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The free agency period and NFL draft has come and gone, rookies are being signed, and teams are actually taking the field. All this means is that not only are we closer to baseball season being over (thank you!), but it’s time for fantasy football (it’s a year-round thing for some of us. Shhhhh, please don’t tell my wife…)

The rankings are starting to tumble out here at Razzball, and the most recent was the tight end position (Non-PPR Rankings, PPR Rankings). The first thing I did with the newly released rankings was start digging for players that I feel are being ranked lower than they should be. I know it’s nothing new, but I am all about finding those draft day bargains. I want to try and get maximum value for each one of my draft selections. With all that being said, I am going to shine some light on three players that will bring much more in return compared to their current rank. I will be focusing on the PPR ranks and 12-team leagues, being that is what the Razzball Commentary Leagues (RCL) will be using for scoring.

The first player that jumps out is Martellus Bennett. And I want to focus on the 10 games that he was catching passes from Jay Cutler. In these 10 games, he (Bennett) posted 4.7 catches, 54.9 yards with 0.3 touchdowns and a healthy 6.6 targets. Not only are those top 10 numbers, but a key stat to focus on is the targets. He would have been the sixth most targeted player at his position. Right now, Jay has him as the 16th ranked tight end. If I miss out on a Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas (I really like both of them) with a top-36 pick, I am coming around to the idea of holding off on the group of Vernon Davis, Greg Olsen, Dennis Pitta, Jordan Reed and Jason Witten. Instead, I will use that draft pick on a running back or wide receiver and pick up the “Black Unicorn” once I get into the double digit rounds of my draft.

The next player is Garret Graham. The Houston Texans was forced to insert him (Graham) as the primary tight end with the injury to Owen Daniels (week 5). From weeks 6-14 (did not play final three weeks), he produced 4.3 catches, for 50.5 yards, with .3 touchdowns and 8.4 targets per game. Just like the player above him (Bennett), he was giving us top 10 numbers and was a major part of the passing game. In fact, he would have been the second most targeted tight end in the NFL. Right now, Jay has him as the 24th tight end. I do have to caution that I do not expect him to see that many targets. That being said, he will be in an offense that will use it’s tight ends, so I can see him getting around six targets (top-12) a game. I like him as a solid TE2 option with the upside to represent more at this position.

This final player is Marcedes Lewis, and I know, I know, he’s part of the Jacksonville Jaguars prolific passing attack (wink-wink). But, before you stop reading, I want to bring to your attention his final eight games for this last year. In this stretch of games, the services of Justin Blackmon were not available (due to injury), so Lewis was a bigger factor in the passing game. He did not let this opportunity go to waste, and had a stat line of 2.9 catches, 40.3 yards, 0.5 touchdowns with 5.1 targets. He had one touchdown in half of the games and was targeted at least six times in five of the games. Right now, Jay has him ranked as the 28th tight end. Not only did he produce top 12 numbers for his position with Blackmon not on the field, but the Jags are not expecting to have him (Blackmon) as an option this year. I expect to get quality TE2 numbers with room for more and I can 100% guarantee, he will not cost you a draft pick.

Alright, I have just given you three players that are being overlooked by Jay, but I believe that’s a mistake. They have showed that they can produce, whether it is with a certain quarterback, getting the additional snaps or the subtraction of another option on the outside. I hope that you don’t make that mistake and instead take advantage of the value each one of them can represent on draft day.

As always any comments, other players that you feel are being overlooked, or just want to talk fantasy football are weclomed. You can hit me up in the comment section or on twitter (@FwDorD)

From Around The Web

  1. Greg says:
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    It’s either Garrett Graham or Ryan Griffin that will be “move” TE in the HOU offense. Bill O’brien is a Belichick disciple so we will line them both up. Graham had some drops down the stretch so I drafted Griffin to cover myself. This is more like a camp battle to watch. One of the Houston TEs will be top 12, I’m just not ready to say which one yet.

