During the offseason, the tight end position for the New England Patriots has hit a few bumps in the road. Aaron Hernandez is in the middle of a murder investigation and Rob Gronkowski underwent yet another surgery.
Who will be the man to lead the race for the starting end position come Week 1 of the regular season? Which player can you take deep in the fantasy draft who can haul in passes from Tom Brady while Gronkowski is out?
The man to step up and make an immediate impact on the team looks to be Zach Sudfeld.
If you have never heard of Sudfeld, you are not alone. But his name is sure to explode across all fantasy draft boards.
Sudfeld is a 24 year old out of Nevada and stands like a giant on the field with his 225-pound and 6-foot-7 frame. He played his collegiate days with Colin Kaepernick for two seasons although he really didn’t make a huge contribution until the 2012 campaign where he caught 45 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns.
Brady has a history with having success throwing to tight ends. Gronkowski has been a top tight end in the fantasy world gaining his owners some big time points. With Gronkowski out, someone has to fill those shoes and Sudfeld looks quite promising.
Throughout training camp Sudfeld has gained the praise of the coaching staff. His work ethic and sheer athletic ability is what the Patriots are looking for in a tight end.
During the preseason game on Friday night, Sudfeld caught two passes for 32 yards and a touchdown plus a two-point conversion. The young man looks to be sure handed as he hauled in the touchdown pass in acrobatic fashion, diving for the ball between two defenders after it had been tipped by one.
Gronkowski could be sitting injured on the sideline until approximately Week 6 of the regular season. This opens the door for Sudfeld and could contribute early to your fantasy team.
The best part about Sudfeld, as far as the draft is concerned, is that he will be available in the late round of the draft. Sudfeld is worth a late-round flier and could be a fantastic player to start at the beginning of the season.
Sudfeld is a deep sleeper and can impact your team in multiple ways. Tight ends throughout the NFL emerge as the season goes on and once Gronkowski gets back on the field, there will be waiver wire options to pick up and fill in your tight end position. Plus, by using this option in the fantasy draft, it opens up an earlier round in the draft, since you’re not taking a tight end at that point anymore, for you to take another skilled player who can aid your team.