thread. Either my view of the KC TE situation is way off base, or FBG's is.
I agree with this too. I know you have to be sceptical about rookie TEs contributing in year one but I think Kelce and Eifert landed in really good situations for first year production and are both being ignored in redraft. I think Kelce will be very rosterable this year in fantasy.

 
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Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Sigmund Bloom said:
I'm with Bruce Hammond on this one and believe Fleener will outscore Allen this year.
Out of curiosity, why?
Here are some other opinions. From Rotoworld:

The National Football Post's Dan Pompei reports the Colts plan to use second-year TE Coby Fleener more as a vertical threat this season.

Fleener averaged just 10.8 YPR on 26 catches as a rookie. Over his final two years at Stanford, he averaged 17.6 YPR on 62 grabs under OC Pep Hamilton. Fleener and fellow second-year TE Dwayne Allen will both see the field a ton, which is going to put a cap on both of their potential fantasy outputs. We like Fleener a bit more than Allen, but he's nothing more than a mid-to-low TE2. Jun 16 - 10:18 AM

Source: National Football Post
Coach Chuck Pagano said he expects Coby Fleener's reception total to double this season.

Serving mostly as an in-line tight end for Bruce Arians, Fleener was asked to block far too often as a rookie. It resulted in a disappointing 26/281/2 line in 12 games. Now Arians is in Arizona and Fleener is reunited with former Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Over his final two years of college, Fleener totaled 62 catches, 1,107 yards and 17 touchdowns while acting in his natural role as a pure pass catcher. He's on the TE2 radar as a sneaky upside pick. May 30 - 9:57 AM

Source: Anderson Herald Bulletin
Colts GM Ryan Grigson says the plan is to use second-year TE Coby Fleener out in space more often in 2013.

Fleener, the No. 34 overall pick in last year's draft, had a mostly disappointing rookie campaign. He played in just 13 games, including the playoffs, due to a shoulder injury and caught only 29 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns. A pure pass catcher in college, Fleener was asked to block nearly half of the time as a rookie. Per Pro Football Focus, he ran just 9.1 percent of his routes out of the slot. Expect that to be much higher this season. Mar 25 - 7:01 PM

Source: Vic Ryckaert on Twitter
New Colts OC Pep Hamilton believes TE Dwayne Allen can be a "tremendous weapon."

"If you just look at the versatility of Dwayne Allen," said Hamilton, "and his ability to line up in the backfield and lead block, or detach and line up in the slot and win the one-on-one matchup, that’s a tremendous weapon." Hamilton's opinion jibes with Allen's rookie-year film. Although Allen's elite blocking is a major asset for the Colts' offense, it caps his fantasy upside. Feb 15 - 9:43 AM

Source: colts.com
Colts Offense

Colts hired former Stanford OC Pep Hamilton as offensive coordinator.

Per CBS' Bruce Feldman, Hamilton recently interviewed for the head-coaching job at Oregon, left vacant by Chip Kelly's departure for the Eagles. Instead, Hamilton will reunite with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis after coordinating Luck's Stanford offense in 2011. The move is logical after the Colts lost Bruce Arians. Luck will be comfortable in Hamilton's system, which combines a power-running attack in frequent two-tight end sets with an intermediate to downfield passing game. Hamilton is also very familiar with Coby Fleener's strengths.

Source: Jim Trotter on Twitter

Jan 18 - 4:05 PM
From Is Coby Fleener Poised for a Breakout Year?:

Before dislocating his shoulder against Tennessee in Week 8, Fleener was averaging three catches and 32 yards per game. Those numbers extrapolated over a 16-game season would have given him 48 catches and more than 500 yards, which would have been one of the best seasons by a rookie tight end since 2000.

The dramatic drop off after the injury is partially because of Dwayne Allen's emergence, but you have to wonder if the injury bothered Fleener down the stretch.
From Better sleeper option in 2013: Colts TE Coby Fleener or Colts TE Dwayne Allen?:

Allen really lacks the speed of the elite tight ends in the NFL. Running somewhere in the 4.8 40 range, Allen will struggle to get open and even when he is, doesn’t possess the athleticism to make tough catches when the ball is thrown low and lacks the height and leaping ability to go up and get the ball over opposing corners’ heads. His size will lend itself to sneaky touchdowns in the red zone when everybody else is covered, but don’t expect him to be coming down with over-the-shoulder one-handers.

