Joy Divisions – AFC East

Before the season starts, myself and good friend of the podcast Lee Wakefield (@wakefield90) will give a summary of each division, how we see it playing out over the season along with some players to target in fantasy in each.

Let’s start with perhaps the easiest division, the AFC East…

Tim

New England Patriots:

Despite the Patriots having some what of a clearout in the summer and reported riffs in the camp, the Patriots will still coast this division. Chris Hogan is a guy you should be circling in drafts and should have a great season, let alone a good first 4 weeks with Edelman out.

Gone are their top performing WR and RB from last season in Cooks and Lewis as well as Malcolm Butler, Nate Solder and Danny Amendola. The broken record of “this is the year the Patriots dynasty falls” returns yet again and for me, I need to see evidence first before committing to jumping on the bandwagon. New England and Bill Belichick have a history of maximising the production from their player pool and even Sir Alex Ferguson would be proud and can’t see many (if any scenarios where New England dont have a bye week in week 1 of the postseason.

Key storyline: Can the dynasty hold off father time for at least one more year?

But where could the challenge come from?

Miami Dolphins:

I would have to say Miami are the most likely contenders and they too have had a clearout (albeit over a longer stretch last year). Adam Gase has gotten rid of the egos, gotten rid of the players that think they’re bigger than the franchise and could finally have “his type” of team. Suh, Cutler, Ajayi, Landry and of course Julius Thomas (I’m not being serious with the last one) all leave gaping holes to fill and there are plenty of question marks surrounding this team. Forget last year, that wasn’t Miami, played 16 straight games with a QB who didn’t overly care and a team that I don’t think bought into the ethos of Gase. Albert Wilson, Danny Amendola, Mike Gesicki and 1st round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick aim to fill those voids and whilst i think they will be a game or two off of the playoffs, hopefully for Dolphins fans, their trajectory could be on the rise, just in time for the Patriots fall. For fantasy, I don’t want any Miami Dolphin except maybe Gesicki in Dynasty (and perhaps a last round pick in redraft) as he could be a ready to explode in year one type of TE and certainly will have opportunity, not something TEs get in their rookie year if we look at the history. Tannehill (remember him?) will have to stay healthy for any success to come Miami’s way, otherwise its another losing season with the Brock Lobster.

Key storyline: Can Adam Gase finally get the players working as a team?

Buffalo Bills:

Last years surprise playoff team have to be Buffalo and boy are they in line for a crash back to earth.

Sneaking in to the postseason after Dalton shocking the Ravens in week 17, the Bills were there to make up the numbers. This year, they could be getting a top 3 pick in next years draft, dont @ me. They lose Richie Incognito in amongst 3 of their 5 starts on the o-Line last year, they have noone to catch the ball and even worse than that, they have noone to throw them the ball. Tyrod Taylor, criminally disrespected by the Bills organisation and fantasy GMs everywhere is now in Cleveland to get the same treatment, leaving AJ McCarron, who will be put to the wolves in a brutal opening schedule. Josh Allen isn’t ready but will no doubt be thrown in at some point, and Nathan Peterman….well, is Nathan Peterman. Their only fantasy worthy player is LeSean McCoy and he too is battling some off the field issues. He is facing father time in the next year or so and will be interested to see how much more tread he has on those tyres.

Their defence is OK and Tremaine Edmunds was a solid draft pick, but man this team are gonna struggle if they can’t run the ball. That said, they have a great coach and basically got to the playoffs last year with the same group. Surely they cant repeat?

Key Storyline: How many wins can Sean McDermott muster from a team deprived of talent?

New York Jets:

That brings us to the Jets. Somewhat gone under the radar this offseason for me.

