Fantasy Football Sleeper: Capitalizing on a name you probably don't know

      May 27, 2014 @ 17:51:38 PDT

It is early in the fantasy football draft season, despite what a recent rash of mock drafts may have you thinking. The heart of the process is really more than two months away. One of my favorite deep sleepers is New York Giants tight end Adrien Robinson. You probably will notice that name a time or two in the coming weeks.

Standing 6-foot-4, 264 pounds, the third-year Cincinnati product demonstrates body control that is nothing short of impressive for his size. Robinson has great footwork, and maybe even better concentration, in tight quarters.

TE Adrien Robinson, New York Giants
Don't let him slip through your fingers

The Giants are in the midst of an offensive transformation, with new play caller Ben McAdoo implementing his variation of the West Coast offense. There will be bumps along the way for a first-time OC introducing a complicated system to a fairly young cast of players in the nation's biggest media market. McAdoo has spent the last eight years of his life coaching tight ends and quarterbacks in Green Bay, Wis., so expect an adjustment period.

There is something to be excited about here for fantasy owners. Question marks at wide receiver -- a rookie in Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz (knee) coming off an injury, and Rueben Randle being largely untested -- bodes well for a tight end whose first NFL reception will come in 2014 after two seasons in the league. There is a lot of talent at wideout in this offense, and defenses cannot closely guard everyone at all times.

Robinson may not be quite the game-breaking, seam-splitting tight end with Jimmy Graham-like appeal, but he is slippery and deceivingly fast (4.56 official 40 time) for his size. Veteran quarterback Eli Manning's offensive line is rather shaky, which promotes Robinson's involvement as a checkdown target, especially near the end zone, where Robinson's 39 1/2-inch vertical jump will come in handy. From 2008 to 2012, Green Bay's red zone touchdown efficiency ranked no worse than ninth. Eli isn't Aaron Rodgers, but that is hard to dismiss.

New York's front office would have drafted someone if they didn't see Robinson being primed to reach his potential. While your buddies are drafting other risky, costlier tight ends, you have absolutely nothing to lose by spending a late-round pick on an athletic specimen with no positional competition.

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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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