Blog Entry

Too many tight ends?

Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:56 pm
There's no doubt that the tight ends at the top of my positional rankings list are great for Fantasy. They're essentially big-play receiver types that you can line up at the tight end spot. The same reason why you love them are the same reason why NFL coaches love the athletic tight ends.

But if you miss on them, should you shed a tear? Maybe if you're near an onion. Otherwise, no. In fact, you should smile.

Assuming you play in an 8-, 10- or 12-team league and start only one tight end, you are already locked at the position. It's done already. Consider the Top 16 Fantasy tight ends:

1. Antonio Gates, SD
2. Dallas Clark, IND
3. Jason Witten, DAL
4. Vernon Davis, SF
5. Rob Gronkowski, NE
6. Jermichael Finley, GB
7. Tony Gonzalez, ATL
8. Chris Cooley, WAS
9. Kellen Winslow, TB
10. Zach Miller, OAK
11. Jimmy Graham, NO
12. Marcedes Lewis, JAC
13. Aaron Hernandez, NE
14. Owen Daniels, HOU
15. Brandon Pettigrew, DET
16. Kevin Boss, NYG

Would anyone prefer someone like Boss or Pettigrew to Gates or Clark? Probably not. But there's nothing un appealing about starting Boss or Pettigrew in Fantasy.

In standard leagues that start one tight end, every single owner will have someone sitting there waiting for them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so one owner might swipe Gates or Clark in late Round 4 while another waits until Round 8 or 9 for Gonzalez or Cooley while another spends his third-to-last pick on Pettigrew or Boss. Any way you slice it, you're getting tremendous value.

But should we make good use of the talent that's there and challenge our league further? Should Fantasy commissioners consider adapting rosters to require TWO starting tight ends in 2011? Why not take advantage of the depth and talent at the position, which is only going to expand as teams look for more mismatch material to dominate defenses?

Roster impact: Owners would expand starting lineups to include a second tight-end slot and expand Fantasy drafts by one round to accomodate the extra player.

Draft impact: Tight ends would start flying off the boards much sooner (Round 3?), and multiple owners would get left holding the bag and gambling on the likes of Jermaine Gresham and Tony Moeaki -- not that that would necessarily be a bad thing.

Time-spent impact: Assuming you don't nail down two good tight ends, it would be more work on the waiver wire to solidify the tight end spots. Some owners don't mind that work, others go through it enough with one tight end as it is.

Scoring impact: More points, obviously. Is that a bad thing?

It's another draft pick, another roster spot at another lineup spot at a position bursting at the seams with talent. Sounds like a win all the way around for eager Fantasy owners.

Since: Sep 15, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2011 4:45 pm

Too many tight ends?

I don't really see the need to add an extra tight end to the standard league.  As it stands right now, if you are taking Gates, Clark, Witten, Davis, Finley with a 4th or 5th Rd pick, you are trying to secure a tight end that will average more points a game than the rest (that same thought process would apply for a 2 TE league, managers that wanted to pay the premium would target the better ones earlier)...after those 5, you really hit a drop off.  As a Tony Gonzalez owner over this past year, I can tell you that the grass is greener on the other side.  In a non-PPR, gonzalez had numerous weeks of 1 - 4 pts games.  He basically was a crap shoot.  Yes, he did explode for double digit games, but they were few and far behind.  
I feel like the skill comes out of the FF when you are just throwing all your players into the open spots and hoping they out perform the other teams 2 TE's.    The analysis, that comes out of the 1 TE roster, of sitting Vernon Davis vs a good TE Defense or starting a borderline top 10 TE in Mercedez Lewis vs. a horrible TE Defense (Buffalo for example) gets removed from the game and you just plug everyone in and hope for the best.  
I would be against it....I think the depth at TE should only alter a good managers draft strategy in waiting and grabbing two solid TE's later in the draft and let the other managers fight for Gates, Clark, Witten in the 4-5th rds.  I would be content playing match-ups with Miller, Lewis, Boss, and even the up and coming Jimmy Graham over wasting a higher pick on the top tier.  Think about all the good wr's and rb's that were taken in those rd's.  McCoy, Mike Wallace, Forte, Dwayne Bowe, etc.

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