2015 Fantasy Football: Tight End Sleepers
When looking at the tight end group I noticed that there is not a whole lot in the pantry to choose from. Unless you want to make a high selection on a Gronkowski or Graham, we will need to start developing our sleeper list, which will be even more necessary when we are facing our backup selection. There are five players that I targeted which could assist in making your decisions easier. I will be using FantasyPros PPR ranking list. All tight ends are ranked outside the top 10 at the position as of the writing of this article.
2014 season totals: 34 targets with 24 receptions for 231 yards and two touchdowns
Career totals: 48 games played 212 targets for 133 receptions and 1286 yards with 17 touchdowns
Rudolph has the catch radius and ability to get it going down the field and in the end zone. We know about his difficulties, they come in the name of a foot fracture, knee sprain, ankle sprain, hamstring pull and an abdominal tear. He also struggled last season with the Norv Turner offense. Rudolph has now lost his ADP appeal as a first team tight end, but that is good news for you. He is also in the second season of the Turner offense, and if he can stay healthy, he could finish in the top five at the position.
2014 season totals: 53 targets 38 receptions 345 yards two touchdowns
Career totals: N/A rookie season
Amaro is getting slammed in ADP, but since Geno Smith’s jaw became a punching bag, I am expecting an increase very quickly. Here is a tight end that will play in the slot and has pass catching hands. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker will man the wings freeing Amaro in the zone. Standing at 6’5 and weighing 265 pounds, Amaro gives Ryan Fitzpatrick a legitimate target near the goal line, and the Chan Gailey system should make good use out of Amaro.
2014 season totals 38 targets 21 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns
Career: 2014 rookie season
ASJ, or simply “Hercules,” is coming off his rookie campaign. He was targeted last season as a sleeper, and he put up some tiresome numbers. This 6’6” 262-pound behemoth caught nearly everything thrown his way, but he only played nine games before going down with an injury. The good news is that he won’t have Josh McCown throwing him the ball this year, it will be Jameis Winston. Rookie quarterbacks love to use their tight end as security blankets. ASJ will also have the luxury of both Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans on the wings taking pressure away and leaving him open for red zone and open spaces across the field.
2014 Season: 20 targets 14 receptions 176 yards and five touchdowns
Career: 30 targets 20 receptions 220 yards six touchdowns
Hill has the spotlight on him as he is the man to replace superstar Jimmy Graham. Josh Hill must have something to offer as the Saints wouldn’t just let Graham go without any faith in Hill, especially since New Orleans likes to favor the tight end in their offense. When Graham went out with a shoulder injury, Hill had some good games, and caught five touchdowns as the backup. He will play inline while Ben Watson resumes his role as a blocking tight end. The thing to like about Hill is he catches almost anything thrown his way. In his career he has caught 20 of the 30 passes he was targeted for. Hill will also be keyed on in the red zone as his 6’5” 250 pound frame creates room and he can go up and get it.
2014 Season: 3 targets 3 receptions 37 yards and 0 touchdowns
Career: 63 targets 42 receptions 482 yards and 2 touchdowns
Last season Tyler Eifert was motoring the Cincinnati Bengals downfield when disaster hit. In the first quarter of the season opener Eifert hit the ground hard on his third reception and injured his elbow. This was his last appearance of the 2014 season. Eifert will enter the 2015 season as the number one tight end and perhaps the number two receiver on the team. He could finish second in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He has great athleticism for someone that stands at 6’6” and weighs 250 pounds. He can easily be a second tight end for your team and has the upside to be much better than a backup option in fantasy.