Fantasy Football 2014: 7 Tight Ends To Watch
Fantasy Football Outlook 2014: 7 Tight Ends to Watch
Easily one of the most underrated and undervalued spots on most fantasy football teams is the tight end position. Many fantasy managers feel that they can just grab a tight end and if he scores four touchdowns a season, that's great. Those are also the same fantasy managers that look for tight ends every week on the free agency list and wonder why they are losing so many close games during their season.
The tight end position in fantasy football can be one of those that win you your fantasy league. For example, if you were a guy that took Jordan Cameron late in the draft last season or drafted Jimmy Graham in the second round, you probably had a really fine year. These guys both put up a ton of yards and touchdowns for their managers, and are exactly the type of players that you want to own on your team.
In this article, I am going to examine some of the other tight ends that all of you need to keep an eye on going into the 2014 fantasy football season. With Rob Gronkowski more than likely out for most of the season, there are only four managers that can draft Graham, Vernon Davis, Jason Witten and Jordan Cameron. The rest of the managers are going to have to do their research. For those of you who do actually research your players, you are going to find that there are many great options next season -- you just have to go out of your comfort zone to get them.
Here are the seven tight ends that all fantasy owners need to watch headed into next season.
7. Tyler Eifert
Eifert did see the football this year, but only put up 445 yards receiving with two touchdowns. He plays behind veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham. In 2014, look for Eifert to surpass Gresham as “the guy” in Cincinnati and with everyone focusing on players like A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard, Eifert should get many targets in the red zone.
6. Joseph Fauria
In 2013, Fauria showed the Lions that he has the talent to be an everyday tight end in the NFL. He caught seven touchdowns and was a red zone machine. If he can earn the starting job in training camp, don't be surprised if this young tight end scores 8-10 touchdowns for you this season. The yards may not be there, but if the guy is scoring touchdowns for you, why would you complain?
5. Ladarius Green
In 2013, Green made a case that the future is here and that he needs to play more. In two straight games against two good defenses in the Miami Dolphins and that Kansas City Chiefs, Green totaled 161 yards and a touchdown. Many people thought that he was going to replace Antonio Gates in the offense right then. In 2014, watch out for Green. Many of you will focus on the aging Gates, but let the other managers take Gates while you take the guy that will replace him as a starter in 2014. Mark my words!
4. Coby Fleener
In 2013, Fleener finally started to show bits of why the Colts drafted him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has the size and the catching ability to be a top-notch tight end in fantasy football. In 2014, I think Fleener will finally find his groove and will be the star tight end for the Colts, especially if Reggie Wayne does not return.
3. Charles Clay
Many times in the NFL, it takes an injury to a player for another to rise to the top. For the Miami Dolphins, the injury to Dustin Keller opened the door for Charles Clay. Clay had exactly the type season that you want out of a fantasy tight end: 759 yards receiving and six touchdowns. If he can build upon that in the offseason and get more work in with Ryan Tannehill, I believe he will be a stud tight end in 2014.
2. Kyle Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph is coming off of an injury, so many fantasy managers will not want to touch him next season. Look -- the guy plays with the best running back in the game, Adrian Peterson. Teams will be looking to stop this guy. When they do, Rudolph will get many open looks in the red zone, which will mean huge points for your fantasy football team.
1. Jordan Reed
Reed is young, athletic and is more like a wide receiver than a tight end. He reminds me a lot of Vernon Davis and Jimmy Graham. If not for concussion problems towards the end of the season, his numbers would have been much better. He finished the 2013 season one yard short of a 500-yard season while only playing in about eight and a quarter games last season. Those are pretty good numbers. Expect the Redskins to really want to get him going in 2014 to protect Robert Griffin III. I look for Reed to put up about 800 yards receiving next season with anywhere between 5-10 touchdowns. This is a guy you must keep an eye on.