Jimmy Graham

 

Which tight ends were 'inline' with expectations and which ones 'move'-d up or down?

 

 

As part of the 2013 fantasy season review, I thought it would be interesting and maybe beneficial to have a look at which players performed above expectations and which ones let us down fantasy-wise.  The best way to do that is to compare their fantasy production with respect to their average draft position or ADP.  For those few who don’t know, there are many web sites that gather the results of hundreds or thousands of online fantasy drafts and determine on average how high players got drafted.

 

For the purpose of this article I’m using data from fantasypros.com.  They gather draft data from other sites like ESPN, MyFantasyLeague and others and then average the average draft positions from all these fantasy league sites.  We’ll take a look at each position and compare where they ranked at their position versus where they were drafted at their position.  Undrafted players ADP is one higher than the number of players listed and noted with *.

 

The Tight Ends

 

TE rank

Player

Team

FPts

TE ADP

Rank vs. ADP

1

Jimmy Graham

NOR

204.4

1

0

2

Vernon Davis

SFO

152.5

3

1

3

Julius Thomas

DEN

147.2

28

25

4

Tony Gonzalez

ATL

128.3

5

1

5

Jordan Cameron

CLE

126.8

12

7

6

Jason Witten

DAL

119.6

4

-2

7

Charles Clay

MIA

115.1

57

50

8

Greg Olsen

CAR

107.4

7

-1

9

Martellus Bennett

CHI

104.4

14

5

10

Antonio Gates

SDG

102.1

8

-2

11

Delanie Walker

TEN

90.2

39

28

12

Jared Cook

STL

88.1

10

-2

13

Garrett Graham

HOU

84.5

67

54

14

Rob Gronkowski

NWE

83.2

2

-12

15

Coby Fleener

IND

82.3

20

5

16

Tim Wright

TAM

75.3

67

51

17

Brandon Myers

NYG

75.3

13

-4

18

Brent Celek

PHI

73.1

21

3

19

Scott Chandler

BUF

72

41

22

20

Jermaine Gresham

CIN

70.1

18

-2

21

Jordan Reed

WAS

69.7

67

46

22

Zach Ertz

PHI

66.6

38

16

23

Zach Miller

SEA

66.6

26

3

24

Heath Miller

PIT

63.6

25

1

25

Mychal Rivera

OAK

62.4

53

28

26

Jeff Cumberland

NYJ

60.8

32

6

27

Joseph Fauria

DET

60.7

67

40

28

Tyler Eifert

CIN

56.5

19

-9

29

Brandon Pettigrew

DET

53.6

15

-14

30

Marcedes Lewis

JAX

52.9

24

-6

31

Dallas Clark

BAL

52.3

43

12

32

Kyle Rudolph

MIN

49.3

9

-23

33

Jermichael Finley

GNB

48

6

-27

34

Kellen Winslow

NYJ

47.4

46

12

35

Ladarius Green

SDG

47.4

63

28

36

Lance Kendricks

STL

44.4

49

13

37

Robert Housler

ARI

43.6

27

-10

38

Owen Daniels

HOU

43.2

11

-27

39

Logan Paulsen

WAS

41.5

67

28

40

Sean McGrath

KAN

41.1

67

27

41

John Carlson

MIN

40.4

58

17

42

Andrew Quarless

GNB

40.1

67

25

43

Clay Harbor

JAX

40.1

67

24

44

Anthony Fasano

KAN

38

36

-8

45

Ed Dickson

BAL

33.3

34

-11

46

Jim Dray

ARI

31.7

67

21

47

Ryan Griffin

HOU

25.5

67

20

48

Gary Barnidge

CLE

24.7

67

19

49

Cory Harkey

STL

23.3

67

18

50

Jacob Tamme

DEN

21.5

30

-20

51

Michael Hoomanawanui

NWE

19.6

48

-3

52

Brandon Bostick

GNB

18

67

15

53

Gavin Escobar

DAL

17.7

67

14

54

Levine Toilolo

ATL

17.5

67

13

55

Fred Davis

WAS

13

16

-39

56

Vance McDonald

SFO

11.9

54

-2

57

Chris Gragg

BUF

11.3

67

10

58

David Paulson

PIT

10.2

67

9

59

Dion Sims

MIA

9.2

67

8

60

Jeron Mastrud

OAK

8.8

67

7

61

Josh Hill

NOR

