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Tight Ends (1 Viewer)

cusefan115

Footballguy
There seems to be an extreme amount of parity among tight ends. After Gronk, Graham and Hernandez (and a lesser extent Witten and Gonzalez) it seems difficult to distinguish between tight ends 5 and 25. This is especially true in dynasty. So I guess my question is, is there any tight end that is especially worth investing in? Or do you just stick with whatever fungible player you currently have?

 
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I think you overpay for one of the big three. It gives you an automatic advantage over your competitors.

 
Invest in the big four, rent Gonzo, draft Eifert, or sit tight. I don't see any reason to overpay for the guys in the 6-12 range. Go big or go home.

Far too many baseline options, and plenty of young potential to stockpile too. You can keep Rudolph, Pitta, Davis, Finley, etc, at the prices they're going for. I'm just fine with Olsen, Daniels, Myers, Bennett, Housler, Allen, Fleener, and so on.

 
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Invest in the big four, rent Gonzo, or sit tight. I don't see any reason to overpay for the guys in the 6-12 range. Go big or go home.

Far too many baseline options, and plenty of young potential to stockpile too. You can keep Rudolph, Pitta, Davis, etc, at the prices they're going for. I'm just fine with Olsen, Daniels, Myers, Bennett, Housler, and so on.
This was my first instinct. There are a ton of startable options and owners seem to be attaching a huge premium for their guys.

 
to me, theres only a big 2. AHern has not been able to stay healthy so far in his carer, I know Gronk has his share of injuries but atleast he did have 1 full season.

Gronk / Graham are the only TEs I have ever considered 1st round or early 2nd round pick worthy; even in the days of Gates I would only take him as a mid 3rd and that was high... but these days Gronk & Graham can easily go over 1000 yds and double digit TDs.

After those 2 theres no point in reaching for anyone else as long as u get one of the top 10s. Witten & Gonzo are steady as they come but this has to be Gonzo's last ride and Witten doesn't have that much longer. So after those 5 are gone there isn't much difference from TE6 - 16; maybe VD will have a late career blooming w/ Kaep

 
to me, theres only a big 2. AHern has not been able to stay healthy so far in his carer, I know Gronk has his share of injuries but atleast he did have 1 full season.

Gronk / Graham are the only TEs I have ever considered 1st round or early 2nd round pick worthy; even in the days of Gates I would only take him as a mid 3rd and that was high... but these days Gronk & Graham can easily go over 1000 yds and double digit TDs.

After those 2 theres no point in reaching for anyone else as long as u get one of the top 10s. Witten & Gonzo are steady as they come but this has to be Gonzo's last ride and Witten doesn't have that much longer. So after those 5 are gone there isn't much difference from TE6 - 16; maybe VD will have a late career blooming w/ Kaep
Vernon Davis was one of the guys I was interested in. A budding qb like kaep is definitely enticing. Thats why it was surprising that Davis' numbers took a nosedive after the qb switch. Maybe its something that will reverse course once Kaep gets acclimated but it sure isn't an encouraging trend.

 
It seems like the big three are deemed untouchable by their owners though.
Which is fine in my league, as the two guys with Gronk and Graham aren't really contenders otherwise. I've made offers, up to and including a trio of 2014 1st round picks, but they aren't budging. So with them not being contenders, all the other teams are pretty even at TE.

 
I think this is where the "hype trains" in early OTAs can be very interesting...

You need to know where you stand on certain players who are new starters with potential like Delanie Walker in TEN or James Casey in PHI...

If you feel like they can break into the top 10 then wait for some positive early media reports out of those cities and make sure your league "hears" about it too...

Play the angle that Witten is nearly done and Gonzo will be gone after this season... Gates is in a big decline as well...

Once others know that the big 3 are off limits you may be able to get decent value on POTENTIAL top 10 TEs like Casey or Walker.

Im focused on Martellus Bennett as a guy that may have a legit shot to break solidly into the top 10 for the next few yrs. Trestman showed a penchant in the CFL to use swing TE type players quite a bit and they seem excited to be getting their hands on Bennett...

In dynasty I think it also makes sense to look ahead beyond this yr to TEs who "if everything falls together right" they can be a TE1 down the road. That is impossible to predict at times but I think alot of that type of projection is tied to the QB that they will be playing with.

It's why I've rostered Adrien Robinson over Taylor Thompson because I believe in Eli and not so much in Locker.

In summary, I believe it is a smart decision to use early hype in OTAs to flip TEs in favorable situations whom you feel will never consistently be able to break into and "stay" in the top 10.

Also if you already have one of the big 3 then these other TEs can be like playing with House Money.

Finally lets not forget about James Hanna in Dallas. He very well could be the successor to Witten in a few yrs and now Romo has been locked up for a while I expect he could have a decent role in a yr or two.

 
GoodLloydHaveMercy said:
In summary, I believe it is a smart decision to use early hype in OTAs to flip TEs in favorable situations whom you feel will never consistently be able to break into and "stay" in the top 10.
This is probably the shark play given the glut of players in the market.

 
cusefan115 said:
It seems like the big three are deemed untouchable by their owners though.
I just got Graham, and you couldnt give me enough for him! People are trying to an annoyance but his value compared to other TEs is like having two at the position. Such a huge advantage its insane.

To help out with value I got Graham in February along with Hawkins for Finley, LeShoure and 2.11. I think thats cheap but I have not seen to many deals involving Graham. I think because most aint willing to pay what it takes to get him.

 
cusefan115 said:
It seems like the big three are deemed untouchable by their owners though.
I just got Graham, and you couldnt give me enough for him! People are trying to an annoyance but his value compared to other TEs is like having two at the position. Such a huge advantage its insane.

To help out with value I got Graham in February along with Hawkins for Finley, LeShoure and 2.11. I think thats cheap but I have not seen to many deals involving Graham. I think because most aint willing to pay what it takes to get him.
That seems incredibly cheap to me. I would pay that, if he was available for that price.

 
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cusefan115 said:
It seems like the big three are deemed untouchable by their owners though.
I just got Graham, and you couldnt give me enough for him! People are trying to an annoyance but his value compared to other TEs is like having two at the position. Such a huge advantage its insane.

