Fantasy Football 2013: Tight End Sleepers
In Fantasy Football, the tight end position is often referred to as the streaming position. If you don’t land one of the elite guys such as Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham, you are likely forced to play the matchups among tight ends. This concept may be especially true when you consider some of the injury question marks at the position. However, there are a few sleeper options that I believe will give fantasy owners the best chance of successfully streaming.
Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals: Housler is everything you’d want in a tight end. He’s big, standing at 6’5″, 250 pounds and very athletic. He started to come on a bit towards the end of last season, catching 21 passes over his final five games. New head coach Bruce Arians appears to be very fond of his new tight end, stating that he will be a mismatch for opposing defenses. Expect Housler to be a big time target for the Cardinals offense. They brought in Carson Palmer to play quarterback, which is a massive upgrade compared to what they had last year. Keep in mind that in 2012, Palmer finished top-five in the league at targeting his tight end. Brandon Myers was targeted a healthy 105 times with Palmer last season in Oakland. With Larry Fitzgerald likely to be double-teamed often, Housler should see a lot of looks from Palmer. With one season already under his belt, look for the 25-year old tight end to progress in 2013, making him a sleeper for fantasy owners.
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns: With both Benjamin Watson and Alex Smith out of Cleveland, Cameron will likely be the starting tight end for the Browns in 2013. Cameron is the same exact size as Housler, just five pounds lighter. However, he is much faster, having ran an impressive 4.59 40. That speed should make him a tough task for opposing linebackers to handle. Norv Turner will be calling the plays now as the team’s new offensive coordinator, which bodes well for Cameron’s production. Over the years, Turner has been known to utilize the tight end position and produce successful tight ends (Antonio Gates). Cameron has been seeing targets on a number of deep balls during the team’s OTAs. The team believes that Cameron has the skill-set to become a big part of their offense. But the real question is, can Brandon Weeden consistently get him the football?
Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears: Bennett has a ton of upside to become a top-10 fantasy tight end. During action with the Giants last year, caught 55 balls for 626 yards and five scores. Keep in mind, Bennett suffered from a hyperextended knee in Week 5 and dealt with injuries for much of the season. The 26-year old has great size and speed, and will also have plenty of opportunity to produce for the Bears. Also, new head coach Marc Trestman has a reputation of implementing a short, intermediate passing style of offense, which could heavily feature Bennett. Of course, let’s just hope the Bears offensive line can keep quarterback Jay Cutler upright, but even if the line doesn’t perform, Bennett (along with Matt Forte) will likely be the security blanket.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.
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