Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Tight end

by Cory J. Bonini on July 23, 2012 @ 17:58:57 PDT

 

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7) Jermichael Finley | Green Bay Packers | 6-foot-5, 247 pounds | 5th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers

Fantasy analysis: Finley is ultra athletic and talented, but he has a capped ceiling in Green Bay's spread-the-ball passing attack. He probably will struggle to catch more than 60 passes in a season in this offense. Finley caught a career-high eight touchdowns last year, all of which came in the red zone. He has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him and may benefit from Green Bay's questionable running back corps, if they choose to use him as an extension of the ground game. He is an all-or-nothing fantasy play most weeks, logging no more than three receptions in 10 games and scoring 37.5 percent of his total touchdown volume in one game last year. Finley is being drafted in the late seventh round, on average. We have seen him go as early as the mid-fifth, which is simply too early for his limited statistical capability in this offense.

8) Fred Davis | Washington Redskins | 6-foot-4, 247 pounds | 5th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Fantasy analysis: The 'Skins have a rookie quarterback in Robert Griffin III, and his athletic ability, coupled with inexperience, could lead to a huge year for Davis. The veteran tight end has encountered some off-the-field slipups in the last few years, but he has vowed to clean up his act. Davis is extremely athletic in his own right and has the ability to stretch the field. In 12 games last year, he caught 59 balls for 796 yards and scored three times while dealing with a middling quarterback situation. Expect improvements across the board if he can stay on the field for a full slate of games. Davis should be a featured target in an offense looking for playmakers. Fantasy owners are opting for him in the late seventh round, which is a very sound time to take a shot on him.

9) Dustin Keller | New York Jets | 6-foot-2, 250 pounds | 5th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Fantasy analysis: Keller, who is in a contract year, is coming off a career season. He caught 65 balls for 815 yards and scored five times, giving him 10 in the past two years. The Jets' passing game has few weapons to work with, which is a factor in our love for him this season. Keller worked out in California during the offseason with Mark Sanchez. However, we remain nervous about the possibility of Tim Tebow taking over at quarterback in 2012. Durability, upside, production and situational aspects all play into our belief that he will have a breakout season. Draft Keller once the marquee names are off the board as a midrange No. 1 fantasy tight end. He goes in the 11th round, on average.

10) Tony Gonzalez | Atlanta Falcons | 6-foot-5, 247 pounds | 16th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Fantasy analysis: Gonzo isn't getting any younger, if we're putting it nicely, although he remains a fantasy force to be reckoned with. The position's elderly statesman enjoyed a renaissance season in 2011, snaring 80 balls for 875 yards and seven touchdown receptions. The Falcons' passing attack will open up under OC Dirk Koetter, and the vertical game of Julio Jones should only create more space for Gonzalez to work with. He is a solid PPR choice if you want a fairly safe, low-cost option. Gonzo typically goes in the late 10th round.

11) Owen Daniels | Houston Texans | 6-foot-3, 247 pounds | 7th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Fantasy analysis: Daniels quietly posted respectable numbers last year, even though he didn't have Matt Schaub for six games. The Houston offense is run-first without the veteran quarterback (balanced with him), but Daniels didn't make a fantasy splash in more than a few games. He failed to catch more than three passes in eight of 15 contests and was invisible in the touchdown column following a three-game scoring streak from Week 2 to Week 4. We are expecting a rebound, but temper your expectations of Daniels. He is a low-end No. 1 if you're looking to gamble, but we recommend him as a backup in deep leagues for those that play it safe. His ADP is the early 11th round.

12) Aaron Hernandez | New England Patriots | 6-foot-1, 245 pounds | 3rd year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Fantasy analysis: It is tough to imagine Hernandez having as good of a season in 2012 as he did last year (79-910-7 in 14 games). He caught five touchdowns in his first six games played and finished with two in his last three after a five-game drought. He caught at least four passes in every game but one, all while sharing the field with wide receiver Wes Welker (122 catches) and fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski (90 receptions). The addition of Brandon Lloyd and Josh McDaniels' lack of history using the position as a receiving weapon has us questioning Hernandez's fantasy value as a TE1. He is being greatly overvalued by generally come off the board in the mid-sixth round. Too many other tight ends are safer and have less competition to steal looks from them to reach for Hernandez based on last year's production.

Which backup tight ends are worth your attention? Page 3 knows.

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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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