Cleat Geeks

AFTER GRONK : Tight End Alternatives That Make Sense

Nobody wants Antonio Gates?

Why is everyone so anti-Gates. It is a conspiracy I tell you. This is “Gates-gate”. If people can add “gate” to every political or corrupt occurrence I can use it too. Gates-gate it is. Yes Gates is older. In a dynasty I would shy away. In a redraft I am more than happy to have Gates as my week to week starter. In 2014 Gates was second in TE scoring in standard fantasy football leagues. A mere 30 points off of Gronk. A little under 2 points per game difference and you can grab him much later.   My Ranking….. 2. Antonio Gates SD – Still at the top of the TE ranks. The more things change the more they stay the same. Draft Green late for insurance if you have room. But expect another certain top 5 TE season from Gates.

 

Give me Kelce or else!

So you like upside do ya’? You want a difference maker at TE after an off-season which culminated with Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas changing homes and appearing to take a serious hit on their value. Well Travis Kelce is your guy. Kelce is coming off a very strong 2014 and appears to be on the verge of increasing his role in 2015. The skills are elite. The mental aspect seemed to click last season. The competition for snaps is no more. In 2014 Kelce’s snaps were heavily affected by the presence of Anthony Fasano who is now a Titan. I am expecting huge things from Kelce and he is hanging around in drafts much later than he should. I have Kelce ranked……  7. Travis Kelce KC – Only so much you can do in a short passing attack offense. But Kelce makes the most of his opportunities. Kelce will continue to progress even in a vertically challenged paradigm.

 

Dwayne’s, Lanes and Audibles.

Passing lanes. That is where you find Allen in the endzone. In the passing lanes. What can you say about a highly talented red zone target with the best FF QB as his signal caller? I think I just did. Dwayne played in 9 games in 2014. Dwayne had a TD in 8 of those games. Coby Fleener scored more points than Allen in 2014 due to injury of Allen and health of Fleener.  Fleener played in all 16 contests. Make no mistake the preferred, more talented TE is Allen. A touchdown a week seems like a nice bargain for a guy left available very late in drafts. I do not expect that to continue much longer. As we grow closer to the regular season his ADP will begin to climb. If you draft early you can probably still select him beyond round 8.  Due to the injury issues that seem to plague him a bit I have Allen ranked…….. 8. Dwayne Allen IND – So many weapons in Indy. But this is the main redzone target. If he stays healthy he may find himself nipping at Gronk’s heels in value.

 

Love Ertz, ooh ooh, Love Ertz

Gone. Everyone is gone. Jeremy Maclin gone. Nick Foles gone. LeSean McCoy gone. Jordan Matthews returns and more importantly for the topic at hand, Zach Ertz is returning. Yes it looks like Sam Bradford will be the QB while he is upright, which is not a bad thing. Sam has a real NFL arm. Problem is the rest of him is brittle. Even if Sam were to become injured Mark Sanchez has shown himself to be an adequate backup/fill in. If you wait until late to get a TE, you can do much worse that Ertz and the upside he carries. Because of the turnover in personnel and the fragility of his top signal caller I have Ertz ranked……… 10. Zach Ertz PHI – One of two returning solidified targets. Expect an increase but do not be surprised if a large percentage of those vacated targets fall to Agholar or Huff.  Bradford Injury issues and roster turnover are concerns. Still has the upside to push the top 5 TE ranks.

 

Julius “Seizer”

As in, seize the opportunity. As in, seize a large share of the Jacksonville targets. It would be a lie if I said the Jacksonville Offense was going to be world beaters. It would also be a lie to say I do not expect marked improvement. I find the elite talent of Thomas matched with a young QB in need of the security of a proven TE target to be a better match for Thomas than the run heavy Kubiak offense in Denver. Many people see this trade and immediately conclude that Thomas will fall off a cliff with the change in local. I disagree with that conclusion. I see a TE about to become an every down player on a growing and talent heavy team. I see a TE who may lose TDs but will increase targets and yardage. That is why I feel very good having Thomas ranked……. 5. Julius Thomas JAX – Julius will be a larger portion of the offense in JAX than he was in DEN. The only problem is there will be much less offense. Even in an anemic O he will retain top 5 FF value.

 

 

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