The tight end position has been an amazing source of fantasy football points in recent seasons. There may only be one elite option (Jimmy Graham), but there are plenty of reliable options to be found in the middle of the draft.
A popular sleeper that has emerged in recent years has been Martellus Bennett of the Chicago Bears. The Fast Food Panda has made some astonishing catches in the Windy City and he has quickly earned the trust of QB Jay Cutler.
Chicago’s passing attack has been prolific in recent seasons. They finished fifth in passing yards (267.6 yards/game) in 2013 and fifth in passing touchdowns (32). The team is constantly moving the chains through the air and Bennett has become a critical cog of their aerial attack.
The team has All-Pro wideouts, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, taking up space on the outside, but their presence only gives Bennett more space to work with downfield. Opposing defenses are always focusing on shutting down Chicago’s twin towers, which lets Bennett see plenty of targets (96 in 2013) across the middle of the field.
Bennett has also played every game over the past two seasons. He has become a very reliable fantasy option to plug in week after week and his amazing durability only adds to his growing fantasy appeal.
Bennett isn’t a touchdown machine, as he hasn’t hauled in more than five touchdowns in a single season during his six-year career. He caught a career-high five touchdowns last season, but it was only tied for 12th best at the tight end position. Even in a career year, Bennett was simply average.
Bennett simply tends to disappear in the team’s offense with all the big names roaming the field. The tight end had four games last year in which he hauled in 15 yards or less, which is utterly worthless from a fantasy standpoint. Bennett may have the occasional big fantasy performance, but he will toss in the occasional dud as well.
Bennett will be a mid-level tight end worth grabbing after the top-five names come of the board. He has yet to put up top-tier fantasy numbers, though, so he won’t be worth reaching for this summer. Consider him a top-10 option in all formats.
Bye Week: 9
Projected Round: 8
Auction Value: $4