Obviously, the value of any player on the receiving end is going to see an increase in a PPR league. But as we look at the tight end position here in recent weeks, they are climbing just as quickly in NFL Standard leagues. It’s getting to the point where many of them are producing as strongly as a lot of wide receivers out there, but because of roster structures – start three wide receivers versus just one tight end – the need to have someone of quality in that spot is a little more pressing. And to take it even a step further, there are many out there that are even using tight ends as their flex.
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Right off the bat, those are some serious increases we’re looking at here. And they are just as substantial in PPR leagues, for the record. Tight ends, everywhere, are on the rise.
There’s really nothing more we can say about Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. Their value is that of a high end wide receiver and in numerous leagues, depending on your scoring, are easy choices at the end of the first round/beginning of the second. Watching them both in the preseason should leave no doubt as to why their ADP has jumped nearly a full round over a two week span.
The fact that the next tier of tight ends – Antonio Gates, Aaron Hernandez, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Fred Davis, and Jason Witten – comes off the board before the end of the fourth round, speaks the loudest. Davis and Witten may see a drop in ADP over the next week or so; Davis due to the constant talk of drug testing and the fact that he’s apparently fallen out of favor with rookie QB Robert Griffin and Witten with his lacerated spleen problem. But the front four here are big time targets for their respective QBs and all are extremely dangerous in the red zone.
While Jermaine Gresham’s ADP increase fits right in with the rest, he has the opportunity to pay even greater dividends in relation to his draft position than some of the guys taken before him. We all know that A.J. Green is the top dog in the receiving corps of the Bengals. That won’t ever be disputed. But with a suspect running game and a lack of quality depth at the wide receiver position, Gresham could end up being one of the most targeted receivers this season. He and Andy Dalton built a rapport last year that produced 596 yards and six touchdowns and those numbers should probably go up this season. He’s dealing with a bit of a knee issue right now, but is fully expected to be ready for action in Week 1.
Jared Cook is topping a number of sleeper lists this year after finishing off the 2011 season in style. Over the final three games of the season, Cook totaled 21 catches for 335 yards with one touchdown. If that momentum carries over into this year and he and Jake Locker can build a solid rapport, Cook could be a fantastic option in the seventh or eighth round.
Some of the biggest talk with regard to the tight ends is coming from the tail end of the top 20 – Coby Fleener and Jacob Tamme. We’d call them sleepers, but so much is being made out of their relationships with their respective quarterbacks, that they are popping up on everyone’s radar. They’re still not going until late – 9th or 10th round according to the most recent ADP numbers – but everyone is looking for them down there. Fleener and Andrew Luck had an outstanding relationship at Stanford and will likely bring that same chemistry to the NFL. Meanwhile, when Dallas Clark went down with an injury in 2010, it was Tamme who benefited to the tune of 631 yards and four touchdowns. Look for him and Peyton Manning to hook up in Denver early and often.
By quails144, 8/27/2012 7:26 PM
don't get me wrong, love love LOVE Graham and Gronk and Hernandez... hell, Gates & Davis could be great too.
But for whatever reason I have waited on TE in every draft so far and have never been disappointed with the results. Gresham/Gonzalez/Celek are almost always available in rounds 10/11, and Celek/Keller/Daniels are just fine by me. Especially since almost every league only starts one TE (with the odd flex of course).
Waiting on TE has allowed me to load up on the mid-range WR/RB flyers and assemble what seems like a deep team.
Am I missing something?
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By rotobuzzguy, 8/28/2012 11:20 AM
There's definitely nothing wrong with waiting on a tight end. They're definitely becoming more popular which means the TE run in your league will start earlier than usual, but you can find quality help further in. The position has definitely transitioned over the last few years and more teams are searching for that big ol' pass-catching tight end a la Gates and Gonzalez. Two years ago I grabbed Gronk withthe last pick in three different drafts. Last year it was Graham in the 8th or 9th round. This year, I could see Gresham, Cook, Olsen and Tamme being fantastic mid to late round selections.
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