To help out with value I got Graham in February along with Hawkins for Finley, LeShoure and 2.11. I think thats cheap but I have not seen to many deals involving Graham. I think because most aint willing to pay what it takes to get him.
That seems incredibly cheap to me. I would pay that, if he was available for that price.
I agree, i wish i could get one of graham, gronk, or hernandez for that. Offered Kaep for hernandez and it was shot down quick. He did have Eli and Romo already however. While it was hernandez and not Graham, it is going to take a lot to get one of the 3.

 
Both Gronk and Hernandez were recently traded in my 16 team .5ppr

Gronk

For

David Wilson

Vernon Davis

1.14

And

Hernandez

For

Hillman

Daniels

1.04

I thought those were both really cheap for the guys getting the TEs

 
Both Gronk and Hernandez were recently traded in my 16 team .5pprGronkForDavid WilsonVernon Davis1.14AndHernandezForHillmanDaniels1.04I thought those were both really cheap for the guys getting the TEs
The gronk deal seems fair imo, but I'm fairly high on wilson. The Hernandez deal seems right too, if you feel Daniels can produce TE1 stats.
 
I've traded one of the big 3 this off season, have offered what I believe to be strong offers for all of the big 3 in one league and got shot down, and have offered 2 of the big 3 in other league and been shot down for asking similar to what I was asking. So it really all depends on the league, you just won't know until you ask.

Here are real life examples:

*In RB PPR1 and TE PPR 1.25 league I was offered CJ Spiller for Jimmy Graham. I accepted as I have Spiller rated as my #3 dynasty RB but it was a close decision for me.

*In a league I already owner Spiller that is one PPR for RB and 1.5 PPR for TE's I've offered Spiller to the Gronk, Hernandez and Graham owner and was rejected by all of them. None of them so much as countered and two did not even respond. Like the way you get treated when you make someone a BS offer.

*In another league where it's RB PPR1 and TE PPR 1.5 I have both Gronk and Hernandez and need a RB. I offered both of these guys to the Martin, Spiller and Charles owners and was rejected by all of them with only the Charles owner responding and wanting a lot more than Hernandez.

I look at the TE's this way for Dynasty purposes. Tier one is Gronk/Graham. Hernandez is in tier 2 all alone. Whitten is in tier 3 all alone due to high production but advancing age. Than I've got about 10-12 guys I'm pretty much splitting hairs over. I think the play if you don't get a top tier guy is to be patient and pluck 2-3 guys from the bottom of this tier when you see the well start to dry up.

 
I look at the TE's this way for Dynasty purposes. Tier one is Gronk/Graham. Hernandez is in tier 2 all alone. Whitten is in tier 3 all alone due to high production but advancing age. Than I've got about 10-12 guys I'm pretty much splitting hairs over. I think the play if you don't get a top tier guy is to be patient and pluck 2-3 guys from the bottom of this tier when you see the well start to dry up.
For the most part I agree with you. However there are some TE in that 4-28 range that are certainly better gambles than others and it is not just splitting hairs. In 2012 the average number of targets for the top 37 TE was 80.65 targets for the season. So I looked through the list at the players near or above 80 targets from 2012 and who I think will maintain that level of use in their offense in 2013.
Code:
1. Jason Witten 2. Jimmy Graham 3. Tony Gonzalez 4. Brandon Myers 5. Owen Daniels 6. Greg Olsen 7. Brandon Pettigrew 8. Heath Miller 9. Jermaine Gresham 10. Dennis Pitta 11. Kyle Rudolph 12. Martellus Bennett 13. Brent Celek 14. Jermichael Finley 15. Tony Scheffler 16. Jacob Tamme 17. Aaron Hernandez 18. Ben Watson 19. Antonio Gates 20. Rob Gronkowski 21. Marcedes Lewis
From this list Gresham and Rudolph are still improving I think and would be guys I would prefer over the others outside the top 4. I think we have seen the ceilings fot mosy of the other players on this list. Some are likely to decline such as Gates, Watson, Scheffler and Celek. So in essence I could see taking Gresham or Rudolph a bit higher than the rest of the 5-21 group but other than them I would wait it out until there are only 8 guys or so left. I just do not want to get stuck with the 4 guys I see declining so I would want to take a pair of who is left before those are the only ones remaining. Players with lower than 77 targets in 2012 who I think could see 80 or more in 2013 and therefore be considered along with these guys are Jared Cook if he gets most of Kendricks targets. Not sure if that will be a split between the 2 or if Cook will be targeted a lot more than Kendricks or not but I could see Cook possibly doing well there as they do need to replace Amendola targets as well. Vernon Davis - I think this guy is one of the best TE in the league. Problem for FF is he is such a good blocker he gets used in that role too often and doesent get enough targets. As CK gains experience I can see them letting Davis loose more often however and the blocking trend towards the end when CK took over was more to help protect inexperienced QB. Good coaching. Also the loss of Walker to the Titans should shift some targets his way. James Casey - I see him becoming the main TE target with the Eagles possibly and perhaps getting close to 80 targets in their new offense. Coby Fleener - As Luck improves and likely decline from Wayne at some point meaning more targets being shifted to other players such as Fleener ahead.
 
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I have my eye on Bennett as well too. I want to believe in him, but as someone else pointed out in a different thread, not even Olsen did much with Cutler. On the other hand, perhaps Marshall being there now will help open up things for the TE.

 
Coby Fleener - As Luck improves and likely decline from Wayne at some point meaning more targets being shifted to other players such as Fleener ahead.
With Arians out and Pep Hamilton in I'm expecting big things for Fleener. Dwayne Allen is a tremendous blocker and should be used more blocking while Fleener is more involved in the passing game.

 
I have a sneaking suspicion that Finley is going to take a bump as well. I say that in all seriousness. Immaturity has always been his problem. But the writing may be on the wall for him at this point in his life. Many others have shown a serious lack in maturity and then grown up as their careers progressed.

