2015 Fantasy Football ADP: Over and Under Valued TEs
Zach Ertz PHI: Current ADP 7.12 — We’ve seen Ertz take positive strides forward each year in his short career to this point. He saw his receptions jump from 36 to 58 from year 1 to year 2, as well as a 49% increase in his yards up to 702 in 2014 from 469 in 2013. He’s scored 3 or more touchdowns each season and he’s becoming a bigger piece in this offense as time goes by. However Ertz has already been ruled out for the preseason with a partially torn groin he had surgery for recently. Add in the Eagles got rid of 2 of their starters on the offensive line and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Brent Celek getting more snaps as he is the better blocker of the 2 tight ends. If you’re going to play weekly match ups at TE then Ertz is a nice pick up but a lot of guys being drafted in the same area like Martellus Bennett, have a higher ceiling and will see more opportunity.
Eric Ebron: Current ADP 12.06 — He was hyped up last year as a rookie and he fall flat on his face. Finishing as the 45th ranked TE in 2014 with just 25 grabs for 248 yards and just 1 score. They say he has a better connection with Matthew Stafford during camp this year but still I can’t see Erbon being anything more than a bye week replacement at this point. Until he proves himself don’t waste a draft pick him. Even if he doubles his numbers from last season he still would barely finish as a TE2 in standard scoring. Not worth the pick when Delanie Walker (more opportunities) and Dwayne Allen (on a more potent offense) are still on the board.
Josh Hill NO: Current ADP 12.07 — Hill is the 12th or 13th tight end off the board right now and that’s too high for my taste. He will definitely benefit from Jimmy Graham moving on but being drafted as a TE1 without more than 14 career catches is out of hand. Yeah he scored 5TDs last season but again he won’t be catching a touchdown every 3 receptions this season. The Saints also have a fully healthy Brandin Cooks who looks like he can be Brees’ top target for the rest of his career not to mention newly acquired RB C.J. Spiller who will eat up targets in this offense as well.
Antonio Gates SD: Current ADP 13.06 — Gates is suspended for the first 4 games and his 12 touchdown performance was not the norm for Antonio at this point of his career. He could come in and contribute after his suspension but how much is the million dollar question. Gates is 35 this year and it’s rare for a TE to excel in his mid 30’s. In fact the only tight end to post fantasy numbers to keep him relevant this late in his career was Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez was the only TE over the age of 35 to post 80+ catches for 850+ yards and 7+ touchdowns … and his did it 3 straight years to close out a hall of fame career. Gates has extreme ability but I don’t see him closing out his career like Tony. If Gates is on waivers when he’s nearing his first game in 2015 I’d pick him up and see what he’s got left but I’ll draft upside guys like Coby Fleener or Larry Donnell.
Jimmy Graham SEA: Current ADP 3.04 — Just a year ago Graham was a first round pick in fantasy football. While he had a “down year,” he still finished as the 3rd best tight end in fantasy and had double-digit touchdowns for the 3rd time in 4 seasons. Graham has been a top 3 TE at the end of the season every year since 2011, and he’s the only one who can say that. Don’t let him leaving a more pass-happy offense like New Orleans for the bigger rushing attack in Seattle make you think twice, Graham won’t slow down up north. Russell Wilson targets his tight ends a lot in the red zone and that’s where Jimmy earns his bread and butter. These two will find a great rapport and Graham, barring injury, will be a top 3 tight end once again in fantasy football in 2015. A 3rd round pick for an elite player in a position without many elite options is amazing value. If Graham drops to you round 3 or later don’t hesitate on scooping him up!
Martellus Bennett CHI: Current ADP 7.10 — Bennett led tight ends in targets (125) and receptions (90) last season. The 90 catches were a career high for Martellus as well as the 916 yards and 6 scores he posted in 2014. The Bears have a new coaching regime in John Fox and Adam Gase on the offensive side of the ball out of Denver where Julius Thomas averaged over 50 catches for just under 550 yards each of the last two years to go along with his 12 scores each of those seasons. Not only has Bennett already been a favorite target of Jay Cutler but the new offensive scheme plus Brandon Marshall’s 153 targets per year out the door someone is going to benefit and I think Bennett will be that guy. Could he be the next tight end we see join the 100 reception club? Just 3 TEs have caught 100+ catches in a year (Jason Witten 2012, Dallas Clark 2009, Tony Gonzalez 2004) and I could realistically see Bennett joining this special club this season.
Jordan Cameron MIA: Current ADP 9.04 — Just two short years ago Jordan Cameron outscored tight ends like Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, and Antonio Gates. Cameron snagged 80 passes for over 900 yards and 7TDs. That all happened in Cleveland with a group of QBs that included Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, and Brandon Weeden throwing his way. Cameron had a horrible follow up season last year catching a lowly 24 passes in just 10 games for 424 yards and 2 scores. The best part about his well-below-radar year in 2014 means his ADP for 2015 is a steal. He’s out of Cleveland and down in South Beach on a Dolphins offense that can be the surprise offense of the year and provide the fantasy world with studs all over the place a la Pittsburgh last year. Cameron dropped from the 5th round in drafts last year to the 9th this year. Better quarterback + Better offense + Not in Cleveland = big year for Jordan Cameron in 2015.
Delanie Walker TEN: Current ADP 12.08 — Last season Walker was one of six tight ends to be targets at least 100 times during the year. His 106 targets last year were the most among all pass-catchers on the Titans. Walker’s 890 receiving yards were also tops on the team. Since arriving in Tennessee in 2013, Walker has finished as a TE1 both seasons. He’s averaged 61 catches for 630 yards and 5 scores over that time, and rookie QB Marcus Mariota may already be the best guy to be throwing Delanie passes since he’s joined the Titans. A tight end who’s been targets over 80 times each of the last 2 seasons in the 12th round is an absolute steal. If you like to wait on the TE position while you build a strong bench, target Walker late!