While most people in your league are focusing on Kelvin Benjamin benefiting from the departure of Steve Smith, you should spend your time zeroing in on tight end Greg Olsen.
The massive size of Benjamin, 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, makes him a very strong red zone target, but he isn’t going to be a burner. The Carolina Panthers did little to improve Cam Newton’s targets for the 2014 season, so Newton will have to work with what he has. What he does have, however, is a reliable tight end he has built a steady rapport with.
Over the past two seasons, Olsen has not only had the second-most receptions for Panthers, but he has averaged 106.5 targets in the past two years. He puts up nice yardage, averaging 829.5 yards the past two seasons, and he has hauled in a minimum of five touchdown catches since 2008. With numbers like these, why are you able to draft the 29-year-old tight end in the eighth round?
The rushing abilities of Newton are certainly scaring some fantasy football players away from Olsen. Newton has averaged 121.3 rushing attempts in his first three years with the Panthers, and that obviously can take away production from his receivers. Some people may be worried about the surgery Newton had to tighten the ligaments in his foot, but that shouldn’t scare anyone away from Olsen.
Another reason for the lack of hype around Olsen is that he finished eighth in scoring last season. He was only 19 points away from tying Tony Gonzalez, but finishing eighth is just not sexy. Fantasy owners constantly hear that you should wait on tight ends if you don’t grab Jimmy Graham, and most players can’t see the difference between drafting Olsen or Kyle Rudolph. By the end of the 2014 season, everyone will know what the difference is.
There could be several reasons why you haven’t been paying attention to Olsen, but put him on your draft board now and thank me later.