They have an interesting training camp battle at Quarterback which will probably see Bridgewater traded at some point (seems to be impressing themost judging by reporter’s notes, but that could be smokescreen for said trade). Josh McCown is the favourite to start the season, but likely the underdog to finish it. He will at some point move to the coaching staff and Sam Darnold likely to get some snaps as the season goes on

Similar comments apply to the running back position, where Thomas Rawls and Isiah Crowell enter the fray with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire (the legend Matt Forte retiring leaving the number 1 back up for grabs). Crowell seems to be the favourite at this early stage for the gig but based on his Cleveland years, are you gonna have him in your fantasy teams and starting him with confidence? Didn’t think so.

Robby Anderson, the WR Alvin Kamara at points last year could be suspended for a little while (unconfirmed at this point) leaving an uninspiring combination of Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa (another forgotten man) and Terrelle Pryor at Wide receiver and some Joe Schmoes at Tight End (aka Clive Walford) catching passes.

Overall, Todd Bowles will do well to get the team near a playoff berth but their defence is young and battle ready with a year under their belts and could surprise a few teams if they take them for granted.

Key Storyline: At what point will Sam Darnold start?

Summary:

Not a lot of exciting storylines in the AFC East this year, both in NFL and fantasy terms. People will go into the furnace once more on Devante Parker (“This is the year”, etc) and Kenny Stills whilst over in Buffalo and New York, there isn’t a lot that takes my fancy (maybe Anderson if ADP is late and avoids a big suspension). The one standout for me is Chris Hogan, who was great last year when healthy and should get a lot of opportunity and volume in the Patriots passing attack that doesn’t feature Edelman for the 1st 4 games. I’ll never be a drafter of Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski so that pretty much leaves noone else in the division….joys.

In real life terms, there are a couple of subdued storylines that will take a bit of time to develop; the Jets at QB/RB (still, yuk), the assumed demise of the Patriots and which team will step up and challenge in the next few years. In a division where New England have won 14 out of the last 15 AFC East titles, it’s hard to predict change at this point.

Sorry folks, not much to see here.

Predictions:

1st -New England Patriots *YAWN*,

2nd – Miami Dolphins,

3rd – New York Jets,

4th – Buffalo Bills

Lee

The Patriots are in meltdown right? There was some possibly in-fighting last year between the owner, head coach and quarterback, now said superstar QB has skipped voluntary workouts for the first time in forever… oh my god, Julian Edelman is out for four games with a PED’s suspension! There’s even been talk of trading Rob Gronkowski! The tables must be turning in the AFC East right! Right…? Wrong.

The Pats have aired a little more dirty laundry in public than they’d like over the past few months but they’re still the top dogs in this division and still amongst the best teams in the AFC as a whole. They still have Brady, they still have Bill Belichick and the biggest mismatch in the league in Rob Gronkowski. Oh, and they managed to keep Josh McDaniels away from Indy.

It also helps that the rest of the division is average to baaaad.

The rest of the division are going to be fighting towards .500, in my opinion. The Bills are a mess on offense and it’s going to put a lot of pressure on a capable defense. From a fantasy perspective, avoid Bills players like the plague! Even if you’re thinking about drafting Shady in the second… Don’t! Let someone else fall in love with the big name. He’s going to face loaded boxes behind a bad offensive line because none of those QB’s are winning through the air.

The Jets have a few more interesting players but they all come with strings attached… Robby Anderson has legal troubles, Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell take touches off of each other but can both put in good game. Quincy Enunwa could be a waiver wire target in mid season once you’ve lost a guy or two to injury though. The Jets are a little further along in their rebuild and they’ll hope that they have their QB of the future in Sam Darnold now, but I still feel like they’re a year or two away; they still need a couple of good drafts and to develop their budding stars. Maybe once the Belichick era comes to a close they’ll be the best placed to take advantage.

