Sleeper Quarterbacks | Sleeper Running Backs | Sleeper Wide Receivers | Sleeper Tight Ends
There are only about a dozen very attractive tight ends so any of the backups are probably going to remain just a bye week filler. But using the average draft results as of 8/26/10 at MyFantasyLeague.com, below are the tight ends that are being drafted from #9 to #24.
Here is my brief take on those 15 tight ends with the players I am "hot" on in yellow and the ones I am "cool" on in blue. The yellow can be considered sleepers of sorts though the farther down you go, the less likely they are to become a starter for your team. Fantasy football drafting is not just about statistics and projections. It is an art and I, like each of you, simply have gut feelings and risk assessments outside the numbers that matter a great deal when I draft.
||Seems like whoever gets Winslow gets a good deal but it won't be me. He was generally good last year with 77-884 and 5 scores in TB but he comes off his SIXTH knee surgery and probably is not going to play at all in the preseason. One more punch on his surgery card and he'll be eligible for a free knee scope and a medium yogurt with two toppings. Seems like he's spending his entire career on the verge of ending it.
||Miller already had 805 yards on 66 receptions and three scores while playing in an offense that had no quarterback last year. Imagine what might happen with Jason Campbell coming in. Oakland has questionable wideouts (kind word) and Campbell merely completed 126 passes for 850 yards and 11 touchdowns to his tight ends in Washington last season. This is a match made in heaven - Oakland has no receivers besides Miller. If you wait on a tight end, and I probably do not blame you this year, get Miller.
||Seriously, I should be warmer on Cooley and wouldn't blame anyone if they were. This year there are 12 decent tight ends. I am not convinced there are 13 but there are 12. Cooley has already established some chemistry with Donovan McNabb and there was a reason why Jason Campbell loved to throw to his tight ends. Cooley's ankle landed him on IR last year but is healed. I just didn't like how well Fred Davis stepped in and performed. As an 11th overall tight end? Cooley is probably a steal.
||Look at this. 12th guy being drafted for tight ends had 56-566 and 11 touchdowns last year! And with an injury to Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin secluded in a dark, silent room the Vikes are going to need Shiancoe to be an even bigger part of the offense. Remember back when there were maybe three tight ends and then nothing? Now #12 is playing like the old #1 did.
||A lot of people are high on Miller because Santonio Holmes is gone and apparently Hines Ward will remain on the outside and yield the middle of the field more to Miller who already accounted for 76-789 and six scores last year. That might happen and Miller as a backup tight end is probably a no-brainer. I just worry about Byron Leftwich for a month and then Ben Roethlisberger showing up right when the schedule gets very tough. As a backup though, maybe you couldn't do any better than Miller.
||Carlson is a middle of the road kind of guy. He had a very respectable 51-574 and seven scores last year and also the year before. And probably this year too. For some reason he went on a hot streak in 2009 with a score in each of the final four games to make his stats look better because he only had five scores in 2008. Problem with Carlson is that about half his games are going to be something like 3-28 and those are the ones when you start him.
||No need to belabor the history of Mike Martz tight ends. The same OC who promised to make use of Vernon Davis and never did. Apparently Davis was being overlooked. Now it will be Olsen.
||His stock falls to me because Mark Sanchez is going to be better this year and throw to his tight end less. And Sanchez has Santonio Holmes and Tomlinson to help as receivers. Seems optimistic to expect his 45-522 and two scores to increase. Seems realistic to see a minor decline.
Ah yes, the eight-year veteran who has never experienced the rush of a full 16 game season. His mediocrity doesn't even include the occasional big game anymore. Shockey is like owning some antique that one year was worth at lot at auction (2005) but now is really just an ugly vase that your aunt never really wanted anyway. Look, take the $10 for the vase and buy some chili cheese nachos at 7-11 because those things are surprisingly delicious. I may not have been sober then and I don't actually remember paying for them but they were very, very tasty. Unlike looking at Shockey on my roster for a whole season.
||I hate this. Because the Bengals haven't thrown to their tight ends much in years and years. They drafted Chase Coffman and he immediately went down with injury. Now they drafted the #1 tight end last April and get this - throwing to him in preseason games. On the plus side, Cedric Benson gets more tickets from park rangers than pass receptions. Then again, on every pass play Carson Palmer has to think #85, the lippy Owens guy, that short rookie dude from Texas and then, oh yes, my new tight end Jermaine Gresham. Seems like a stretch but Gresham really is a big receiving talent. At the 18th overall spot, sure. I'll take the chance. In a dynasty league even earlier.
||Shades of Shockey. Todd Heap also peaked in 2005 when Kyle Boller literally threw every pass to Heap or Derrick Mason. Since then it has been a whole lot of "meh" going on. Heap has turned 30 and the Ravens spent a second and fourth round pick on tight ends. Not a ringing endorsement for Heap. Bringing in Anquan Boldin is just another reason to slide on past.
||Boss is one of those guys that people flocked to when Shockey left and I never understood why. Still don't. Boss had 42-567 and five scores last year and that has to be his ceiling because the rest of the receivers are young, improving and way better than Boss could ever be. He has way too many games with 40 or less yards and no scores. He has no upside. He is a decent blocker and that matters.
||I was a little higher on Hernandez until I saw fellow rookie Gronkowski catch three passes for 66 yards and score twice against the Rams in preseason game #3. But Hernandez has been working out with the first team and was heavily targeted in the first two games. He may not be a big yardage guy but Hernandez could become the goal line tight end this year.
||Scheffler seems like a sleeper type at first glance in an improving Lions offense led by Matthew Stafford. But Brandon Pettigrew is back after missing the final five weeks of his rookie year because of his knee injury. The Lions also added Nate Burleson so Scheffler probably not going to be a key component here.
||Have to believe the Redskins are going to use a lot of two tight end sets because you could argue that is where their two best receivers are. What's not to like about a guy who came in week nine when Cooley was gone for the year and reeled off a total of 48 catches for 509 yards and six scores? In the final seven weeks. Newsflash - the Redskins wideouts COMBINED for only six touchdowns all year. Davis did that by himself in seven weeks as a substitute tight end. This deep - dang right I want Davis. You should too.
||Okay, so week two of the preseason had Fasano leading the team with two catches for 66 yards and two scores. Woo-hoo! All of last year he only had 339 yards and two scores. And now the Dolphins have Brandon Marshall? Yeah, whatever. You really waited to cover a bye week if you are relying on Fasano.