When you take a look at all the great tight ends that have come through the league, they all possess the same certain traits. Antonio Gates (6’4, 260, runs a 4.5) Tony Gonzalez (6’5, 247, runs a 4.49), Rob Gronkowski (6’6, 265, runs a 4.6) and Jimmy Graham (6’7, 265 runs a 4.5). So despite bringing a strong physical presence, Allen has other traits working against him.

...

Also, Allen showed a knack for blocking during his rookie season and often lined up in the slot and at fullback. While that makes him more versatile and more likely to be on the field in certain packages than Fleener, it does make him less of a fantasy threat since he won’t be out catching passes.
To sum it up:

1. Fleener was on an outstanding pace last season before he got hurt.

2. Fleener was used in a manner that did not best fit his strengths last season; all indications are that he will be used differently this year, in a manner that does fit his strengths.

3. The coaching staff change is a likely positive for Fleener, given that he is reunited with his college OC (which is one reason he will be used differently this year).

4. Fleener has the build, athleticism, and speed that is reasonably close to the most successful TEs in recent NFL history (Gonzalez, Gates, Gronk, Graham, Hernandez). Allen doesn't; in fact, Allen is relatively slow.

5. Allen is a much better blocker, which suggests that he will get out on pass routes less frequently than Fleener. This is evidenced by their respective targets last season.

:shrug:

 
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Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Borden said:
This is an honest question, in what ways do you see the Chargers OL improving outside of Fluker? And even he isn't known for his pass blocking. King Dunlap was brought in to play LT but had hamstring issues (an injury that seems to linger) and I don't think has ever been known as an even average player. Rich Ohrnberger is projected as their LG but since he's coming from AZ, I doubt he's going to be much of an improvement. And I've read Clary is getting moved to RG and Hardwick is back at center. I haven't watched enough SD games to have an opinion on this line but every thing from last year was negative and the pieces they brought in (outside of Fluker) don't seem to be that great.

Just wondering why you think they'll be improved and by how much?
Here is a great post on this from the Chargers thread:

Can anyone give me a summary of the state of the O-line? Like a comparison from last year to this year. If I've kept track correctly, the only returning starter is Center - Hardwick, right? They drafted Fluker and signed Starks for their tackles, which should be a pretty decent combo. So who are the guards and what is the outlook on them in 2013? From boltbacker's post at the top of this page, I'm guessing they are scrubs and might be replaced with cuts from other teams when rosters get trimmed down.
Starks - Rinehart - Hardwick - Clary- FlukerIt's a significant upgrade to last year's O line despite what some people say. One aspect that goes completely over looked is the run blocking. Everyone loves to point to the pass blocking, but most don't realize we were 28th rushing the ball. If anyone closely watches the line play during runs, they will agree with me that it was horrid last season. We got no push, consistently let defensive players into the back field on runs. It was a down right disaster. Here is where we will see the true upgrade this season.

Fluker isn't known as the best pass blocker in the draft. He was known as the best, ELITE, run blocker. He is truly a road grader. He will get a push off the line. He can down block and eliminate DT's giving our RB's the edge. He is a MASSIVE upgrade to Clary in this regard.

Now let's talk about Clary. I'm happy someone finally realized he was much better utilized as a OG, than a tackle. He couldn't handle the outside edge, move him inside and you let him use his biggest asset - his strength and nastiness. Giving him a short area to work in and letting him ignore anyone but the guy directly in front of him is the best thing he could possibly hope for. Vasquez last season was a fine pass blocker, but was awful in run downs. He simply couldn't get a push inside. He was consistently pushed back off the ball. I don't believe this will happen to Clary. He has a strong base with long arms that will help maintain his base and keep the DT's out of the back field. We should actually be able to see some running lanes with him and Fluker providing some daylight. Not sure we'll see Clary being the road grader Fluker is, but he should be able to hold his position and create lanes, something that Vasquez wasn't able to do.

Hardwick didn't have the best of seasons, we could probably afford to upgrade him next season, but he's at least very adept at providing all the line calls and picking up blitzes (at least according to Rivers). Just hoping he can stay healthy and maybe Molk can push him for the starting job this season.