 
I have my eye on Bennett as well too. I want to believe in him, but as someone else pointed out in a different thread, not even Olsen did much with Cutler. On the other hand, perhaps Marshall being there now will help open up things for the TE.
Wasn't that due to it being a Martz system which typically ignores TEs in the passing game? That might've just been his last year in Chicago. In 2009, he got 107 targets and finished with 60/612/8. Not shabby. Pretty low catch %, though. Not sure why that was.

I'd really like to land Bennett this year. I'd like to wait on TE and land Bennett and Finley. I don't feel certain about either one, but I like my chances of finding a top 5 guy with one of them.

 
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Finally lets not forget about James Hanna in Dallas. He very well could be the successor to Witten in a few yrs and now Romo has been locked up for a while I expect he could have a decent role in a yr or two.
What do you think will become of James Hanna with Escobar in town? could they feed enough targets to 3 TEs? Is he worth a dynasty stash?

 
With Hernandez out of the picture and Gronk a question mark due to injury (albeit still the #2 TE), the top tier of TE's after Graham has taken a serious hit.

Assuming you don't pay the premium to get Graham or Gronk, the question is, does that make the next tier: Witten, Gonzalez & maybe V Davis more valuable now?

Or is it still a better play to wait on TE and take one or two guys in the 6-15 range?

 
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Shawn said:
Finally lets not forget about James Hanna in Dallas. He very well could be the successor to Witten in a few yrs and now Romo has been locked up for a while I expect he could have a decent role in a yr or two.
What do you think will become of James Hanna with Escobar in town? could they feed enough targets to 3 TEs? Is he worth a dynasty stash?
I believe Hanna is a strong hold right now... Escobar may be the eventual replacement for Witten but I believe Hanna's athleticism gives defenses matchup issues... I'm not sure Jerry freakin' Jones is all that smart but Hanna IMO offers something unique from the TE position that the Cowboys haven't really been able to capitalize on just yet... Martellus Bennett fit more of a traditional TE role and wasn't as good of a fit for the #2 swing TE to stretch the seam or create mismatches like I believe Hanna could do

 
There seems to be an extreme amount of parity among tight ends. After Gronk, Graham and Hernandez (and a lesser extent Witten and Gonzalez) it seems difficult to distinguish between tight ends 5 and 25. This is especially true in dynasty. So I guess my question is, is there any tight end that is especially worth investing in? Or do you just stick with whatever fungible player you currently have?
There isn't usually a big disparity among TEs. For as long as I can remember this has been the case. There might be a change where there is top six or top three or whatnot, but it gets to a point and the rest are all similar. Pick a year, any year.

For WRs there's often a cluster of 600 to 800 yard WRs as well.

I've always felt a top TE was key in FF.

If you want upside for dynasty then go with youth. most veteran TEs don't have a big swing in stats even when they switch teams or OCs. There's famous players like ol Wesley Walls, but in general WYSIWYG.

I think brandon pettigrew is a nice play if you want someone in the cluster of TEs you mentioned.

He had 777 yards two years ago, 721 three years ago, and injuries messed up last year where he had 567 yards but likely could have reached his 750 area. At worst, you have a 750 yard TE. At best, you might get a potentially elite TE that had many 7-8-9 catch games the last two years.

So far Eifert has predominantly lined up in sets with Gresham so his ADP is ridiculous for a backup TE unless you think Cincy is like the Pats recently with Gronk and Hernandez. The love for Eifert on this board does not match anything from the Bengals offseason activites.

 
With the Lions having 2 new starters at both tackle positions I think Pettigrew is going to spend a lot of time blocking.

 
Invest in the big four, rent Gonzo, draft Eifert, or sit tight. I don't see any reason to overpay for the guys in the 6-12 range. Go big or go home.

Far too many baseline options, and plenty of young potential to stockpile too. You can keep Rudolph, Pitta, Davis, Finley, etc, at the prices they're going for. I'm just fine with Olsen, Daniels, Myers, Bennett, Housler, Allen, Fleener, and so on.
I like that go big or go home comment, but you can do some pretty good surviving outside the top 4, can't you?

I think it's possible Pitta emerges out of that receiver situation in Baltimore very nicely this year.

Rudolph is the opposite in terms of situation, so talented but with Jennings and Patterson and Wright and not to mention that RB they have, all with a Ponder spitballing it, could be some very poor games at the wrong times like last year and maybe moreso.

 
This next post is for dynasty stashes at TE that I believe may have a shot for at least some fantasy relevance by late 2013 or early 2014 and IMHO each one of these have a shot to become a top 15 TE contributor within 3 yrs.

Obviously that is a really loaded statement but I will do my best to lay out my opinions on these players who may in some cases still be available on your waiver wire in your dynasty leagues. In order for these players to reach any sort of fantasy relevance they need a combination of 3 things.

Talent: Athletic 2 way TEs may see the field quicker because they will allow their teams to use them in a variety of formations. Swing or Motion TEs tend to be a little smaller (in general) and are assumed to be better fitted for helping out in the passing game.

Opportunity: This could factor in quite a few important elements. Depth chart over the next few yrs would be an important factor and is nearly impossible to project beyond the current contracts of the players already on the roster. Offensive scheme can make things better or worse... Chud and Norval Turner in Cleveland for example should give Jordan Cameron a huge boost because of their history with athletic TEs. Viable QB play may be one of the most important factors there is because without one even a player like Jimmy Graham could perform like Ben Troupe.

Trust: Does the coaching staff believe this player is part of their future? Does the QB trust them to execute their assignments consistently and trust them enough to allow them to try and make a play?




There are many other factors as well but with the framework above here are some sleeper TE names to keep in mind for 2014 and beyond. Some of these COULD make a surprising impact for THIS season as well but I don't expect any of them to finish higher than TE 20 for this season.


