We continue our Fantasy Feud series with two tight ends who are receiving a lot of fantasy attention thus far. Highly regarded as two of the biggest sleepers at their position, Jordan Cameron and Rob Housler could very well be in line for breakout campaigns in 2013. Of course, you aren’t drafting either as your tight end one, but if you choose to stream two options, both of these guys could very well be your choice. However, if you could only grab one, which should it be?
Making the case for Cameron
Anytime a tight end is a former basketball player, you know there’s something there. Cameron is a massive body, standing at 6’5″, 245 lbs, but despite being so large, he still has some wheels, having ran a 4.59 40-yard dash. He’s in a perfect position to produce some strong numbers in 2013, playing for two guys who have historically utilized the tight end quite often. Head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner certainly haven’t been afraid to force-feed their tight ends. Chudzinski has served as a tight end coach for 10 years, including some time in San Diego, with, you guessed it, Norv. Let’s take a look over the years.
Tight Ends Under Rob Chudzinski
* Chudzinski was tight ends coach in 2005
Pretty promising numbers, but Chudzinski isn’t the only one who tends to use his tight ends at a high volume. Let’s look back and highlight some of the productive tight ends over the years under Norv Turner.
Tight Ends Under Norv Turner
The track record provides fantasy owners with faith that the same usage could be in store for Cameron in 2013. I mean, he is an absolute monster of a target for Brandon Weeden and has the athleticism to beat opposing defenses. Trust me, he’s no Gates, but with deep threat Josh Gordon suspended for the first two games of the season, the Browns will have to throw someone the ball, right? The athletic ability for his size is difficult to come by. He’s a guy who can be a more dominating red zone threat than the likes of Kyle Rudolph with his size and vertical leap, which could potentially make him a strong touchdown option. Cameron can run all the routes, but a lack of playing experience means one thing; He’s raw.
Making the case for Housler
For as large as Cameron is, Housler is actually a tad bit bigger. Both stand at 6’5″, but Housler has a slight edge in the weight department. Housler was quiet all of last season, but made some strides towards the end of the year. Over his final five games, he hauled in 21 balls for 146 yards. During that span, he was targeted a healthy 29 times, and I fully expect him to see a boatload of targets this season. Newly appointed head coach Bruce Arians seems to be quite fond of his tight end, stating that he will be a constant mismatch for opposing defenses. With his size and strength, I wouldn’t doubt it. And if last year was any indication, new quarterback Carson Palmer will be looking for him quite often. Last season with the Raiders, Palmer finished as a top-five signal caller in targets to the tight end, helping Brandon Myers become very fantasy relevant. Besides, we all know that Arians loves to air the ball out, as he indicated last season with a rookie quarterback, nonetheless. I’d expect no different with a veteran like Palmer and one of the greatest receivers of the last decade in Larry Fitzgerald. Speaking of Fitz, defenses will obviously highlight him before any other option on the Cardinals offense, which should give Housler opportunity to beat one-on-one coverage. Of course, Housler has yet to score a professional touchdown, but you can bet that’ll change in 2013.
First of all, let me reiterate that both of these guys are not tight end ones, but considering how close the position always seems to be, they could sneak into the top-15. However, despite the promising track records of Chudzinski and Turner, I’m going to side with Housler here. Honestly, it all comes down to the quarterback situation. I don’t trust Weeden at all, while Palmer is the proven veteran who actually put up some solid numbers with a pedestrian receiving corp in Oakland last year. If we are talking upside, I think I’d lean Cameron, but Housler just feels a bit safer to me.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.