Top 16 Fantasy Football Rookies: Zach Sudfeld, Cierre Wood impressive

by Nicholas Minnix on August 28, 2013 @ 08:15:00 PDT

 

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Tight Ends

FANTASY FOOTBALL-RATED

  1. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
    Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert
    It's sort of unfortunate that Eifert is a tight end, a position where there are plenty of above-average fantasy options. If the Notre Dame product goes undrafted in fantasy leagues, he'll likely be a suitable free-agent pickup. He'll be on the field most of the time, and he's not known for his ability as a blocker.
  2. NEW - Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots
    There's an obvious opportunity here, even if it's short-lived. The undrafted Sudfeld has stood out all summer in workouts and exhibition play, minus a preseason Week 3 fumble. Rob Gronkowski (back and arm surgeries) needn't worry, but Sudfeld's fantasy legend has made him a late-rounds target in redrafters.

DEEP SLEEPERS

  • Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
    Chip Kelly loves to create mismatches with tight ends -- part of the game plan whether Philly had lost Jeremy Maclin (torn ACL) for the season or not. Ertz will be involved, but he'll compete with Brent Celek and James Casey, depending on the situation. He may be tough to ride in 2013 but has long-term upside.
  • Gavin Escobar, Dallas Cowboys
    Backup James Hanna is no slouch, but Escobar, a second-rounder, will stake his claim to playing time with improvement as a blocker. Tough guy Jason Witten would have to miss some time in order for Escobar to become fantasy-relevant in 2013, however, and Hanna would probably push him in that scenario. Dallas hopes that Escobar is Witten's heir.
  • Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
    There's speculation that this second-rounder from Rice will help to make up for the loss of Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles') this season. That responsibility will almost certainly be shared widely, though. McDonald's speed-size combo makes him an interesting long-term play, at least, should Vernon Davis depart in a couple of years.
  • Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
    Reed's quickness and versatility belie would-be concerns about his size (6-foot-2, 236 pounds). The third-rounder from Florida is more of a thick wideout or tall running back. Fred Davis figures to use 2013 to prove that he's completely healthy before he hits free agency. The 'Skins, however, will bring along Reed, who could eventually fill a role like Chris Cooley's.
  • Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
    Andy Reid seems to have an affinity for tight ends from Cincinnati. His offense has a tendency to rely more on backs than tight ends in the passing game. Perhaps remedying that: Kelce, a deft pass-catcher, split out wide regularly in college. Kelce is unlikely to make a fantasy impact this year, but he could slowly develop into a player who makes one.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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