Julius Thomas DEN (6'5" 255 lbs... just turned 25 yrs in June... Signed through 2014)

Talent: Athletic former Basketball player at Portland State who struggled with injuries each of the last 2 seasons. Has reportedly impressed everyone (including Sheriff Manning) with his athleticism and ability to make a play in traffic... Jimmy Graham type mold who reportedly is NOT a strong blocker.
Opportunity: While he offers something that none of the other TEs on the current roster can offer (which is the athleticism to be a real difference maker) he has a lot of experienced vets to battle for playing time on a team coached by conservative John Fox who has never really shown an ability to sustain fantasy relevance for TEs in his system. Manning is obviously a more than viable QB but with the other weapons at his disposal and with Denver looking like they are going to be using a 1 TE 3 WR set as their base offense I'm not optimistic for any sort of breakout season from Thomas this yr.
Trust: The team obviously is very high on his talent and they would love for him to become another big weapon for them but with his questionable blocking when compared to the other TEs on the roster I imagine Julius Thomas will be a situational player for them at best barring a few injuries to other key players. Manning spoke glowingly of him in OTAs but again what else is he supposed to say.
Analysis: I would love to see Julius Thomas in a situation similar to the one that Jimmy Graham found himself in when he broke into the league a few years back. I don't really see that as an option in 2013 and unlikely to be much different in 2014 even if he happens to flash elite talent sometime during this season. Obviously things can change in a minute in the NFL so I would keep an eye on him and if you are an optimistic owner you may be able to cash in on some hype later this season.



Adrien Robinson NYG (6'5" 269 lbs... 24 but turning 25 in Sept.... Signed through 2015)

Talent: Athletic and raw... Reportedly "gets it" now as far as knowing his assignments well enough that he doesn't have to slow down to process things or think too much. Last yr he missed a lot of the offseason because of how the university of Cincinatti runs their schedule. Ran a 4.57 forty last yr at the combine and despite low catch totals in college I believe that the Giants have proven over the last few yrs that they now how to use and develop TEs. Ballard, Bennett, Kevin Boss... all 3 of those no names or underachievers became relevant in recent yrs in the Giants system. Even bust Travis Beckum showed some ability and relevance when he was healthy (rarely).
Opportunity: Fast forward to free agency this past offseason where the Giants let Bennett go and they signed newcomer Brandon Myers to only a 1 yr contract. Is that a sign that they expect Robinson to make a big leap this yr and want him to be the starter going forward in 2014? Some feel that the signing of Myers would be a negative to Robinson's opportunity and while I agree with that for his impact in 2013 I think it speaks volumes that they only gave him a 1 yr contract. Eli is viable and he loves big targets in the Red Zone especially. I'd say the reports about Robinson improving as a blocker will also help him to get on the field quickly and from there you never know what may happen. Nicks, Cruz, Wilson, Randle, Myers... that's a lot of mouths to feed but Bennett played well last yr in spurts and I don't see why Robinson can't have that kind of impact if/when he becomes the starter in 1 TE sets.
Trust: The team obviously is very high on his talent as GM Jerry Reese has referred to him as the JPP of TEs... Tremendous size and in his very limited highlights from his college days he appears to be able to adjust to the ball in the air pretty impressively for somebody with his size. Certainly somebody to keep an eye on.
Analysis: I believe Robinson could make an impact as early as this yr and he could be potentially a top 10 option in 2014 and beyond if he becomes the top dog at TE for this offense. I believe he has a decent shot at 4 or 5 TDs this yr as a situational RZ threat. I personally wouldn't let him sit on the waiver wire at this point.



digging deeper...
James Hanna DAL (6'4" 252 lbs... just turned 24 yrs in July... Signed through 2015)

Talent: Fastest TE in his class last yr at the combine with a 4.49 forty... Also boasts a 36" vert... 6.76 sec 3 cone & 4.11 shuttle. Created mismatch problems late in the season last yr when he got a chance to play (just ask the Steelers LBs)
Opportunity: This is where Jerry Jones blows me away... Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar in the 2nd Rd to play as a receiving TE... Escobar is bigger but slower and not as explosive as Hanna... Perhaps they envision Escobar as the eventual replacement for Witten in a few yrs and they are trying to coach up his blocking which has been labeled very inconsistent? It's not exactly clear where James Hanna fits into their long term plans (if at all) but I'm willing to bet that if the Boys struggle this yr that Jason Garrett IS on the Hot Seat and then all bets are off as to what this roster will look like next season. In the short term I believe Hanna could step in and play some in the slot. He also is currently ahead of Escobar in the 2 TE sets reportedly (although its still early in camp). If Romo can continue to move around like Romo likes to do then I can see Hanna excelling in that fast break playground style game where he can use his speed and acceleration to get open after the play breaks down. His playing time may be heavily tied to how HE develops as a blocker in his own right.
Trust: The team has been talking about his ability to catch the ball and there seems to be a bit of disagreement about what his role will be going forward according to various beat writers during OTAs and thus far into camp.
Analysis: Hanna is intriguing to me but I've cooled on him a bit mostly just because I think that Jerry Jones is dumb to spend a 2nd Rd pick on Escobar and he seems (and has shown in the past) to be the kind of guy who wants to justify "his picks" by forcing the coach's hand. If Jason Garrett grows a pair (unlikely) I think that Hanna could have a decent impact this season as a situational TE and if he shows enough then maybe he can work his way into cementing himself a future role on this team. If Garrett gets fired then all bets are off. Im currently holding Hanna to see how the preseason unfolds but I wouldn't blame anyone for having him stashed on the wire. If you own Witten it may make sense to pick him up and stash him.




and finally...
Fendi Onobun CHI (6'6" 249 lbs... 26 but turning 27 in November.... Restricted FA in 2014)

Talent: Athletic and raw... Never played football in High School or College but played BBall for Arizona for 4 yrs... He did play 1 yr for Houston with his last yr of eligibility... This is his 6th NFL team and likely his last shot but his old High School friend and team mate Martellus Bennett is now with him in Chicago and his tools are undeniably intriguing.
Pro Day Results from 2010... 4.45 forty... 16 reps... 37.5 vert... 11'01" broad... 4.15 shuttle & 6.85 3 cone drill
Opportunity: Mark Trestman in Chicago as the Head Coach is an intriguing twist on this story. He reportedly wants the TEs to be a big part of his offensive scheme and in his time as a coach in the CFL there were quite a few players who would have been considered swing or tweener TEs who found success in his system. Onobun has received a fair amount of offseason buzz (i know... players in shorts) and he has a shot to surprise in this offense especially because Martellus Bennett is an extremely good blocker which could mean that their is an opportunity for Onobun to stretch the seams and make an impact. Cutler is not afraid to throw the ball up and because the NFL is all about adjusting I believe that Marshall will obviously be the biggest thing that teams will scheme to take away from the Bears offense.
Trust: This of course at this point is an unknown but I believe he will get a good opportunity to see if he belongs during the preseason.
Analysis: Im excited to see what happens here... He is the type of player that could be something special if he is ever able to really put things together... We Shall See



