|Rob Housler - 2013 Sleeper?||Tweet|
|Written by Steve Braun|
|Sunday, 30 December 2012 10:22|
Congratulations to all of those who won their fantasy championships. For those of you in the rare leagues that play all the way to week 17, good luck in your finals. In keeper and dynasty leagues now’s as good a time as any to start looking to the future. It’s a good idea to compile information and form opinions based on what is happened this season while it’s still fresh in our minds. Too often the news becomes distorted over the off season as slow news cycles cause small tidbits of information, good or bad, to get overblown.
Rob Housler plays tight end for the Arizona Cardinals. The 24 years old stands 6-5, weighs 250 lbs. and ran a 4.46 forty at the 2011 NFL Combine. The Texas born Housler played wide receiver in high school but became a tight end upon arriving at Florida Atlantic. He only started 18 games in his four year college career, as he was used sparingly until his junior year. Surprisingly after that season he was a voluntary redshirt, in order to allow other senior tight ends to play. When he returned as a senior in 2010 he started all twelve games for the Owls. Here are his college stats:
With his underwhelming college stats and coming from a college with no history of providing NFL caliber talent, Housler was not on many scouts’ radar going into the 2011 scouting combine. He had put on about 20 pounds from his college days and posted the fastest forty time among all tight ends in attendance. Housler excelled in the drills, wowing scouts with his surprising agility and great hands. Even still, he was the seventh ranked tight end going into the 2011 draft and was expected to go somewhere in the fifth round. Surprisingly, the Arizona Cardinals took him early in the third round. They were in need of a tight end for sure, and in fact after drafting Housler they signed veteran Todd Heap later in July to further shore up the position. Having to share the TE duties with Heap and Jeff King, Housler’s rookie season was uneventful. He played in 12 of the Card’s 16 games but did nothing of note. Arizona finished 8-8 with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton splitting the QB duties. Neither seemed to favor the tight end in their respective passing games therefore none of the Cards’ three tight ends were fantasy worthy. Arizona started hot in 2012 going 4-0 before Kolb was injured and the season went completely off the rails. There is not much to say about the performance of the tight ends as the quarterback play after Kolb went down with injury has been abysmal. Neither Skelton nor Lindley has performed anything near NFL caliber.
If we were to evaluate any Cardinals offensive players based on their 2012 stats then even Larry Fitzgerald would be a recommended drop for fantasy purposes. So we need to evaluate, especially a young player like Housler, based on his game tapes, scouting reports and what we’ve seen with our own eyes. Admittedly I have not watched many Cardinal games but I have seen highlights and watched tapes and I certainly like what I’ve seen. Housler has the size and the physical tools to be a very successful tight end in the NFL. When looking at tight end scouting reports these days we have to be leery of the Gronk factor. Every incoming tight end with a similar build and/or similar college stats is being touted in some circles as the next Gronkowski. I’ve seen Housler being listed as a potential sleeper for 2013 and in each case Gronkowski is mentioned in comparisons. If Housler gets traded to the Patriots, or Brady somehow ends up in the desert, then I think the comparisons are more valid. So far Housler has not done anything at the NFL level to suggest he will ever become Gronk 2.0.
Housler’s outlook for 2013 and further into the future will be more tied to who his quarterback is and what type of offense he’s playing in. Unfortunately it is very unclear what either will be in Arizona next season. Current coach Ken Wisenhunt is rumored to be on the chopping block at season’s end, but that can be said about many coaches with losing records. His future will likely be determined by how much blame the organization puts on his shoulder’s for this year’s debacle. Kolb is rumored to be ushered out by the organization as he is owed no guaranteed money and has only played roughly half the team’s games since he arrived. Skelton and Lindley are both late round draft picks considered to be developmental projects and early returns on both are not favorable. With no clear indication of who Housler’s coach and QB will be, or what offensive scheme will be in place next season it is hard to project what will become of Housler in 2013 and beyond. The good news for Housler is that Todd Heap was recently waived, leaving only Jeff King as a viable alternative at tight end. King’s forte is more blocking than pass catching so it would appear that barring a trade, free agent signing or draft pick of a tight end, Housler will the primary tight end on the passing game.
I really like Housler’s chances at success in the NFL despite the current mess in Arizona. I think his upside in 2013 is as a borderline TE1 and further down the road I believe he will be a solid TE1 for fantasy. In a keeper league I wouldn’t hold onto him at the end of this year unless you have a very poor team or a lot of keeper spots. But for dynasty I think he’s an interesting Buy or Hold proposition, he looks to have a bright future ahead of him, especially if Arizona can get their act together.
Re-Draft Playoff Update: It was a close match and came down to the Sunday night game but I won my one-year league title last weekend. I needed a little luck as Hakeem Nicks put up a zero and Aaron Hernandez almost did as well. Luckily my opponent had Arian Foster who gained less than a point. As mentioned last week I had a tough call to make at QB and ended up making the wrong decision, starting Matt Schaub instead of Colin Kaepernick. But my opponent also left points on his bench, starting Michael Crabtree instead of Jeremy Maclin. I chose not to start Denario Alexander and instead went with TY Hilton which cost me as well. Luckily my decision to pick up and start the Charger’s defense paid off to the tune of 22 points.
Hopefully knowing there’s plenty of luck involved in fantasy football should help those of you who weren’t as fortunate as I was this season. Then again I know I would have beaten myself up a bit for the decisions I made if it had cost me the title. Even so, I hope everybody can relax and enjoy the holiday season and not lay awake too many nights thinking ‘if only I started…’
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 23:41|