The tight end is to fantasy football what catcher is to fantasy baseball. It is the annoying position on the your roster where the production declines steeply after the first few options. It is the position in which someone will reach too soon for those top targets. It is the position where you can afford to punt and wait on later options, hoping to find a gem.
Everyone loves Rob Gronkowski, but you have to spend a pick in the first two rounds to get him, then you sweat out every leaping catch and hard tackle, wondering: Will this be the one that puts him on the shelf?
Everyone Carolina Panthers Jerseys loves Jordan Reed, when he plays. But he has been on the field for more than 12 games just once in his four-year career. And he already is dealing with a foot problem.
People are high on Travis Kelce, but he has yet to post more than five touchdowns in a single season, and his quarterback is Alex Smith.
There are warts on even the best tight ends. Considering the quality running back or wide receiver you will have to pass up to take one of these top TEs in the first 3-4 rounds, it is not worth the risk. You wait.
Maybe you wait for Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Delanie Walker or Kyle Rudolph — the last of whom you normally can get in the eighth round. But we like to wait longer.
When you get to rounds 7-10, even better values emerge with Tyler Eifert, Hunter Henry and Martellus Bennett. If we’ve done a good job stacking our roster so far, this is when we first start to give tight ends serious consideration.
But our Cheap Jerseys favorite still is hanging around, still available a few rounds later. Jack Doyle has a average draft position of 124.4 (Round 12), according to fantasydata. And we like him as much as anyone we can get after the overpriced top tier. Why? Because we trust offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to get the ball to his tight ends.
This even despite the uncertain status of QB Andrew Luck — since less experienced QBs tend to like a tight end safety valve. What concerns we do have regarding Luck are eclipsed by the Doyle/Chundzinski connection.
Among Chudzinski’s career highlights as a coach or coordinator are Kellen Winslow II’s career year (Cleveland, 2007), several prime years of Antonio Gates’ career in San Diego (2005-06, 2009-10), Jordan Cameron’s glory year (Cleveland, 2013), Coby Fleener’s best season (Colts, 2017).
But the one the Cheap nfl Jerseys stint that sticks out is Chudzinski’s 2011-12 run as coordinator for the Panthers. His first year — taking over the offense for a team that posted a combined 56 catches for 418 yards and two touchdowns by tight ends the previous season — new additions Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey had a combined 82 catches for 995 yards and nine TDs. The following season, Shockey was gone and Olsen saw a sharpe increase in production — 69 catches, 843 yards, five TDs. In 2012, Olsen absorbed posted about 84 percent of the combined 2011 total between he and Shockey.
Now, a similar situation arises in Indianapolis, where Dwayne Allen is gone, leaving Doyle to inherit a large share of that missing production. If you apply a similar bump to the Colts’ combined 94 catches, 990 yards and 11 TDs, that would give Doyle 79 catches, 838 yards and six TDs. those numbers would be good for a top-five fantasy finish among tight ends last season.
Doyle is our Customized Jerseys favorite TE pick, based on upside and draft value. But we like to hedge our bets if we pick him as our top option. We’ll be looking even later for backup options like Cameron Brate (don’t believe the O.J. Howard hype), C.J. Fiedorowicz or Austin Hooper. We even would settle for Jason Witten or the aforementioned Allen.
The primary goal, though, is patience. It is OK to wait until near the end to address tight end.