Those that didn't make the cut for now:
Taylor Thompson TEN (just screams Kellen Davis to me... I was high on him last yr till I saw him "adjust" to the ball in mid-air... oof... not natural enough for me and his QB situation is terrible in my opinion... Plus the team signed newcomer Delanie Walker to a 4 yr contract and they have a lot of money tied up in Craig Stevens as well)

Brandon Bostick GB (he could make a splash but I don't see the Packers giving him much of a shot THIS yr unless Andrew Quarless is unable to stay healthy... I also expect JerMichael Finley to have a big yr... Bostick is somebody who could be intriguing down the road or as soon as 2014 if/when Finley moves on... Keep an eye peeled for how he is developing)

James Casey/ Zach Ertz PHI (I was really excited to see what Casey could do and I'm still holding him in a few leagues in hopes that they use him in the slot frequently but with the drafting of Ertz and the uncertainty of what Chip Kelly's offense will look like I just don't think I can confidently give any kind of evaluation... I believe this offense is going to spread it around so much that maybe the offense will be productive but any single player in the pass game won't be productive enough to hold on my roster for long)

 
Those that didn't make the cut for now:

Taylor Thompson TEN (just screams Kellen Davis to me... I was high on him last yr till I saw him "adjust" to the ball in mid-air... oof... not natural enough for me and his QB situation is terrible in my opinion... Plus the team signed newcomer Delanie Walker to a 4 yr contract and they have a lot of money tied up in Craig Stevens as well)
- There certainly are concerns there about his receiving ability as well as the QB situation. His blocking isn't a question though and he will see the field much more this year.

- I'm not to worried about Walker's contract since it's basically $4.3M a year for the next two years. Stevens is only guaranteed through this year.

- Chances are that TT is bust as a fantasy TE but the upside is high enough that he's worth a stash if you have deep rosters. If he doesn't make significant improvement this year receiving then it will be time to dump him.

 
Those that didn't make the cut for now:

Taylor Thompson TEN (just screams Kellen Davis to me... I was high on him last yr till I saw him "adjust" to the ball in mid-air... oof... not natural enough for me and his QB situation is terrible in my opinion... Plus the team signed newcomer Delanie Walker to a 4 yr contract and they have a lot of money tied up in Craig Stevens as well)
- There certainly are concerns there about his receiving ability as well as the QB situation. His blocking isn't a question though and he will see the field much more this year.

- I'm not to worried about Walker's contract since it's basically $4.3M a year for the next two years. Stevens is only guaranteed through this year.

- Chances are that TT is bust as a fantasy TE but the upside is high enough that he's worth a stash if you have deep rosters. If he doesn't make significant improvement this year receiving then it will be time to dump him.
How deep of a roster are we talking? Like 27 or more spots? Maybe Im just jumpy because of Kellen Davis... I do like his potential some but I almost feel like its a little too stacked against him to ever be relevant... he truly is a swing for the fences type of prospect and his blocking should get him on the field but Im not sure what will happen from there.

 
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Invest in the big four, rent Gonzo, draft Eifert, or sit tight. I don't see any reason to overpay for the guys in the 6-12 range. Go big or go home.

Far too many baseline options, and plenty of young potential to stockpile too. You can keep Rudolph, Pitta, Davis, Finley, etc, at the prices they're going for. I'm just fine with Olsen, Daniels, Myers, Bennett, Housler, Allen, Fleener, and so on.
I like that go big or go home comment, but you can do some pretty good surviving outside the top 4, can't you?

I think it's possible Pitta emerges out of that receiver situation in Baltimore very nicely this year.

Rudolph is the opposite in terms of situation, so talented but with Jennings and Patterson and Wright and not to mention that RB they have, all with a Ponder spitballing it, could be some very poor games at the wrong times like last year and maybe moreso.
I've come around on Pitta. I like that they are using him in the slot, and I like that they didn't replace Boldin. It sounds as though they expect Pitta to, which is a very good thing. I didn't expect that to be the case a few months ago.

I don't like where Rudolph is being drafted, so I won't be touching him, myself. He looks talented, he's but not very explosive with the ball in his hands. Can he continue to score so many TDs every year? What happens if he doesn't? I'd gladly take the Indy combo over him, and based on ADP, that should be very realistic.

 
Well guys, if not Graham/Gronk/Gonz/Witten, y'all have anything new up your sleeve?

I am penciling in the below:

Jordan Cameron

Fleener/Allen

Myers

Dickson

Casey

Bennett

Housler

 
I really think Fleener is the guy to go after at TE. Dynasty he might be top 3 this time next year. I didn't like him a ton coming out, and still think D Allen is a better NFL player, but it's going to be hard for him not to put up stats if he stays healthy.

In dynasty I've been trying to swap Cameron for Fleener and guys I took late 1st for Fleener but haven't got a nibble yet.

In redraft I'd jump his ADP of 13.10 by at least 2 rounds. Think it's a legit strategy if you punt at TE.

