In this fourth and final installment of overrated fantasy players in the 2013 draft, we reach the end of the road, stopping to take a look at the tight end position. We’ve gone through each of major positions in fantasy football: quarterback in my Cam Netwon article, running back in the Doug Martin article, and Randall Cobb in the wide receiver article.
In the 2013 draft, there is a very fine line in separating the elite tight ends from the rest of the bunch. The number of so-so tight ends greatly outweighs the number of top tier players throughout the NFL. Generally, if you can’t get your hands on one of the few big-time players, you’re best off waiting until the end part of the draft to take one.
One of the few tight ends that is labeled as a player worth using one of your coveted high draft picks on is New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez. Using one of those picks to draft Hernandez is a huge gamble, and you need to rethink your draft strategy.
All fantasy players know that Hernandez comes with a strong counterpart in Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski (A.K.A. Gronk) has established himself as Tom Brady’s favorite target, especially near the end zone, hauling in 11 touchdowns during his shortened 2012 season. Gronk has had multiple surgeries on his forearm but is poised to be ready for the season opener. If he can take the field, he will. Hernandez is the no. 2 tight end to Gronk on the Patriots. Strike one.
The 23-year-old Hernandez failed to record an appearance in six of the Patriot’s 16 games last season and didn’t eclipse the 100-yard mark in any game last season. His number of grabs ranged from zero to 10 in games in which he took the field while only managing to put six points on the board five times. His games are very inconsistent, providing his fantasy owners with less than 10 points in six of his 10 games in 2012. Hernandez’s owners can never fully depend on him to help out their team week in, week out. Strike two.
The ADP (Average Draft Position) in fantasy football draft kits place Hernandez as the third best at his position in all of the NFL. Other tight ends below him who are expected to be drafted in the later rounds include Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten, Baltimore Ravens’ Dennis Pitta and Atlanta Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez, who is back for another run at the Super Bowl. Each of the three aforementioned tight ends produced more receiving yards than Hernandez along with two of the three finding themselves in the end zone more often than Hernandez. Using a high draft pick to select Hernandez over any of the tight ends ranked lower than him would be a waste. Strike three.
Only three strikes are allowed in this ball game, and I believe that sends Hernandez back to the bench. If Hernandez is the top tight end on the board in the early rounds, think again about drafting him over any other available player.