Kinda looks like when I eat a baked potato. Needs more chives though.
Levine Toilolo, or, as I often call him, Tin Foil Tofu, which sounds half-edible, is a 6’8″, 260-pound tight end. Which makes me think that his thighs are bigger than my head. While normally that would be enough to convince me to keep track of him in fantasy football this year, I feel like there should be other reasons. Not just food and thigh related, ya know? So let’s go over some superfluous reasons of why he is a sleeper for the upcoming 2014 season.
The Atlanta Falcons certainly have their share of weapons– Matt Ryan and his amazing ability to look bored at all times, Julio Jones and his mystifying ability to catch a football AND explode ankles, Jacquizz Rodgers just simply being named Jacquizz (ALL THE SEXUAL PUNS), and of course, there’s the irreplaceable Tony Gonzalez and, err, wait. Yeah. That last weapon there, he’s not really around anymore. One thing’s for sure though, he truly is irreplaceable, a true offensive-minded tight end. Blocking? Pfft, I take your blocking and drag it into the end zone. But with Gonzalez’s retirement, there is now a gap at the TE position that needs to be filled by someone. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the one to do it.
While it’s easy just to say, “well, Toilolo has to be the guy”, Mike Smith, head coach of the Falcons, laughs at your rational thoughts.
“”It’s definitely going to be a different style of offense… We talk all the time about having to have scorers and having assist men. The tight end position in the last five or six years has been filled by a guy that’s a scorer. I think the person that will take that role moving forward will be an assist man and there will be a different skill set.”
Okay, so we’ll have an assist man. Wait. Are you saying we’re going to have a John Stockton type of player here? That makes no sense…
“I think you’ll see more of a traditional Y-tight end; Tony was a hybrid, the first hybrid tight end… Last year we drafted Levine Toilolo and he’s more of a Y-tight end. Tony is a guy that’s had 80-plus catches on average for us, so there’s going to be a redistribution of who the ball is going to go to and we’ve got a couple of guys that we feel really good about at the wide receiver position… I think the role that the tight end is going from the scoring guy to the assist man or the set-up man.”
Okay, well, that certainly sounds good for the rest of the offense, and not so good for Toilolo’s prospects. Unless you’re a Y-man, I guess. Or it could just be coach speak for “Yeah, don’t expect this guy to be Gonzalez”, which would produce an overwhelming duh. So why am I still on this tofu-train, if you will? (And you should. It’s the world’s healthiest food, and can travel on the railroad…) There’s certainly something to be said about having a comfort level in terms of quarterbacks. In an offensive system built around the pass-attack and taking advantage of match-ups in the red zone (33 touchdowns inside the 20 yard line), I find it hard to believe that the tight end position will simply be ignored by Matt Ryan or the game planning.
Yes, the former 2013 4th round pick only played 18% of the offensive snaps, only hauled in 11-of-14 targets, only had 55 yards receiving, and only had two touchdowns. I’m not here to tell you that I’ve found a pro-bowler that everyone missed. All I’m saying is, he’s going to catch some balls, he’s going to get some touchdowns, and he’s in an offense that, if certain things go right, could allow his production to snowball. (Just like your mom.)
Right now, he’s a probably a TE3, but write his name down somewhere and keep an eye on him. I certainly have Tin Foil Tofu written down… or wait, am I just reading my grocery list?