 
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I'm waiting on TE this year. I certainly won't be using my first round pick on Graham, which means i won't be getting him. IMO Gronk has too much injury concern for where he's going in drafts. Atlanta has even more mouths to feed and Gonz is yet another year older. I think he could disappear in quite a few games this year. Not what I want from that high of a pick. Witten is one of my favorite players in the league, but he's got a lot of wear and tear. He doesn't get much redzone love either, with Bryant and Austin on the outside. Plus, if you take the coaching staff for their word, they are going to make a concerted effort to run the ball more this year, and quite frankly they need to. Witten was getting all those short chain moving routes last year, that took the place of the run game. If those decline much at all, he's not going to be worth the pick you spend for him. Then there's Davis. The athletic freak that dominates training camp and is assured to be the next TE to take over the game. At least that's what they've been reporting for the last 7 years. Hey maybe this is the year. Then you've got 15 or so guys that have talent and are in situations that may, or may not, result in fantasy gold. Give me the last two or three of those guys. As far as I'm concerned, its a lottery at this point anyway. There just isn't a whole lot that separates any of them from each other. I'll let my league mates fight over them, while I pick off RB's and WR's. Then when the pool is down to the last 5 or 6 I'll pick off two or three and call it a draft.

 
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Those that didn't make the cut for now:

Taylor Thompson TEN (just screams Kellen Davis to me... I was high on him last yr till I saw him "adjust" to the ball in mid-air... oof... not natural enough for me and his QB situation is terrible in my opinion... Plus the team signed newcomer Delanie Walker to a 4 yr contract and they have a lot of money tied up in Craig Stevens as well)
- There certainly are concerns there about his receiving ability as well as the QB situation. His blocking isn't a question though and he will see the field much more this year.

- I'm not to worried about Walker's contract since it's basically $4.3M a year for the next two years. Stevens is only guaranteed through this year.

- Chances are that TT is bust as a fantasy TE but the upside is high enough that he's worth a stash if you have deep rosters. If he doesn't make significant improvement this year receiving then it will be time to dump him.
there was a fourth TE people were raving about(not Stevens, Walker, Thompson) so this still has to play out some.

I don't think it's a good idea to have a third TE, or backup receiving TE (whichever way you characterize thompson) in FF.

 
For best ball type leagues I like the idea of trying to get either the Colts or Bengals TE pairs. I slightly prefer the Colts pair to the Bengals because I think Luck is a better QB than Dalton.

The problem is the ADP for both of these pairs seems to be in the same area. So much more risk of being sniped unless your picks are very close together.

Gresham 12.02

Eifert 13.05

Allen 13.11

Fleener 14.09 (but lots of good reports recently should have him rising)

This is obviously not as good a plan in HTH leagues.

 
I posted this in another thread, but it makes sense to post here as well. It relates to whether Jimmy Graham is worth a first or second round pick (seems like the near consensus in fantasy) and the top 5 QBs aren't (which also seems to be the trend this year).

Last year, in standard scoring, 6pts a TD. Graham was the #1 TE and he finished 57 points higher than the 12th TE. The #1 QB last year scored 110 more points than the 12th QB. Ok, so we say Graham has huge upside. Best case scenario would be like Gronks 2011. That year Gronk was 143 points higher than the 12th TE. However, the #1 QB in 2011 finished 170 points higher than the 12th QB. In 2010, it was +73 vs +58 in favor of the QB again. Just looking at the numbers, getting the top QB is going to get you a bigger edge on points at the position than taking Graham. If you take Graham, you are taking the fact that he is reliable and is the surest bet to be the #1 TE, but not because he gives you a massive points advantage.

To add to the Jimmy Graham vs QB sub-topic here, if you grab Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Manning or Cam you have a drafted a QB that has shown that in nearly every year they have started in the NFL, they were a top 5 fantasy QB. It is a guess as to who will finish first overall, but you can be pretty confident you have a top 5 QB. In a prior post,I looked at point differentials for best case scenario: #1 QB vs #12 QB. What about the most likely worst case scenario? #5 QB vs #12 QB.

QB 2012: +56 2011: +121 2010: +56

The advantage with Graham is that there isn't much reasonable competition to prevent him from being the #1 TE. So here again are the #1TE vs #12 TE

TE 2012: +57 2011: +143 2010: +58

That means if you take a top end QB instead of Graham, Graham either needs to have a Gronk 2011 type year or the pick was a dud. The 5th QB likely outperforms the 12th QB to the same degree that the # TE1 outperforms the #12 TE. However, if that QB finishes higher than 5, they are definitely going to give you a greater points advantage than Jimmy Graham.

 
I posted this in another thread, but it makes sense to post here as well. It relates to whether Jimmy Graham is worth a first or second round pick (seems like the near consensus in fantasy) and the top 5 QBs aren't (which also seems to be the trend this year).

Last year, in standard scoring, 6pts a TD. Graham was the #1 TE and he finished 57 points higher than the 12th TE. The #1 QB last year scored 110 more points than the 12th QB. Ok, so we say Graham has huge upside. Best case scenario would be like Gronks 2011. That year Gronk was 143 points higher than the 12th TE. However, the #1 QB in 2011 finished 170 points higher than the 12th QB. In 2010, it was +73 vs +58 in favor of the QB again. Just looking at the numbers, getting the top QB is going to get you a bigger edge on points at the position than taking Graham. If you take Graham, you are taking the fact that he is reliable and is the surest bet to be the #1 TE, but not because he gives you a massive points advantage.

To add to the Jimmy Graham vs QB sub-topic here, if you grab Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Manning or Cam you have a drafted a QB that has shown that in nearly every year they have started in the NFL, they were a top 5 fantasy QB. It is a guess as to who will finish first overall, but you can be pretty confident you have a top 5 QB. In a prior post,I looked at point differentials for best case scenario: #1 QB vs #12 QB. What about the most likely worst case scenario? #5 QB vs #12 QB.

QB 2012: +56 2011: +121 2010: +56

The advantage with Graham is that there isn't much reasonable competition to prevent him from being the #1 TE. So here again are the #1TE vs #12 TE

TE 2012: +57 2011: +143 2010: +58

That means if you take a top end QB instead of Graham, Graham either needs to have a Gronk 2011 type year or the pick was a dud. The 5th QB likely outperforms the 12th QB to the same degree that the # TE1 outperforms the #12 TE. However, if that QB finishes higher than 5, they are definitely going to give you a greater points advantage than Jimmy Graham.
1 vs 12 is not the entire story. 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, etc, is still very applicable. That is why Graham is so unique, and VBD is not a perfect measurement of his value.