Rinehart is an upgrade to Green if he can stay healthy. He's excelled when he's been able to get in the lineup. Health is an issue though. He's ended up on IR almost every year. Troutman will challenge for the starting position. This should be an interesting camp battle to look at. Ideally Troutman wins this job outright since he's our only longterm prospect other than Fluker.

Starks should be a significant upgrade to Harris. I know he didn't grade out fantastic last season on PFF, but he was also coming back early from an ACL reconstruction. From all reports he's in great shape since he's been able to train all offseason and not have to rehab any injuries. He should be a steady addition on the outside and will form likely the biggest bookend tandem in the league with Fluker. Ideally he can come into camp closer to 330lbs than the 345lbs he's played at which would give him a bit more mobility to handle pass rushers. Being a full year removed from his ACL should only help. Don't discount how valuable his experience and intelligence will play in this pickup. So many of the issues last season between Harris and Green were because they couldn't handle blitzes/stunts that defenses would throw at them. There were so many missed assignments that it was difficult for Rivers to have any continuity in the passing game (not to mention the ridiculous amount of 7 step drops that Norv stubbornly called every damn time).

It won't be an all pro line, but it's a significant upgrade from what we threw out there last season. Add in a short quick passing game and an effective running game (crossing fingers Matthews can actually stay on the field) and this offense will be back in the top 10.
 

Shutout

Footballguy
Sigmund Bloom said:
Shutout said:
I thought Allen last year just because I figured he would never leave the field and I just generally dwongrade hype (and Fleener was getting the connect the dots love a lot last year).

This year, I flip it and say Fleener and mainly because I think just being realistic, they have changed as a team and seem to be moving towards more involvement with him. It does not hurt having such a great young QB and one that you are familiar with, to boot.
Fleener only caught 34 balls in his senior year at Stanford, and less than 100 in his whole career there. It isn't like he was far and away Luck's #1 target. Luck is going to lean on the guys that get the job done. Last year, that was Allen, not Fleener. Until I hear Allen is slipping or Fleener is making massive strides, I see no reason to assume otherwise. Allen didn't just produce as a by-product of being on the field more, he played better football than Fleener. By a pretty good margin.
I understand that he wasn't Jimmy Graham in college. But neither was Jimmy graham. So in general I don't usually look at production in college (whether good or bad) necessarily carrying over to the pros. My point, I suppose, is that last year, while the consensus was Fleener, I think I follow the team close enough to understand what they were doing as a team and I thought Allen was the better fit. This year I think it is reversed. Now it may not be that Fleener becomes an automatic top 10 TE in fantasy but, as young players develop, I think he could easily be become that because you have a franchise that is, right now, in the process of defining the identity they will portray for the next decade and Luck and Fleener will likely be a big part of that.

Right now, Wayne is a big part of that and he makes other aspects go but he won't be there forever and while most people don't think of Wayne as being as important or dynamic as some WRs, he is a critical part for them and guys like him don't just come along easily. I think this team will change quite a bit on the fly this year and Fleener will probably grow in real life and in FF to be a good contributor.

 

G5781

Footballguy
One guy who is very undervalued this year is Pettigrew. Yes, he drops alot of passes and leaves alot of points on the field BUT, he plays in an offense that will throw 650+ times and doesnt have much else outside of Calvin. He will be productive on sheer volume and was on pace last year for 72 catches (he missed 3 games).

Sign me up for a TE that will catch 70+ balls going in rounds 11-13

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
I think Allen's workout numbers have created the misconception that he is not athletic and slow.

Watch this reel of some of his catches from last year
Per ESPN, 36 of Allen's 45 receptions (80%) were thrown 10 yards from the LOS or less. Only 1 of 45 receptions (2.2%) were thrown 21+ yards from the LOS. Those ratios were similar for Fleener, but the general perception is that will change for him but will not change for Allen. IMO that seems to cap Allen's upside.

 
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MattFancy

Footballguy
I think if you miss out on the Top 5(Graham, Gronk, Gonzalez, Witten, and Davis), then you might as well wait. I don't see a big difference between Rudolph, Pitta, Gates, Finley, Cook, Olsen, etc.

