After the top 5 tight ends are off the board, this category is reminiscent of what the catcher category is in fantasy baseball. Almost a necessary evil; taking up one slot on your roster but hardly ever realizing massive fantasy points. We list several sleeper tight ends for those who want to squeeze every possible point out of the position
1. Delanie Walker-TE-Titans- If we told you that we could get you a player to produce 6-7 points a game at the tight end posiition and your in a league of 12 or more, wouldn’t you sign up for that right now? Well, you can with Delanie Walker. Even on an offensively challenged Titans team, Walker finished last season scoring the 12th-most fantasy points among tight ends with just under 600 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. And if you are in a league of 12 or less, Walker could serve as a decent fill-in during bye weeks.
2. Garrett Graham-TE-Texans- Owen Daniels owners really suffered last year as he remained sidelined through most of the season with a fractured fibula. However, it gave Graham a chance to impress and he did such a good job that the Texans ended up trading Daniels to the Ravens (where he’ll see his targets drop in favor of Dennis Pitta). Graham should improve on his numbers from last year which we forecast will end up somewhere around 700/7.
3. Zach Ertz-TE-Eagles- Actually it wasn’t until the end of last season that we became impressed with Ertz. We thought he had potential when he tallied 900 receiving yards and scored 6 touchdowns in his last year at Stanford, and saw signs of that talent when in the last five games with the Eagles a year ago, Ertz caught 15 passes for 195 yards and scored three times. Admittedly with Brent Celek to compete with plus playing in a Chip Kelly offense which is not tight end friendly, Ertz should be considered in deeper leagues only unless and until he we see more targets on a regular basis.
4. Austin Seferian-Jenkins-TE-Bucs- A true sleeper, Seferian-Jenkins who was the Buccaneers second round (sixth pick) in the NFL draft last May, was a pinball machine at the University of Washington last year lighting it up with 1,838 yards on 146 catches while scoring an unheard of 21 touchdowns. College ball is never the same as the NFL, but clearly the kids got the potential. Now all he has to do is compete for passes with Tim Wright and ex-Raiders/ex-Giant Brandon Myers. A tall task but worth the risk.
5. Tyler Eifert-TE-Bengals- A huge bust in his first year with the Bengals last season, the first round pick of Cincinnati in 2013 has plenty of room to grow especially as the Bengals try and infuse Eifert more into their offensive scheme. Otherwise what was the point of picking him in the first round? We believe there will be a big turnaround in Eifert’s production and a breakout year could be in the offing.