Also, your numbers assume no PPR and no flex. In such a league, maybe going QB earlier is a better. But most leagues have both PPR and flex spots.

 
I posted this in another thread, but it makes sense to post here as well. It relates to whether Jimmy Graham is worth a first or second round pick (seems like the near consensus in fantasy) and the top 5 QBs aren't (which also seems to be the trend this year).

Last year, in standard scoring, 6pts a TD. Graham was the #1 TE and he finished 57 points higher than the 12th TE. The #1 QB last year scored 110 more points than the 12th QB. Ok, so we say Graham has huge upside. Best case scenario would be like Gronks 2011. That year Gronk was 143 points higher than the 12th TE. However, the #1 QB in 2011 finished 170 points higher than the 12th QB. In 2010, it was +73 vs +58 in favor of the QB again. Just looking at the numbers, getting the top QB is going to get you a bigger edge on points at the position than taking Graham. If you take Graham, you are taking the fact that he is reliable and is the surest bet to be the #1 TE, but not because he gives you a massive points advantage.

To add to the Jimmy Graham vs QB sub-topic here, if you grab Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Manning or Cam you have a drafted a QB that has shown that in nearly every year they have started in the NFL, they were a top 5 fantasy QB. It is a guess as to who will finish first overall, but you can be pretty confident you have a top 5 QB. In a prior post,I looked at point differentials for best case scenario: #1 QB vs #12 QB. What about the most likely worst case scenario? #5 QB vs #12 QB.

QB 2012: +56 2011: +121 2010: +56

The advantage with Graham is that there isn't much reasonable competition to prevent him from being the #1 TE. So here again are the #1TE vs #12 TE

TE 2012: +57 2011: +143 2010: +58

That means if you take a top end QB instead of Graham, Graham either needs to have a Gronk 2011 type year or the pick was a dud. The 5th QB likely outperforms the 12th QB to the same degree that the # TE1 outperforms the #12 TE. However, if that QB finishes higher than 5, they are definitely going to give you a greater points advantage than Jimmy Graham.
1 vs 12 is not the entire story. 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, etc, is still very applicable. That is why Graham is so unique, and VBD is not a perfect measurement of his value.

Also, your numbers assume no PPR and no flex. In such a league, maybe going QB earlier is a better. But most leagues have both PPR and flex spots.
I agree that 1 vs 12 isn't the only way to look at it. I agree 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, etc. is applicable. However, you haven't shown how that applies to making Graham so unique or so much more valuable.

Also, do most leagues use PPR and flex?

Do most leagues have ppr and flex?

 
I posted this in another thread, but it makes sense to post here as well. It relates to whether Jimmy Graham is worth a first or second round pick (seems like the near consensus in fantasy) and the top 5 QBs aren't (which also seems to be the trend this year).

Last year, in standard scoring, 6pts a TD. Graham was the #1 TE and he finished 57 points higher than the 12th TE. The #1 QB last year scored 110 more points than the 12th QB. Ok, so we say Graham has huge upside. Best case scenario would be like Gronks 2011. That year Gronk was 143 points higher than the 12th TE. However, the #1 QB in 2011 finished 170 points higher than the 12th QB. In 2010, it was +73 vs +58 in favor of the QB again. Just looking at the numbers, getting the top QB is going to get you a bigger edge on points at the position than taking Graham. If you take Graham, you are taking the fact that he is reliable and is the surest bet to be the #1 TE, but not because he gives you a massive points advantage.

To add to the Jimmy Graham vs QB sub-topic here, if you grab Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Manning or Cam you have a drafted a QB that has shown that in nearly every year they have started in the NFL, they were a top 5 fantasy QB. It is a guess as to who will finish first overall, but you can be pretty confident you have a top 5 QB. In a prior post,I looked at point differentials for best case scenario: #1 QB vs #12 QB. What about the most likely worst case scenario? #5 QB vs #12 QB.

QB 2012: +56 2011: +121 2010: +56

The advantage with Graham is that there isn't much reasonable competition to prevent him from being the #1 TE. So here again are the #1TE vs #12 TE

TE 2012: +57 2011: +143 2010: +58

That means if you take a top end QB instead of Graham, Graham either needs to have a Gronk 2011 type year or the pick was a dud. The 5th QB likely outperforms the 12th QB to the same degree that the # TE1 outperforms the #12 TE. However, if that QB finishes higher than 5, they are definitely going to give you a greater points advantage than Jimmy Graham.
1 vs 12 is not the entire story. 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, etc, is still very applicable. That is why Graham is so unique, and VBD is not a perfect measurement of his value.

Also, your numbers assume no PPR and no flex. In such a league, maybe going QB earlier is a better. But most leagues have both PPR and flex spots.
I agree that 1 vs 12 isn't the only way to look at it. I agree 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, etc. is applicable. However, you haven't shown how that applies to making Graham so unique or so much more valuable.

Also, do most leagues use PPR and flex?

Do most leagues have ppr and flex?
The reason Graham is more valuable, is because he is so unique. Assuming Gronk misses time, and isn't himself, Graham is a safe bet to dominate the field. There isn't another player we can say the same about. He gives you an advantage over 90+% of your league.

It is very hard to skip RB in round 1, and still have a strong team, as there are so few safe RB investments. It's even harder if QB is the position you take over RB. There is just no value in Rodgers or Brees in round 1, when Peyton is there in round 3.

McCoy/Peyton >>> Rodgers/Murray(or McFadden, or any other RB in round 3)

There are just too many solid QB options, with both security and upside, to justify taking one in Round 1. It's just not enough of an advantage over your league, in my opinion.

I assumed most use PPR and flex spots, but that is only my assumption.

 
Davis

Gonzo

Witten

Rudolph

Cook

Cameron

Bennett

Housler

Myers

Finley

All of these guys have a really good reasons to want to draft them high(ish) and will likely separate themselves strongly from the field. When all is said and done i think these guys with graham and gronk make up the top 12. I would put an emphasis on Davis/Witten/Gonzo as being right under the big 2 and Bennett/cook/Cameron as having the highest probability of outperforming adp by a large margin.

