by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Your strategy on draft day is always vital, and while players have value where they are available to be drafted could make it cost prohibitive. Remember, by take a player (any player), you are opting to leave someone who on the board. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few tight ends:
Don’t Draft – Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Current Average ADP – 68.3 (6th tight end)
Walker is coming off a great season, catching 94 passes for 1,088 yards and 6 TD. It certainly makes sense for people to be targeting him, but there also is reason to believe that there is more risk than potential reward in selecting him this early.
While he should remain among the top receiving options for the Titans (unless Dorial Beckham-Green takes a meteoric leap forward), the team’s offseason moves certainly appear to dictate a run heavy approach:
- Acquired Demarco Murray (from Eagles)
- Drafted Derrick Henry (second round)
A lot of Walker’s value stems from his 133 targets, but can we really expect him to come close to that number? Last season the team had 371 rushing attempts, something that is going to go up significantly. That alone means fewer pass attempts, but the trio of Green-Beckham (66), Harry Douglas (71) and Kendall Wright (61) could all see a slight uptick in opportunities.
At that same point in the draft there are numerous other intriguing players who could be selected including:
- Michael Floyd (59.3)
- Devantae Parker (73.2)
- Melvin Gordon (74.8)
- Blake Bortles (76.0)
In other words the pick at this point in the draft appears to be better utilized elsewhere.
Draft – Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots
Current Average ADP – 157.7 (15th tight end)
He’s a year removed from a 90 catch season and considering the issues/injuries that plagued Chicago in ’16 (including Bennett himself missing 5 games) it’s easy to give him a pass for his “mediocre” 53 catch performance. Obviously Bennett isn’t going to be utilized as the lead tight end, but Rob Grankowski has never been a pillar of health and the Patriots have proven that they can build their offense around a pair of skilled tight ends.
The Patriots also lack depth in the wide receiving corps, with Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman leading the way with little behind them on the depth chart. That’s going to put the focus squarely on the tight ends, both of whom could produce 70+ receptions.
While there’s risk in selecting Bennett, the upside is there to be a Top 10 option. Considering the price tag, there’s tremendous upside value.
Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros
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