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Sleepers and Value Plays: Tight Ends
David Dorey
UPDATED: August 28, 2013
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Other Sleepers and Value Plays:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends

A sleeper is a player taken as a backup who ends up worthy of being a starter or at least far outplays the draft slot where you selected him. Below are players ranked by the current Average Draft Position (ADP) found on MyFantasyLeague.com considering all scoring systems as a general basis. I'm assuming a league of 12 teams where most would take two tight ends and start one each week. Therefore, the first 12 are drafted to be starters and the rest are considered roster backups.

Green Players are the values/sleepers I like while Red Players are the ones I do not value high enough to ever draft. If not red or green, the player is slotted pretty close to where I see him.

Average Draft positions taken from MyFantasyLeague.com using only real drafts conducted after August 25th

Starters - Value Plays

ADP Team Player Analysis
1 NOS Graham, Jimmy Probably most advantageous player to own in any position considering how much better he is than any one else.
2 NEP Gronkowski, Rob I just would not take Gronk - not at where I would need to see him. Seen way too many players start the season like him and it almost never ends up well. Almost never. Too pricey for the risk to me.
3 DAL Witten, Jason Getting older and his 110 catches last year came one year after only 79 in 2011 when everyone else was passing. Nice mixture of production and risk. Lowest risk guy after Graham.
4 SFO Davis, Vernon Upside for sure. I never make this pick because Davis wasn't that great with Kaepernick other than maybe three games and that was with Crabtree drawing attention. Davis back to being the #1 focus of the safety.
5 ATL Gonzalez, Tony Final year, probably not better than this but not much worse if at all.
6 GBP Finley, Jermichael Lots of upside here for Finley and in contract year and looks good. I would make this pick here.
7 MIN Rudolph, Kyle Was only 11th best TE last year when he caught 9 TDs but only 53 passes despite MIN having virtually no other receivers. Now Jennings and Patterson are there and you think Rudolph is really going to improve? Not on my team.
8 CAR Olsen, Greg Solid but unspectacular. This says you admit you have to start one and you admit you have no possible advantage but the pick won't kill you and you can stop thinking about TE.
9 STL Cook, Jared No hiding that I am very high on Cook. He is on most of my teams. Wait on a TE and get Cook and it is like getting a free pick earlier. Speed and already connecting with Bradford.
10 SDC Gates, Antonio I was higher on him but then the NFL disallowed the net he had covering his walker. Let someone else make this pick. Someone who played FF and stopped for a few years.
11 HOU Daniels, Owen Like Greg Olsen but three steps back. Hopkins won't make it likely Daniels gets any more than this.
12 CLE Cameron, Jordan Has been moving up this summer and deserves it. Love taking two upside guys like this later in the draft.

After the Starters are taken, look for sleepers and avoid bad values for your backup

ADP Team Player Analysis
13 DET Pettigrew, Brandon I think we all agree we like Pettigrew as a friend, not as a first round date.
14 NYG Myers, Brandon Not that high on him but I understand why some are. Manning has plenty of targets already.
15 CHI Bennett, Martellus This deep, I would take the gamble on Bennett. CHI defense still undefined under Trestman and they paid the bucks to bring Bennett in.
16 NEP Sudfeld, Zach He is on the hype bandwagon but if you can get him as a TE2, why not? Tremendous upside may never be realized but it is certainly there.
17 WAS Davis, Fred I gave up on Davis when it appeared that RGIII had as well. And then he got hurt.
18 CIN Gresham, Jermaine Not that he is benched or anything but the Bengals brought in Eifert to replace him,
19 CIN Eifert, Tyler Hard to imagine Gresham and Eifert going back-to-back in a fantasy draft. Eifert is there to be a receiver. I like the upside with Dalton who has to look away from AJ Green more.
20 IND Fleener, Coby Not sure I would do this. Minor upside with Stanford offense coming to town.
21 DEN Thomas, Julius I just don't see this. I mean he is cheap enough but Thomas+Welker+Decker alone probably doesn't make Manning think "where is my tight end!" that often.
22 PIT Miller, Heath Yeah, don't do hurt tight ends ever.
23 PHI Celek, Brent He may be better than this. Was written off with Zach Ertz drafted but he could have a role beyond blocking.
24 SEA Miller, Zach Just say no.

Undrafted - Best Value

Team Player Analysis
PHI Ertz, Zach Philly not going to throw a ton to the TE but I find him really intriguing. I will watch if not own.
BAL Dickson, Ed Why not, not like Flacco has a ton of options and he is used to throwing to a tight end.
CLE Jeff Cumberland Yeah, Kellen Winslow matters wink-wink. Cumberland replaces Dustin Keller and it is not like NY is crawling with receiving talent. Worth watching at least.

Other Sleepers and Value Plays:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends


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