8.8

67

6

62

Bear Pascoe

NYG

8.3

67

5

63

Tony Scheffler

DET

8.2

33

-30

64

Tom Crabtree

TAM

8.1

47

-17

65

Joel Dreessen

DEN

8.1

42

-23

66

Dwayne Allen

IND

8

22

-44

67

Lee Smith

BUF

7.8

56

-11

68

Matthew Mulligan

NWE

7.6

67

-1

69

James Hanna

DAL

7.3

67

-2

70

Taylor Thompson

TEN

7.3

67

-3

71

Michael Egnew

MIA

6.9

64

-7

72

Alex Smith

CIN

6.5

67

-5

73

Zach Sudfeld

NWE/NYJ

5.6

17

-56

74

MarQueis Gray

CLE

4.7

67

-7

75

Allen Reisner

JAX

4

67

-8

76

Garrett Celek

SFO

3.8

67

-9

77

Kevin Brock

KAN

3.6

59

-18

78

Dominique Jones

IND/KAN

3.4

67

-11

79

James Casey

PHI

3.1

35

-44

80

Larry Donnell

NYG

3.1

67

-13

81

Virgil Green

DEN

3

67

-14

82

Ryan Taylor

GNB

3

67

-15

83

John Phillips

SDG

3

67

-16

84

Billy Bajema

BAL

1.8

67

-17

85

Jack Doyle

IND

1.7

67

-18

86

Kory Sperry

ARI

1.6

67

-19

87

Dante Rosario

CHI

1.3

67

-20

88

Richie Brockel

CAR

1.3

67

-21

89

Michael Palmer

PIT

0.8

67

-22

90

Konrad Reuland

NYJ

0.7

67

-23

91

Craig Stevens

TEN

0.5

61

-30

92

Henry Hynoski

NYG

0.5

67

-25

93

Mike McNeill

STL

0.5

67

-26

94

Kyle Adams

CHI/TAM

0

52

-42

95

Eben Britton

CHI

0

67

-28

96

Steve Maneri

CHI

0

67

-29

97

Luke Stocker

TAM

0

60

-37

98

D.C. Jefferson

ARI

0

67

-31

99

Andre Smith

IND/CLE

0

67

-32

100

Jake Byrne

HOU/KAN/SDG

0

67

-33

101

DJ Williams

JAX/NWE

0

67

-34

102

Ben Hartsock

CAR

0

67

-35

103

Jake Stoneburner

GNB

0

67

-36

104

Nick Kasa

OAK

0

67

-37

105

Mike Adams

PIT

0

67

-38

106

Brandon Williams

BAL

0

67

-39

107

Gabe Carimi

TAM

0

67

-40

108

Chase Coffman

ATL

0

65

-43

109

Orson Charles

CIN

0

67

-42

110

Kelvin Beachum

PIT

0

67

-43

111

Keavon Milton

CLE

0

67

-44

 

 

Top Performers Relative to ADP

 

TE1’s

 

Garrett Graham – HOU: Starter Owen Daniels only played in five games, allowing Graham to step into the number one TE role and perform fairly well.  Graham’s a free agent and the Texans may decide to go with rookie Ryan Griffin if Graham’s price tag is too steep.  Daniels may get cut due to his high salary.  Whoever ends up being the starter in Houston will have some fantasy value as a high end TE2 with upside.

 

Charles Clay – MIA: Clay wasn’t supposed to be the starter in Miami in 2013, but newcomer Dustin Keller was injured before the season started.  Clay won the job over Dion Sims and ran with it.  The 24 year old is in his third season and his future looks bright as a TE1 going forward with the Dolphins.

 

Delanie Walker – TEN: After playing in the shadow of Vernon Davis his entire career in San Francisco, Walker signed a free agent deal with the Titans to be their number one tight end.  He showed he has what it takes to be a valuable pass catching tight end and should be a borderline TE1 again next season.

 

 

Julius Thomas – DEN: After a total of five catches in his first two seasons in Denver not much was expected of Thomas in 2013.  But it was more the presence of two other viable tight ends in Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen that had fantasy owners wondering which one, if any, would become one of Manning’s regular targets.  It would be a surprise, assuming Manning comes back, if Thomas hasn’t sewn up the number one role for 2014.