Miami are probably the second best team, currently, in the AFC East but I don’t think they have a great quarterback or their next quarterback in the building right now. Tannehill is ok but he’s nothing special, plus he’s coming back from a major injury. The assessment of “ok but nothing special” applies to a lot of Miami’s roster too, in my book the offensive line is good but they’re the standout unit. From a fantasy perspective it’s also pretty messy; no one is drafting Frank Gore but could he take goal line work away from Kenyan Drake? Kallen Bellage will also be getting some touches. The wide receiver room is crowded too so tough to make a pick amongst them. However, one guy I do like is Mike Gesicki as a late round pick up, especially for dynasty leagues. Super athletic and a bigger red zone target than any of the ‘Fins wideouts. (I mentioned this the last time I appeared on The Full 10 Yards podcast, so give that a listen).

Pretty boring division overall in terms of how it’ll probably play out.

Predictions:

  1. New England Patriots
  2. Miami Dolphins
  3. New York Jets
  4. Buffalo Bills

Mock Draft Monday – Draft 1.0

It’s Monday….*sigh* so what’s a good remedy to brighten up a Monday?

No, not a beer. A mock draft of course!

It’s never too early to mock draft unless its Week 2 of the regular season and seeing as though it isn’t Week 2 right now, it seems like a perfect time to mock draft.

This week we will be doing our draft with the following setup:

12 team, 1pt PPR , 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and 1 DEF with 6 Bench spots (there is not point doing kickers). The rookies coming in from the 2018 draft will be included in this draft.

As it’s the first one in this series, we shall go easy on ourselves and we will be picking from the number 3 spot. We are drafting on FantasyPros mock draft simulator. A very good tool to use to get comfortable in drafting.

There will be a post or podcast in the very near future on draft strategies so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Right, so we are picking from the 3 seed. I know for a fact that we will be going RB in this first round as i am such an advocate for getting the RB1 locked in and with the 3 spot, you can guarantee that you’ll get a volume type elite back. With it being a PPR league, I am hoping for either LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, Zeke or David Johnson types.

Todd Gurley went #1 off the board followed by Antonio Brown.

This leaves us with a decision to make; and whilst no pick here is necessarily a bad one, don’t overthink it. It’s likely that you’ll have your preferences however it comes to you, and for me it’s a coin toss between Lev Bell and Zeke.

I will go Lev Bell, purely on the passing down work that he gets.

So we start off with Lev Bell and as our pick is not until the 10th pick of the 2nd round, I would hope that someone like a Davantae Adams drops this far, although unlikely. Anyone that is a funnelled target monster would be great.

Now, the important thing when drafting, is remember where you are in the draft order. If you are in the middle of the draft order then this doesn’t apply so much but as we are pretty much at one of the book ends, it is vital that you look at the teams picking next to you in between your 2 quick picks (i.e the teams that selected 1st and 2nd overall. This way you can try and identify their moves and stay one step ahead. You have to consider their roster construction to see what positions they may try and fill or are in need of.

in the round 2-3 change around, it’s likely that the 2 teams will have at least 1 RB and 1 WR so in this change around, you should go with who you want and not worry too much about the other 2 teams as its likely 2 WR and 2 RBs go in those 4 picks between your next one in round 3. Therefore, in my mind, I want to look at tiers of players.

Are there any players here that I can grab before these other guys that represent a higher tier than the next guy. Also, looking at the draft board on the whole, 2 teams went double WR and 1 team went double RB. Full list as below:

2018-04-16

Here is what is currently available to me:

QBs: All

RBs: Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Christian McCaffrey, Mark Ingram & Jordan Howard

WR: Adam Thielen, Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin, TY Hilton, Stefon Diggs & Brandin Cooks

TE: Everyone but Gronkowski (went 2.5)

When picking in the spot we are, you should always try and pick the players you like but also taking in to consideration which ones may not get back to you when the 3rd pick comes back round. I would put my house on Dalvin Cook being selected, and any other 3 from the list above. If is had to take a guess – Cook, Freeman, Thielen, Baldwin & maybe Kelce.

