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
Seahawks DT Jesse Williams to have kidney surgery Thursday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams is scheduled to have kidney surgery on Thursday, the team announced. 

This surgery will take place 10 days after he was diagnosed with Papillary Type 2 cancer. 

"He’s a battler all the way," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He’s been up against it, too. He’s fought some difficult fights, and he’s fighting another one - maybe the fight of a young man’s life.

"We’ll be there with him and hope to pull him through.”


Seahawks' Lemuel Jeanpierre with first team, not Patrick Lewis
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) The Seahawks worked in a new first-team center on Tuesday and it wasn't the one projected to fill Max Unger's vacant spot.

According to ESPN.com, Lemuel Jeanpierre worked with the first team during Tuesday's OTA practice. Patrick Lewis, who many projected to be the front-runner for the job, worked in as Jeanpierre's backup.

After practice, coach Pete Carroll said Jeanpierre earned the opportunity to begin OTAs as the first-team center.

Jeanpierre has been with the Seahawks since 2011 and Lewis joined the squad a year ago. Jeanpierre has 11 career starts and Lewis has four, all of which happened with Seattle in 2014.  


Falcons RB Devonta Freeman opens OTAs as starter
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) The Falcons opened OTAs with running back Devonta Freeman getting the nod with the first team, according to ESPN.com

Freeman is entering his second year in the NFL, though there is a lot of buzz surrounding rookie draft choice Tevin Coleman out of Indiana. Though Freeman is the technical starter for now, it should be an open competition between these two and Antone Smith this August. 


Chiefs OLB Justin Houston a no-show to OTAs
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston did not show up to Tuesday's organized team activity practice, according to the Kansas City Star

Houston is reportedly seeking a long-term deal and would prefer not to sign the franchise tender the Chiefs are offering. The Chiefs placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on Houston earlier this offseason. 

The Chiefs have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with the star outside linebacker. If they don't, teams could offer Houston deals with the Chiefs having the right to match. And if the Chiefs chose not to match, they would receive two first-round picks from the team signing Houston away. 

Houston totaled 22 sacks a year ago. Teammate Tamba Hali said that Houston has been working out and would like to practice with the Chiefs if it was possible. 

“Every two or three weeks, we talk,” Hali said. “He's working, he's working his tail off. Like any player, he wants to be here. But we know our league is a business, and we've got to allow that process to work itself out. He wants to be here. He's missing it.”


Titans RB Shonn Greene absent from OTAs
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Titans running back Shonn Greene did not attend Tuesday's OTA practice, according to The Tennessean

"Obviously we'd like to have him here," Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "But he's a veteran. He knows how to get himself prepared."

Greene told the Titans, Whisenhunt said, that he's unable to attend at the moment because he is the caretaker of a child. Greene ran for 392 yards and two touchdowns during the 2014 season. 


Eagles G Evan Mathis doesn't show up to OTAs
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) For the second consecutive season, Eagles guard Evan Mathis was a no-show to OTAs, according to ESPN.com. 

Mathis has received permission to seek a trade though nothing has materialized. After failing to report to OTAs a year ago, Mathis showed up to the Eagles facility on time. 

Mathis is entering his 11th NFL season and fifth with the Eagles. 


Browns RB Isaiah Crowell opens OTAs as starter
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Isaiah Crowell opened Tuesday's OTA practice as the Browns' starting running back, according to ESPNCleveland.com. 

Crowell, an undrafted free-agent a year ago, and Terrance West split first-team reps. Crowell totaled 607 yards and eight touchdowns while West ran for 673 yards and four. Regardless of who the starter is, the Browns are likely to use a rotation at running back. 


Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali underwent minor knee procedure
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali said he had a minor procedure performed on his knee this offseason, according to the Kansas City Star

Hali said the procedure was done to clean out some loose cartilage. 

It's not anything that'e expected to keep Hali off of the field. A year ago, Hali recorded 59 tackles and six sacks. 


Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has yet to start throwing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Raiders quarterback Derek Carr did not participate in any passing drills during Tuesday's OTA practice, according to the Bay Area News Group. 

Carr has an injured right ring finger that he's not contemplating surgery for. He was able to take snaps and make pitches during practice. Though he's missing the reps now, Carr is expected to be back by the start of training camp. 


Seahawks CB Richard Sherman practices fully on Tuesday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman did not have any limitations during Tuesday's OTA practice. 

According to the Seattle Times, Sherman, who suffered an elbow injury during this past postseason, was able to practice fully

There was a chance Sherman would need Tommy John surgery, though he decided to let the injury heal on its own. In 2014, Sherman recorded 57 tackles and four interceptions. 


 
 
 
Rankings