2 guys that you can get really late that could surprise people are Fred Davis and Brandon Pettigrew. These 2 are both startes on their respective teams and play in top ranked offenses. Yeah Davis is returning from injury, but he's capable of putting together a Top 10 season and in some leagues isn't even being drafted. Same for Pettigew. Plays an a very pass happy offense and will see plenty of chances. Again, there is risk with both of these guys, but for the value you can get, they are certainly worth a flier late.

 

Sigmund Bloom

Footballguy
Staff member
One guy who is very undervalued this year is Pettigrew. Yes, he drops alot of passes and leaves alot of points on the field BUT, he plays in an offense that will throw 650+ times and doesnt have much else outside of Calvin. He will be productive on sheer volume and was on pace last year for 72 catches (he missed 3 games).

Sign me up for a TE that will catch 70+ balls going in rounds 11-13
Pettigrew is a tough nut to crack. The surrounding offense is very fantasy-friendly, and his pedigree indicates that he should be a fantasy hit, but his ball skills/hands have been disappointing to say the least, and he is showing nothing after the catch. Still, as you said, 70 (or more) catches from a late-round TE sounds like value. I think the key for him will be whether Reggie Bush and a healthy Broyles push him down the 4th in progressions. I am probably underrating him because I find it hard to spend picks on players that I just think aren't very good, but you're right that sheer volume could (will?) keep him a viable low-end TE1.

 

Sigmund Bloom

Footballguy
Staff member
Ok I'm going to admit I was wrong to leave Kelce out. It was silly to overlook him because I like him, but the early word out of camp that he is competing for first-team move TE snaps and Smith is targeting him a lot is enough to give him bonafide sleeper status. Thanks to those that questioned the omission and brought it to my attention.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
I'm with Bruce Hammond on this one and believe Fleener will outscore Allen this year.
Out of curiosity, why?
Here are some other opinions. From Rotoworld:

The National Football Post's Dan Pompei reports the Colts plan to use second-year TE Coby Fleener more as a vertical threat this season.

Fleener averaged just 10.8 YPR on 26 catches as a rookie. Over his final two years at Stanford, he averaged 17.6 YPR on 62 grabs under OC Pep Hamilton. Fleener and fellow second-year TE Dwayne Allen will both see the field a ton, which is going to put a cap on both of their potential fantasy outputs. We like Fleener a bit more than Allen, but he's nothing more than a mid-to-low TE2. Jun 16 - 10:18 AM

Source: National Football Post
Coach Chuck Pagano said he expects Coby Fleener's reception total to double this season.

Serving mostly as an in-line tight end for Bruce Arians, Fleener was asked to block far too often as a rookie. It resulted in a disappointing 26/281/2 line in 12 games. Now Arians is in Arizona and Fleener is reunited with former Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Over his final two years of college, Fleener totaled 62 catches, 1,107 yards and 17 touchdowns while acting in his natural role as a pure pass catcher. He's on the TE2 radar as a sneaky upside pick. May 30 - 9:57 AM

Source: Anderson Herald Bulletin
Colts GM Ryan Grigson says the plan is to use second-year TE Coby Fleener out in space more often in 2013.

Fleener, the No. 34 overall pick in last year's draft, had a mostly disappointing rookie campaign. He played in just 13 games, including the playoffs, due to a shoulder injury and caught only 29 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns. A pure pass catcher in college, Fleener was asked to block nearly half of the time as a rookie. Per Pro Football Focus, he ran just 9.1 percent of his routes out of the slot. Expect that to be much higher this season. Mar 25 - 7:01 PM

Source: Vic Ryckaert on Twitter
New Colts OC Pep Hamilton believes TE Dwayne Allen can be a "tremendous weapon."

"If you just look at the versatility of Dwayne Allen," said Hamilton, "and his ability to line up in the backfield and lead block, or detach and line up in the slot and win the one-on-one matchup, that’s a tremendous weapon." Hamilton's opinion jibes with Allen's rookie-year film. Although Allen's elite blocking is a major asset for the Colts' offense, it caps his fantasy upside. Feb 15 - 9:43 AM

Source: colts.com
Colts Offense

Colts hired former Stanford OC Pep Hamilton as offensive coordinator.