To me, this is an easy choice, but only because our turn comes back around very quickly and we will still be able to get the same tier of player when that happens. I am going to take Dalvin Cook, here. Purely because he could be a tier above the rest of the guys. I don’t feel overly comfortable taking a 2nd round pick on any of the WR but I will still be able to take one in the 3rd round (assuming 4 WR don’t go off the board).

So I have taken Dalvin Cook and that gives me 2 RBs to start (one note: if you would guarantee me that Joe Mixon fell to me in the 4th round, I would have gone WR most likely).

The next 4 picks are as follows: Rodgers (QB), Hill(WR),Kelce(TE), Baldwin(WR).

So we have had a bit of luck here as the 2 teams in between us reached a tad on Rodgers and Kelce (in my opinion). You’ll find picking at either end of the draft, that you feel that you may have to reach in order to get the players you want. Don’t be afraid to do that, especially if you think they are going to have a good year. Fantasy Football is all about opinions and it’s ok to make a wrong decision, as long as you learn from it.

So as we have 2 RBs already, it makes sense to go WR. We have Thielen, Hilton, Diggs, Cooks, Fitzgerald, Landry, Robinson. Like I said earlier with my round 2 pick, I want someone that will have targets funnelled to them as its a 1pt PPR. Whilst Thielen and Diggs will get plenty of receptions in this offence, my eyes are drawn towards Larry Fitzgerald – a PPR monster for god knows how long, and Allen Robinson, the new WR at Chicago who will be the focal point of the attack. whilst i don’t mind which WR anyone would go in this situation, for me it’s all about volume and opportunity so I will go with Larry Fitzgerald. Here’s one reason why: Larry fitz is around 90 or so catches from overtaking Tony Gonzalez and making it to No.2 on the all time list. Larry would not have come back unless the coaching staff said to him that we will get you to 2nd. As long Bradford stays healthy,  this will happen(even Mike Glennon can force feed WR, or the opposing Defence…).So with that in mind that’s 90 pts right off the bat for Larry Fitzgerald. The red flags here are injury or hitting the veteran wall (unlikely) and David Johnson. But in effect, this team has no WR apart from Fitzgerald as John Brown has been shown the exit door in free agency, as has Jaron Brown. Leaving just Fitz , FA Brice Butler and JJ Nelson so I am confident if healthy, Fitz gets the receptions record and then sets off into the Sonoran desert.

I take Fitzgerald and wait for a while before it comes back round to my pick at 4.10. On reflection, Larry Fitz as your no.1 WR seems a bit underwhelming, but you just have to trust on the production he will produce, especially in PPR leagues this year. In standard, I would have gone Thielen or Robinson.

So when the pick comes back to me in the 4th Round, here is the draft board:

2018-04-16-1.png

As you can see, most teams are pretty even in terms of roster construction. Team 1 does not have a running back yet so you can bet your bottom dollar that’s where he goes for at least 1 of his two picks that shortly follow mine and it’s hard to know what team 2 will do, having a RB, WR and QB on the board. Whilst Jordan Howard is VERY tempting here and likely will be picked up by team 1 if not team 2 and does represent a tier above the other RBs, there are some good PPR RBs that will still be there when it comes back to me in round 5 (Dion Lewis, Duke Johnson, etc) and i would rather have those than Howard, whose receiving is not the greatest. The WR available to me are: D.Thomas, M.Crabtree, J Smith-Schuster, Sammy Watkins, Pierre Garcon and Robert Woods. Easy choice for me here and it’s Thomas. Mr dependable in PPR for Denver, he is still their no.1 guy there (despite age getting scary for him but the same can be said for Sanders and they now have Case Keenum, who helped Thielen and Diggs have good years so I am really happy to get Thomas here.

The next 4 picks where Howard (gut wrenching stuff for Team 1 there), Russell Wilson (wayyyy too early) and Alex Collins for team 1, followed by Crabtree for Team 2.