 

 

TE2’s

 

Tim Wright – TAM: The rookie out of Rutgers was third on the TE depth chart going into the season and first by the time it was over, thanks in part to injuries to Tom Crabtree and Luke Stocker.  He wasn’t drafted in most fantasy drafts and ended up as the 16th best fantasy TE.  All three are signed to affordable contracts for 2014 so expect a training camp battle that Wright should win.

 

Jordan Reed – WAS: Like Wright, Reed went undrafted as starter Fred Davis was expected to be the number one guy.  He was a huge disappointment and Reed in his place was a revelation.  Finishing 21st for fantasy tight ends despite playing only nine games, Reed should be in TE1 territory assuming he’s healthy in 2014.

 

Joseph Fauria – DET: In an article I wrote prior to the 2013 NFL draft I mentioned Fauria as a possible sleeper candidate given ‘he’s the definition of a red zone threat’.  He finished with 18 catches, seven which were for touchdowns.  The Lions released veteran Tony Scheffler in October, and starter Brandon Pettigrew is a free agent who may not be back.  Fauria needs to work on his blocking to become a legitimate number one TE.  Assume the Lions will acquire more depth so Fauria’s fantasy upside is up in the air.

 

Mychal Rivera – OAK: Rivera’s first season in the NFL was a success, although he ended up just 25th in TE scoring for fantasy.  The Raiders have some depth at the position but nobody who is star caliber.  Expect Rivera to win a pass catching role for next season and improve on his 2013 numbers.

 

 

Worst Performers Relative to ADP

 

TE1’s

 

Jermichael Finley – GNB: Finley suffered a terrible neck injury in week seven which has put his football future very much in doubt.  Before getting hurt he was on pace to finish in the top five tight ends for fantasy.  Finley has said he won’t take any kind of discount in free agency despite the fact that nobody will know if he can be a productive player again until he plays.  Personally I wouldn’t draft Finley in 2014, let him show he can play a full season first.

 

Owen Daniels – HOU: Much like Finley, Daniels was looking like a top five tight end until it was revealed after his week five game that he had a broken fibula.  He didn’t suit up the rest of the season and with the Texans tight up against the cap his $6 million plus salary may cause him to be let go unless he agrees to re-negotiate.  At 31 years old Daniels probably still has a couple of good years left and should be a viable TE1 in 2014.

 

Kyle Rudolph – MIN: Rudolph suffered a broken foot late in week eight and never returned to the field.  With the Vikings pop gun offense Rudolph was likely never going to meet the expectations of his fantasy owners who drafted him as the 9th tight end on average.  With new offensive coordinator Norv Turner expected to improve the offense (how much depends on the QB situation) Rudolph should probably be in the same ADP range next season.

 

 

TE2’s

 

Zach Sudfeld – NWE: Sudfeld, and fantasy owners, were hypnotized by his preseason performances and the tight end situation in New England.  As the 17th TE selected overall for fantasy, Sudfeld played sparingly in New England as he appeared to be in way over his head once the games started for real.  He was waived after week four and was claimed by the NY Jets. Sudfeld played in 14 games overall but only caught 5 passes for 63 yards all year.  He’ll get another chance to impress in 2014 camp either in New York or elsewhere.  At this point I can’t project much fantasy value for him until he gets more experience.

 

Dwayne Allen – IND: Allen was injured in game one and ended up needing hip surgery.  He and fellow Colts tight end Coby Fleener were both drafted around 20th for tight ends.  I highly doubt any team will have two tight ends in the top twenty for fantasy so it was more a case of owners assuming one or the other would be the top target for QB Andrew Luck.  As it ended up Fleener finished 15th in fantasy for tight ends.  Allen is expected to miss part of the offseason program but should be ready for preseason games at the latest.  I wouldn’t draft either one in 2014 until we see how they are going to be used when both are healthy.

 

Fred Davis – WAS: Davis missed a few games with an ankle injury and was a healthy scratch for a few others, getting in 10 games total.  He played poorly when he got on the field and ended up with just 7 catches for 70 yards and one TD.  A soon to be free agent, Davis has reportedly been suspended six games for violating the substance abuse policy.  I don’t see there being many takers for Davis’ services once his suspension is up.

 


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