Per CBS' Bruce Feldman, Hamilton recently interviewed for the head-coaching job at Oregon, left vacant by Chip Kelly's departure for the Eagles. Instead, Hamilton will reunite with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis after coordinating Luck's Stanford offense in 2011. The move is logical after the Colts lost Bruce Arians. Luck will be comfortable in Hamilton's system, which combines a power-running attack in frequent two-tight end sets with an intermediate to downfield passing game. Hamilton is also very familiar with Coby Fleener's strengths.

Source: Jim Trotter on Twitter

Jan 18 - 4:05 PM
From Is Coby Fleener Poised for a Breakout Year?:

Before dislocating his shoulder against Tennessee in Week 8, Fleener was averaging three catches and 32 yards per game. Those numbers extrapolated over a 16-game season would have given him 48 catches and more than 500 yards, which would have been one of the best seasons by a rookie tight end since 2000.

The dramatic drop off after the injury is partially because of Dwayne Allen's emergence, but you have to wonder if the injury bothered Fleener down the stretch.
From Better sleeper option in 2013: Colts TE Coby Fleener or Colts TE Dwayne Allen?:

Allen really lacks the speed of the elite tight ends in the NFL. Running somewhere in the 4.8 40 range, Allen will struggle to get open and even when he is, doesn’t possess the athleticism to make tough catches when the ball is thrown low and lacks the height and leaping ability to go up and get the ball over opposing corners’ heads. His size will lend itself to sneaky touchdowns in the red zone when everybody else is covered, but don’t expect him to be coming down with over-the-shoulder one-handers.

When you take a look at all the great tight ends that have come through the league, they all possess the same certain traits. Antonio Gates (6’4, 260, runs a 4.5) Tony Gonzalez (6’5, 247, runs a 4.49), Rob Gronkowski (6’6, 265, runs a 4.6) and Jimmy Graham (6’7, 265 runs a 4.5). So despite bringing a strong physical presence, Allen has other traits working against him.

...

Also, Allen showed a knack for blocking during his rookie season and often lined up in the slot and at fullback. While that makes him more versatile and more likely to be on the field in certain packages than Fleener, it does make him less of a fantasy threat since he won’t be out catching passes.
To sum it up:

1. Fleener was on an outstanding pace last season before he got hurt.

2. Fleener was used in a manner that did not best fit his strengths last season; all indications are that he will be used differently this year, in a manner that does fit his strengths.

3. The coaching staff change is a likely positive for Fleener, given that he is reunited with his college OC (which is one reason he will be used differently this year).

4. Fleener has the build, athleticism, and speed that is reasonably close to the most successful TEs in recent NFL history (Gonzalez, Gates, Gronk, Graham, Hernandez). Allen doesn't; in fact, Allen is relatively slow.

5. Allen is a much better blocker, which suggests that he will get out on pass routes less frequently than Fleener. This is evidenced by their respective targets last season.

:shrug:
If I pro rate Fleeners targets from last season to 16 games I get 70 targets. Allen had 72 targets to Fleeners 53, pro rated they would be even.

On point 5 Allen as the better blocker will see more snaps and that provides play action and screen opportunities than Fleener.

I see it as 60-80 targets for both TE with some of those looks coming from Wayne who I do not think will be targeted quite as much.

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
If I pro rate Fleeners targets from last season to 16 games I get 70 targets. Allen had 72 targets to Fleeners 53, pro rated they would be even.

On point 5 Allen as the better blocker will see more snaps and that provides play action and screen opportunities than Fleener.

I see it as 60-80 targets for both TE with some of those looks coming from Wayne who I do not think will be targeted quite as much.
Fleener had 33 targets in the first 6 games last season. He dislocated his shoulder in the 7th game and missed the next 4 games. He had just 17 targets in the 6 games he played after returning from injury.Fleener's target pace in those first 6 games projected to 88 targets over 16 games. I expect he will get 80+ targets this season if he stays healthy.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
It isn't that different than the high end of what I am projecting for him but I do not like your method of pro rating him. Too small of a sample size. I didn't count any of the games that he missed. I would rather have some working through injury type games (played but maybe not fully healthy) in my sample. I also think early scripts and familiarity with Luck could have those 1st 6 games a bit high for Fleener, as far as a basis for what will happen moving forward, what was the percentage of those targets in each of those games? Is that a realistic expectation?

I do think the addition of Bradshaw will help both of these TE to not have to pass block as often as they would without him. So that is good for both TE.

 
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