Don't overvalue tight ends in 2012 fantasy football drafts

      June 18, 2012 @ 17:12:24 PDT

Before I get into it, LaDainian Tomlinson deserves a salute. He was arguably the best running back I have had the luxury of watching in person, and the game will miss one of the classiest players in the history of the sport.

Fantasy football is seeing a transformation at the tight end position, although I fear owners will become overzealous when drafting these playmakers. For as good as Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham were last season, it's tough to swallow a first-round selection of either player. Graham stands a better chance of living up to his draft placement, but Gronk's numbers should regress a little with the addition of Brandon Lloyd.

Other tight ends with a chance of standing out come as better values. Cincinnati's Jermaine Gresham could capitalize on a strong sophomore season and explode in an offense that is looking for someone to step up behind A.J. Green. Gresham is my favorite sleeper tight end this year, and I'd confidently take him as early as the sixth or seventh round.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Provides a upside at a great value

Dustin Keller could be great, especially if Tim Tebow is resigned to a specialist or reserve role all season. Baltimore's Ed Dickson may provide nice return on a low investment, while Indy rookie Coby Fleener stands to set rookie tight end marks.

Detroit's Brandon Pettigrew could be overvalued, however. He is coming off a spectacular season, but the Lions had no running game to speak of (and they still may not), but Pettigrew served as an extension of the rushing attack by virtue of this.

St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendricks could snare a lot of passes and be a PPR flex asset if you are in the type that likes to dig deep at the position. I can't help but feel that Marcedes Lewis will bounce back after being microscopic on the stats sheet last year.

Finally, could Brandon Myers emerge as a legitimate threat in Oakland? Who? Yeah, I know, but it's possible given all of their young, inexperienced wide receivers and the shift to a West Coast offense.

Don't get too caught up in the hype of the position, since you can find value later in the draft and bolster your roster with more secure high-end picks in other key spots.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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