 
I posted this in another thread, but it makes sense to post here as well. It relates to whether Jimmy Graham is worth a first or second round pick (seems like the near consensus in fantasy) and the top 5 QBs aren't (which also seems to be the trend this year).

Last year, in standard scoring, 6pts a TD. Graham was the #1 TE and he finished 57 points higher than the 12th TE. The #1 QB last year scored 110 more points than the 12th QB. Ok, so we say Graham has huge upside. Best case scenario would be like Gronks 2011. That year Gronk was 143 points higher than the 12th TE. However, the #1 QB in 2011 finished 170 points higher than the 12th QB. In 2010, it was +73 vs +58 in favor of the QB again. Just looking at the numbers, getting the top QB is going to get you a bigger edge on points at the position than taking Graham. If you take Graham, you are taking the fact that he is reliable and is the surest bet to be the #1 TE, but not because he gives you a massive points advantage.

To add to the Jimmy Graham vs QB sub-topic here, if you grab Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Manning or Cam you have a drafted a QB that has shown that in nearly every year they have started in the NFL, they were a top 5 fantasy QB. It is a guess as to who will finish first overall, but you can be pretty confident you have a top 5 QB. In a prior post,I looked at point differentials for best case scenario: #1 QB vs #12 QB. What about the most likely worst case scenario? #5 QB vs #12 QB.

QB 2012: +56 2011: +121 2010: +56

The advantage with Graham is that there isn't much reasonable competition to prevent him from being the #1 TE. So here again are the #1TE vs #12 TE

TE 2012: +57 2011: +143 2010: +58

That means if you take a top end QB instead of Graham, Graham either needs to have a Gronk 2011 type year or the pick was a dud. The 5th QB likely outperforms the 12th QB to the same degree that the # TE1 outperforms the #12 TE. However, if that QB finishes higher than 5, they are definitely going to give you a greater points advantage than Jimmy Graham.
1 vs 12 is not the entire story. 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, 1 vs 4, etc, is still very applicable. That is why Graham is so unique, and VBD is not a perfect measurement of his value.

Also, your numbers assume no PPR and no flex. In such a league, maybe going QB earlier is a better. But most leagues have both PPR and flex spots.
I agree that 1 vs 12 isn't the only way to look at it. I agree 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3, etc. is applicable. However, you haven't shown how that applies to making Graham so unique or so much more valuable.

Also, do most leagues use PPR and flex?

Do most leagues have ppr and flex?
The reason Graham is more valuable, is because he is so unique. Assuming Gronk misses time, and isn't himself, Graham is a safe bet to dominate the field. There isn't another player we can say the same about. He gives you an advantage over 90+% of your league.

It is very hard to skip RB in round 1, and still have a strong team, as there are so few safe RB investments. It's even harder if QB is the position you take over RB. There is just no value in Rodgers or Brees in round 1, when Peyton is there in round 3.

McCoy/Peyton >>> Rodgers/Murray(or McFadden, or any other RB in round 3)

There are just too many solid QB options, with both security and upside, to justify taking one in Round 1. It's just not enough of an advantage over your league, in my opinion.

I assumed most use PPR and flex spots, but that is only my assumption.
I am not advocating taking a QB or a TE in the first round or any particular round. My point is fantasy football calculators has Rodgers ADP at 21 and Graham at 22, Brees at 24. I am contending there is a bigger advantage taking Brees or Rodgers and waiting late on a TE than there is taking Graham and waiting late on QB. I contend that if Rodgers and Brees don't last that long, Brady/Cam/Manning are still better picks than Graham. Now there are usually some real quality WRs late 2nd- early 3rd that are likely better values than TE or QB. There are also some real clunker RBs that people are overdrafting around there.

 
I really think Fleener is the guy to go after at TE. Dynasty he might be top 3 this time next year. I didn't like him a ton coming out, and still think D Allen is a better NFL player, but it's going to be hard for him not to put up stats if he stays healthy.

In dynasty I've been trying to swap Cameron for Fleener and guys I took late 1st for Fleener but haven't got a nibble yet.

In redraft I'd jump his ADP of 13.10 by at least 2 rounds. Think it's a legit strategy if you punt at TE.
So you didn't like him a ton coming out, he had a very disappointing season, you don't think he's the best TE on his own team, but you think he might be top 3 next year? Doesn't seem to add up.

 
Ilov80s said:
I am not advocating taking a QB or a TE in the first round or any particular round. My point is fantasy football calculators has Rodgers ADP at 21 and Graham at 22, Brees at 24. I am contending there is a bigger advantage taking Brees or Rodgers and waiting late on a TE than there is taking Graham and waiting late on QB. I contend that if Rodgers and Brees don't last that long, Brady/Cam/Manning are still better picks than Graham. Now there are usually some real quality WRs late 2nd- early 3rd that are likely better values than TE or QB. There are also some real clunker RBs that people are overdrafting around there.
I personally disagree. I'd much rather Graham in that range, over a QB. Top 5 sounds great, but it's only an advantage over 60% of your league; and by how much? I am just fine waiting on Romo, and feel great about Romo/Graham besting your Rodgers/replacement TE.

 
Ilov80s said:
I am not advocating taking a QB or a TE in the first round or any particular round. My point is fantasy football calculators has Rodgers ADP at 21 and Graham at 22, Brees at 24. I am contending there is a bigger advantage taking Brees or Rodgers and waiting late on a TE than there is taking Graham and waiting late on QB. I contend that if Rodgers and Brees don't last that long, Brady/Cam/Manning are still better picks than Graham. Now there are usually some real quality WRs late 2nd- early 3rd that are likely better values than TE or QB. There are also some real clunker RBs that people are overdrafting around there.
I personally disagree. I'd much rather Graham in that range, over a QB. Top 5 sounds great, but it's only an advantage over 60% of your league; and by how much? I am just fine waiting on Romo, and feel great about Romo/Graham besting your Rodgers/replacement TE.
In 2012, Rodgers and Greg Olsen outscored Graham and Romo. Brees and Rudolph/Chandler/Bennett outscored Graham and Romo as well.

 

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