Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Draft Prep: Gresham ready to break loose

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

In 2011, the Top 3 tight ends in standard leagues were Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez. They were not expected to finish that way when the season started.

2012 Draft Prep essentials
Fantasy News
Rankings | Top 200 | Player Profiles
CBSSports.com Draft Averages
Mock Drafts | Projections | Draft Index

Gronkowski was drafted at No. 100 overall in Round 9, Graham was drafted at No. 79 overall in Round 7 and Hernandez was drafted at No. 130 overall in Round 10. What does this mean for Fantasy owners? It shows you might be able to wait on a tight end in your draft and still get amazing production.

Now, we're not here to suggest you're going to find three tight ends as good as Gronkowski, Graham and Hernandez with late-round picks this year. That's impossible given how all three played last season, especially Gronkowski and Graham. But there are several tight ends ready to take the next step with their stats, and they could turn into tremendous value on Draft Day.

Three tight ends I target in every draft who have the potential to break out are Fred Davis, Brandon Pettigrew and Jermaine Gresham. Davis is being drafted at No. 89 overall in Round 8, Pettigrew is going at No. 96 overall in Round 9 and Gresham is at No. 108 overall in Round 10.

Of this trio, Gresham is the one I tend to look at the most because he has the highest ceiling. The prediction here is he will be the next breakout tight end.

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said he wants Gresham to play like Gronkowski. Those are lofty expectations, but Gresham certainly has the talent. When last season ended, Gruden watched film on Gronkowski with the hope to learn something on how to use Gresham and improve his game.

"This is all new to him," Gruden said to the Bengals official team website. "He's got to be able to see coverages as he's running downfield and get more comfortable in the offense because he's got a chance to be a great one. He's got all the tools. Gronkowski is a great, great, great football player as far as instinctive route running. How to set up receivers. Knowing if it's a safety or corner or a linebacker, getting into the holes. It's just not about being 6-5 and running fast. It's setting up guys, sticking them, getting them on their toes. Crossing face, reading coverages. Jermaine has unique abilities. He's a very good run blocker. He's a very good pass catcher. And he can run. He's got all the tools to be one of the great tight ends in football. He just has to get used to different looks and get a better feel for the passing game. And he's shown flashes."

Gresham has impressed everyone who watched him this offseason, including CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist Pete Prisco. In his camp tour of the Bengals, Prisco wrote to "look for a big year" from Gresham in 2012, and we agree.

Gresham told Prisco: "I need to excel in things so I can be in the top level tier (with) those guys at some point. I'm just not good enough right now. I need to pick up my level of game. I need to perfect everything in the craft of the tight end position. You want to be the best. I believe I can be that guy. It's more pride than anything. You just have to keep up with your peers."

We consider Gresham the No. 2 option in the passing game for the Bengals behind A.J. Green, and he has done a nice job scoring touchdowns in his first two years with 10. But we need Gresham to score 10 touchdowns this year if he's going to make the next step in his career.

He has been solid yet unspectacular in the other areas of his game with an average of 54 catches for 534 yards the first two years. But Gresham has 70-catch potential with the chance to approach 800 yards. Second-year quarterback Andy Dalton will rely on Gresham since the Bengals are lacking experience opposite Green.

Jerome Simpson is gone now, having signed in Minnesota, and the Bengals are looking for a No. 2 receiver out of Armon Binns, Brandon Tate, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. Sanu has plenty of potential, but Gresham will be No. 2 in targets for Dalton – or at least he should.

We're not expecting Gresham to approach the Gronkowski, Graham or Hernandez tier. But if you miss on those three guys along with Antonio Gates, it might be in your best interest to wait for someone like Gresham. The door is open for him to succeed, and we just hope he decides to walk through it.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Marcus Lattimore eager to start pro career
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:35 pm ET) 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is ready to start his proffesional career. After blowing out his knee in a gruesome injury in October of 2012 at South Carolina, Lattimore told The State on Sunday that his knee rehab is complete and that he's "ready to play."

Lattimore, who will attend the first day of the team's offseason workouts, will enter a crowded backfield with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James already backing up current starter Frank Gore. However, James has expressed his desire for a bigger role and could be dealt, opening the door for the No. 3 spot in the backfield.

"If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot," Lattimore said. "But I've just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I've got to show that."


Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jogging
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

 
 
 
Rankings