Razzball Nation! The 2012 Fantasy Season is approaching! It’s great to be back and never too early to start thinking about how to field your best squad.
What better way to start planning for your upcoming drafts than to think about sleepers. And just like your friendly proctologist, I’m going to start with the Tight End.
Back in the day, it used to be, “Tight End, who gives a Fells?” Then the position started going bonkers whencould play on both feet and caused more carnage slam-dunking than .
Entering 2011, the position had come full circle and died down yet again. Gates was the prettiest girl of the bunch, but they all kinda blended together into one of those not-quite-ugliest but definitely not-one-of–the-hotter sororities. Just have enough beers and you’ll take when you can get. Then arose the power of the Gronk! You like Gronk! Gronk no take ugly sorority girl he take porn star!
With 2012 comes the year of the highly drafted #1 stud. Gronkowski is currently getting drafted in the early second round according to Mock Draft Central, an ADP that I see rising and rising through more and more mock drafts. Then there’s also Jimmy Graham going in the late second round. Now, I don’t have a problem with either of those selections. I think both will end up right around there in value, but I don’t think I’d ever get my Tight End that early. There are just too many other skill players I’d want to draft.
After those two, it goes Gates, Witten, Hernandez, Finley, Davis, then Gonzalez, all taken rounds 5-9. That’s 8 TEs taken before round 10, and if you’re in a 10-team league, TEs fly off the shelf like that Van Halen song: “Everybody wants some! You want some too!”
But I’m holding out. Who am I holding out for? Mr., who is flying so under-the-radar that you can wait until one of your final rounds to nab. According to Mock Draft Central, Tamme is so undrafted he’s not even taken in the top 18 TEs and falls out of their reports and out of the top 196. Where’s the love?
It’s pretty easy to forget just how dominant Tamme was in 2010. Afterwent down on the IR, Tamme put together a line of 67 catches for 631 yards for 4 . Oh wait, that was in 10 games! Sure, people argued, “he’s only a product of the system,” and “he was just a lucky pickup on the wire for teams down the stretch.” Yada, yada. Tamme proved he was a quality Tight End when he got his shot. But last year, with Clark returning and spending too much time with his head out of car windows, Tamme became a bigger afterthought than Larry Johnson. He snagged only 19 catches all season while searching for playing time and an actual quarterback.
Then in the offseason, Tamme signed with the Broncos on a three-year deal following the signing of Peyton Manning. Manning has recently said the additions of former teammates Tamme and free agent Brandon Stokley have eased his transition, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Peyton had a hand in bringing Tamme in. Even though the Broncos have also brought inwho has flashed some skills in Houston, I think Tamme is going to see a lot of work in the passing game. First, consider Manning’s two wide receiver options: Demaryius Thomas and aren’t exactly the class of the league. I think Decker has the bigger year, but that’s just a gut call and of no consequence to what I expect from Tamme. Second, consider Manning’s limitations with both a probable limitation of arm strength and playing outdoors at Mile High vs. playing the majority of his career indoors. I don’t think it’d surprise anyone to see a lot of check downs and a more West Coast-style of passing offense rather than the more aerial approach the Colts utilized in Manning’s heyday.
The only real concern I have with Tamme is John Fox has never fully incorporatedin his passing game. I’m a Panthers fan and watched almost every play in the John Fox era and if it’s not a run play it’s probably not a pass to the Tight End. However, I think Manning’s input and whatever will cater to his capabilities will supersede Fox’s offensive mantra. Don’t forget, Tamme’s huge 10 weeks in 2010 was the last time Peyton Manning was on the field, so his rapport with Tamme should still be there.
Especially in PPR leagues, I think Tamme is going to be a beast and a top-7 TE. With a major downgrade in WRs from what he was working with in Indy, I expect Manning to look for Tamme early and often. And with such a discount in price, why not load up on other position players and snag Tamme late? That’s going to be my plan.
2012 Projection: 79 Catches 819 Yards 8 TDs