2012 Fantasy Football: 5 Tight Ends Under the Radar
2012 Fantasy Football drafts are getting underway all around the country. A good draft is made up of much more than picking the guys atop the big boards.
With more NFL offenses utilizing the tight end position than ever, owners must adjust their draft strategies accordingly. Now we all know who the best tight ends in the league are, so let’s take a look at some guys to help fill out your roster, and maybe some potential sleeper starters.
5 Tight Ends Under the Radar in 2012
Tony Moeaki – Kansas City Chiefs
Moeaki is late round pickup, and a guy worth having as a backup on your roster. He’s historically injury prone, even dating back to his college days, but is still young at 25. He has all the tools to be successful in the league, and if he can stay on the field for an entire season, he will produce. He hauled in 47 balls for 556 yards and 3 TDs during his rookie season, and there’s a chance he gets back in that same ball park this season.
2012 Projection – 40 receptions, 499 yards, 5 TDs
Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals
Coming off a solid second season in the league (56/596/6), Gresham could become a superstar for fantasy owners in 2012. If Gresham can get down the field more, and improve on last year’s 3.6 YAC, he could really boost his stats. He also figures to be a favorite target of 2nd year QB Andy Dalton.
2012 Projection- 65 receptions, 800 yards, 8 TDs
Kyle Rudolph- Minnesota Vikings
The second year player out of Notre Dame is primed to break on to the fantasy scene this year. If you could build a prototypical modern day NFL tight end, he would look something like Rudolph. He’s 6’6/225, and runs in the neighborhood of a 4.6/40. Rudolph should be the Vikings’ No. 1 tight end, and will get plenty of looks in the red zone, specifically goal line situations. Rudolph has all the physical tools to be the next big thing.
2012 Projection – 55 receptions, 690 yards, 7 TDs
Martellus Bennett – New York Giants
With Jake Ballard gone, and Travis Beckum on the shelf following ACL surgery, Bennett will get a shot to be the man for the Giants. Bennett has spent the last four seasons in Dallas, and has yet to top his rookie year (20/283/4). He’s probably the biggest long shot on this list to be a breakout star, but just because of the tight end situation in New York, he will get a chance to be one. He’s only 25 and yet another guy will all the physical gifts. My guess is that Eli Manning will make him into a viable option for his team and yours.
2012 Projection – 45 receptions, 555 yards, 6 TDs
Jacob Tamme – Denver Broncos
Call it the Peyton Effect, or whatever you want, but the Broncos new QB makes their new TE a great option for fantasy owners this season. Tamme should be the starter in Denver, and most people can connect the dots and see that Manning likely influenced the Broncos to acquire the free agent to once again be a one of his top targets. Tamme is going to produce this season, and if most of the big boards are accurate, he should be there for you in the middle rounds of your draft. He’s a guy owners can start every week if they have top tier receivers and running backs already in place. If you like to go with a value pick for your TE spot, Tamme should probably be the No. 1 guy on your big board of tight ends.
2012 Projection – 70 receptions, 899 yards, 10 TDs
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All photos courtesy of US Presswire.