Fantasy football sleepers: TE - Week 1

by Tim Heaney on September 9, 2010 @ 17:00:00 PDT


In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Fantasy football sleepers: Tight ends

Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cleveland Browns

Fantasy value: No. 1

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Kellen Winslow
    Revenge is a dish best served cold
    The Bucs held out Winslow (knee) for nearly all of the preseason to heal from his knee surgery, and he should be good to go for Week 1. Tampa Bay's most experienced receiving target should be a big part of this offense once again.
  • Despite their above-average performance against wideouts last year, Cleveland had trouble containing enemy tight ends last season. Their averages of 5.31 receptions per game, 65.7 receiving yards per game and 12.4 yards per snare were all top-five fantasy matchup numbers for this position. 
  • Though emotions often should be left out of fantasy analysis, you don't think he's a bit geared up to face his former team? Also, quarterback Josh Freeman (finger) has made it through practice OK with a broken thumb and is expected to start; doesn't that reek of ample dump-off passes, PPR owners?

Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • Shockey has the useful David Thomas and the talented Jimmy Graham behind him on the depth chart this year, which will contribute even more to his inconsistent play. Oh, and he still can't stay away from injuries.
  • The Vikings' pass defense is shaky and was horrendous against tight ends last year, allowing 5.38 catches, 57.8 receiving yards and 0.56 touchdowns per game to this position.
  • Though the tight end isn't always covered by a defensive back, Minnesota's secondary is banged up and a significant question mark heading into this game, especially against a pass-happy team such as the Saints. This could see New Orleans' passing attack even more successful in the NFL opener.
  • Shockey should be looked at as a desperation option for your Week 1 lineup. He's an example of tempering your expectations even with a nice paper matchup, especially since the Saints still boast ample offensive mouths to feed. If your deep league permits a tight end in a flex spot, he probably warrants slightly more consideration.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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