    Marcedes Lewis has been a chronic underperformer in fantasy. Granted, it may change w. a legit QB, but I’m just not a believer. I have burned by him on one too many bye weeks over the years.

    Mychel Rivera is another TE to look for. He isn’t much of a blocker but he has decent hands. With Schaub “Being a check down” type QB (since being shell-shocked last year) the TE in Oakland also has value. However, Rivera has some competition at that position, so I’m also in the wait and see mode.

    • Fantasy with Dase or Days

      Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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      @Greg: I first want to say thanks for taking the time to read my post!

      I don’t see any reason to have to wait on Graham? He is the “move” TE. The camp competition will be between Griffin and rookie C.J. Fiedorowicz (rookie) for snaps as the blocking tight end.

      Hahaha. I can bet all players would love to have a legit quarterback as the signal caller. That is not happening anytime with the Jags. He is going to have Chad Henne as the quarterback and he was the one throwing him the football last year (during this stretch). but it comes down to cost (plus) opportunity and Lewis has both going for him.

      It’s interesting that you bring up Rivera, in his final nine games, he had 2.9 catches, 29.9 yards with .3 touchdowns on 4.2 targets. Those come out to around top 20 value at this position. Plus, coach Dennis Allen said he is a “foundation piece”. He showed that he can be usable in say a tight end by waiver wire (TEBWW) approach.

  2. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    Rivera looked good down the stretch. Graham is more ho-hum. I have both in a dynasty league. I also have Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates

    • Fantasy with Dase or Days

      Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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      @Wallpaper Paterson: Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read the post!

  3. One Man Crusade says:
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    Nice article. You win championships by drafting guys that outperform their positions. What are your thoughts on Kyle Rudolph? I think he will get some sleeper hype because of the Turner offense, but I also think because it is the Vikings, people will not buy in as much as they did on Jordan Cameron last year. I also ask because I am a Vikes fan and do not want to succumb to homerism.

    It’s a keeper league and I anticipate Graham, Gronk, Davis, Thomas and Cameron getting kept. I am trying to build a list of TE to target. I do not want to waste an early round pick on the likes of Witten, Reed or Olsen.

    • Fantasy with Dase or Days

      Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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      @One Man Crusade: I am glad that you enjoyed the post:) I want to thank you for taking the time to read it.

      It was only half a year for Rudolph but he finished with 3.8 catches, 39.1 yards and .4 touchdowns with 5.8 targets per game. Which is right around top 12 in both PPR and non PPR formats.

      Hahaha. That darn being on your favorite team can always be a hard thing to shake. I am not as high on Rudolph as Jay is, people in the comments or what I am seeing in drafts at the moment. I would put Rudolph in the group with Bennett, Clay, Ertz, Gates & Walker off top of my head. These are all guys that can provide at least top 12 value. I can see and already have seen Ertz and Rudolph going with the likes of Olsen, Pitta Reed and Witten. So, I would cross them off my list and I would make your targets Bennett (see post) Gates (been a TE1 last 7 years) and Walker (Walker scored a TD in half his games with Locker). They are being vastly underrated and will get you that top 12 finish.

      I hope this will help you and I would say you will be in good shape to load up on running backs and wide receivers and then grab one or two of these guys and be just as well off.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @One Man Crusade: I am in a dynasty league. The rookie draft took place in May. I am not slated to play in any other leagues and so I haven’t been thinking about rankings at all. It is pretty cool, actually. I haven’t felt free like this since 1999 (the last year before I played fantasy football). I will try to help anyway. I would pass on Rudolph and would try to get Ertz, Eifert, or Ebron.

  4. One Man Crusade says:
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I have a feeling I can take a high upside guy like Ebron and hedge with someone solid like Bennett in the late rounds. I also appreciate the target stats. Targets are such a huge driver, and for some reason tend to not get the attention carries do for running backs.

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