Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Draft Prep: Tight end Fantasy trends

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

No position has made a bigger leap in terms of Fantasy points or Fantasy prominence than the tight ends over the last nine years.

In that time, tight end points have almost doubled, from 2,081 in 2003 all the way to a record 3,961 last year. That is 88.2 percent growth from the tight ends, which is even more amazing when you consider that quarterbacks (30.7 percent) grew at the second fastest rate at 88.2 percent! So how did we get to that massive jump in tight end scoring? Let's take a look.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Football.

Back in 2003, the position was dominated by Tony Gonzalez. He was the only "modern" tight end in a prominent role at the time as both Antonio Gates and Jason Witten were just beginning their careers. That year, Gonzo was also the only tight end to top 100 Fantasy points and paced the way with 151. In fact, only Gonzalez and Todd Heap (who would have finished 12th last year) even managed to break the 80-point barrier that season.

Fast forward to 2011, and Gonzo's 151 Fantasy points would have placed third behind only the record setting seasons of Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. While the 2003 Gonzo was elite for any era, the depth at the tight end spot has exploded. Last year there were 11 different tight ends who scored more than 100 Fantasy points and a total of 19 tight ends who produced at least 80 points. In fact, those 19 tight ends actually outscored every single tight end combined from 2003 by the final tally of 2,208 points to 2,081.

Offenses are changing and tight ends are now valuable weapons in the passing game as opposed to serving as just an extra offensive linemen who can catch the ball every now and then. In 2003, Gonzalez was the only tight end who caught more than 60 passes, topped 700 yards receiving or scored at least six touchdowns. The only one! Last year, 11 tight ends topped 60 receptions, 14 bested 700 yards receiving and 11 scored at least six touchdowns. Even when compared to 2008, last year's numbers are ridiculous. In 2008, there were six tight ends with at least 60 catches, seven over 700 yards and six found the end zone a half dozen times. There has been a massive explosion of productivity across the board at the position and I don't think it will slow down anytime soon.

Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (three of the best four tight ends last year) are ushering in an era of unprecedented tight end involvement and production as pure pass catchers. Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, Jared Cook, Kyle Rudolph, Brandon Pettigrew and Jermaine Gresham are just some of the new blood at the spot who will make their way into the Top 12 in the near future.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

In reality, of the elite tight ends, only Antonio Gates, Jason Witten and the ageless Gonzalez can even be considered to be on the backside of their careers. We could be headed towards a year with 20 tight ends scoring more than 100 points in the very near future. So what does that mean for you on Draft Day? Let's take a look at the point spread at the position and come up with the best strategy for you.

In 2003, Gonzo outscored the 12th-ranked Fantasy tight end by 94 points, 151 to 57. However, if you were to look at the spread between the No. 3 tight end and the No. 12 tight end, the spread was a meager 16 points, or one per week. Last year, Gronk outscored Fred Davis by a ridiculous 145 points in his record setting season, but that will not happen again. Looking at the spread from No. 3 to No. 12 saw just a 40-point gap between Aaron Hernandez and Davis (who only played 12 games). From Hernandez to the 10th-ranked tight end, Dustin Keller, was just a 26 point gap or less than two points per week. Graham and Gronk were the outliers last year, but for the most part the top tight ends were a tightly bunched and very productive group across the board.

Look for Graham and Gronk to come back to the field this year and I expect another season of tightly bunched, yet explosive tight end production. Given that this has been a very consistent position in terms of the draft and the Top 12 carry over during the tight end explosion, you can have many options on Draft Day.

In each of the last two years, eight of the first 12 tight ends drafted have finished in the Top 12. That means there is some room for the depth to sneak in near the bottom of the Top 12, but for the most part, the studs are the studs. Of last year's Top 12, only Jimmy Graham, Jermichael Finley and Fred Davis made their first appearance, as the other nine tight ends had all shown up in the Top 12 a minimum of two times in the last three years. In fact, eight of the Top 12 tight ends from 2010 repeated again in 2011, which has now been the case in three of the last four years. You know who to target on Draft Day and then you can also mine the uspide at the position from the No. 12 tight end all the way through the No. 18 tight end to find those hidden gems.

So how should we attack the tight ends in our drafts?

I prefer that you end up with Graham, Gronk, Gates, Hernandez, Witten, Vernon Davis, Finley or Fred Davis, who are the elite eight at the position. Even if you do not, you still have plenty of great options and outside of Graham and perhaps Gronk, it will cost you less in total points to miss at tight end then it will anywhere else. In addition to those eight you have Brent Celek, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Gonzalez, Owen Daniels, Keller, Jacob Tamme, Coby Fleener, Jared Cook, Jermaine Gresham and Greg Olsen all with legitimate Top 10 potential. That's 18 tight ends right there, not to mention sleepers like Rudolph and veterans like Dallas Clark, who are trying to produce like the big boys.

If you stay in the elite eight, I think the best value lies with Gates through Davis, who can be had 3-5 rounds after Graham and Gronk. If you wait at tight end to load up at quarterback, running back or receiver, you still can put together an excellent tight end tandem with upside after the 10th round. Any way you shake it, you should get very good production from this position at a cost effective price on Draft Day.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Nathan at @nathanzegura .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney lands on PUP list
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7:28 pm ET) Texans injury-plagued outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney hoped for availability to start training camp, but that will not happen. He has been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Clowney, however, is expected to return by the end of August, per NFL.com. His placement on the PUP list will allow the team to hold him back for the first six weeks of the regular season if his surgically repaired knee is not ready.

He can be activated at any point during training camp.


Eagles release RB Matthew Tucker
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7:18 pm ET) The Eagles have waived running back Matthew Tucker with a non-football injury, per ESPN.

Tucker spent the last two seasons with the team, but mostly on the practice squad. He did earn playing time in two games as a rookie in 2013, though with no rushing attempts.


Colts LB Robert Mathis still not cleared for on-field activities
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, who missed the 2014 season due to a torn Achilles, has yet to be cleared for on-field activities, owner Jim Irsay told the Indianapolis Star on Monday.

"The good news is Robert is trending in the right direction," Irsay said. "We're all very excited and pleased with the progress that he's making. The timetable is unknown. Will it be October 15? Will it be September 15? I really, at this point, no one knows.

"We just want to make sure that he's ready-ready when it's time to go. He can come in, have a couple of years with us at this point in his career, and be the difference-maker he was. We're really excited about the prospect. Really, it's only been good news."


Raiders LB Sio Moore begins training camp on PUP list
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:24 pm ET) The Raiders placed linebacker Sio Moore on the PUP list Monday. The third-year linebacker was placed on IR late last season due to a hip injury.

He can return to practice when he passes a physical examination.


Buccaneers re-sign DL Da'Quan Bowers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:20 pm ET) The Buccaneers re-signed defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers on Monday. Bowers had been an unrestricted free agent since March.

Bowers has spent his entire career with the Bucs since being selected in the second round of the 2011 draft. He has totaled 66 tackles and seven sacks in 50 NFL games.


Report: Jonathan Martin (back) retiring from football
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(3:08 pm ET) Former Dolphins and 49ers offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who played a major role in Miami's bullying scandal, is retiring from the NFL due to a back issue that will require surgery, a source told NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport. 

Martin was waived by the 49ers in March and picked up by the Panthers; however, the back injury would have kept him out of action for the entire season, and Martin decided to call it quits.

Martin left the Dolphins during the 2013 season citing locker room issues that mainly included bullying by teammate Richie Incognito. He was traded to the 49ers, where he was reunited with his former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, starting nine games with the team. 


Browns coach Pettine: Josh McCown the 'likely' QB starter
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(2:55 pm ET) Browns coach Mike Pettine, during a session with local reporters on the verge of the team's training camp, reiterated that veteran Josh McCown is the likely starter at quarterback, with Johnny Manziel entrenched in the No. 2 spot, per the Akron Beacon Journal

Pettine added that while he couldn't guarantee McCown would start in the season opener against the Jets, that the experienced signal-caller is firmly the team's top choice at the position heading into camp. 


Redskins QB Colt McCoy confident he can still start in NFL
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(1:28 pm ET) Heading into training camp, Colt McCoy remains confident that he can be a starter in the NFL but also realizes the Redskins' QB role belongs to Robert Griffin III, per The Washington Post

McCoy, who signed a one-year deal with Washington after starting one game last season, said he decided to return to the Redskins based on the coaching staff and not his chances to play this year. Even though Griffin is the incumbent, McCoy believes he could step in and contribute.

"I don't think I would be continuing to play if I didn't believe in my heart that I could start every week in this league," he said.


Saints LB Junior Galette passes physical, will be released
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:40 am ET) Saints linebacker Junior Galette, who was informed of his release by the team Friday after his January arrest for domestic violence and his role in a video where he apparently was shown striking a woman with a belt during a brawl, passed his final team physical, setting the official stage for his release Monday, per The Times-Picayune.

The physical was necessary because Galette missed time during OTAs and all of minicamp with a pectoral injury, which Galette downplayed. Galette will not pass through waivers and will be free to sign with any team. 


Steelers rookie CB Senquez Golson suffering from shoulder pain
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/26/2015) Steelers rookie cornerback Senquez Golson, a second-round pick, is experiencing pain in his left shoulder that has landed him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

"We finally were just kind of like, 'Shut it down,' and figure out what we were going to do," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Just taking everything cautious right now. I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but just playing it day by day."


 
 
 
Rankings