So back to me in the 5th Round, I have Bell and Cook as my RBs paired with Larry Fitz and Demaryius Thomas at WR. I feel like this is an important pick here as from round 6, it could start to get a bit dicey. So essentially, this pick will go in to my flex spot and there are plenty of options. Could go QB with Tom Brady, could go TE with Engram or Olsen whereas the RB options are Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, Chris Thompson and Jay Ajayi. My WR options are the same as Round 4 minus Crabtree. As this is a PPR league and RB in PPR are easy to come by, I am going to make a play for WR. As things stand and no big news of 49ers WR signings, I will go for Pierre Garcon here. He is getting on a bit with age, and has not yet played with Jimmy G but he was the focal point of the attack last year and again, I will go for the volume and possession receivers. Did consider Sammy Watkins at the value but he will be too boom or bust for me this year and I don’t want the headache of trying to get him right.

Back round to me in the 6th and we have the following draft board:

2018-04-16-2.png

Bit of a QB run in Round 6 and 4 TEs also went between my picks. So the good news is the WR and RB positions were not as decimated as they could have been. As I have gone 3 straight WR, I want to secure my third RB here. Dion Lewis is still available, but so is his former teammate, Rex Burkhead. Rex has just signed a new 3 year deal with the Patriots and seems to be entrusted with the backfield a bit. Tevin Coleman is also there so I am tempted to take Lewis as he is the fancier name with the Free Agency move and I will hope that one of Burkhead or Coleman come back round to me in 5 picks time.

They do indeed come back round and only Carlos Hyde was selected from an RB perspective. Woods, Shepherd and Edelman also were drafted before my 7.03 selection. There are not a lot of WR shouting out at me, with the best 3 options being Sanders, Kupp and Hogan. As I am an advocate of a late QB and late TE pick, I will go back to an RB. Jay Ajayi could be worth a go here, but I am going with Rex Burkhead.

So to recap, my team is currently Bell, Cook, Lewis and Burkhead at RB. Larry Fitz, D.Thomas and Pierre Garcon at WR. 5QBs and 8RBs went in the next 18 picks which is quite astonishing. I am the only team left needing a first QB, meaning i can probably wait until people start taking their 2nd (if at all), giving me great value filling up the other positions (4 teams still need a TE). I feel like i have to go either TE or WR here. TEs available are Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton. As I am looking at Trey Burton as my TE, I think he wont go for another 2 or 3 rounds so can wait for him. WR available are Kupp, Hogan, Agholor, Benjamin and Lee. I think here is where i can go for a boom or bust player as my team is pretty stable as it is at the moment and I don’t need a QB. Considering how good the Rams were last year, I take the possession receiver Kupp as I want a part of that offence, in a division where defences are poor. He isn’t the boom or bust type, but there will be weeks where he scores big but has a safe floor. 3RBs and Delanie Walker were drafted in between my picks leaving us as follows:

2018-04-16-3.png

You could argue that I should have taken Walker and then a WR as Kupp may have been available which is fair. I’m regretting it already. I would say that now is the time for a TE or QB, but simply not many teams need a TE and none need a QB so i am going to risk the long wait for round 10 to take a TE and then my QB in round 11. I am going to pile in on another receiver. It’s either Agholor or Hogan for me here as they are in the more powerful offences and would rather them than someone like Kelvin Benjamin. I think Hogan was an integral part of the offence prior to injury last year so will take him here.

SPOILER: I wont be taking any rookies here unless its a 15th round flyer. I like to see it first before i draft it.

The Good news is, when it gets to me at 10.10, only 1 TE went. Annoyingly, it was Trey Burton. Seeing as that plan backfired, I feel like I will end up taking 2 TE now and playing them with the matchups. So I immediately take Jordan Reed, who has massive upside if healthy. This will force my hand in taking 2 TE but I am happy with that as my WR and RB are good in depth. Perhaps should take Jack Doyle in a PPR but the signing of Eric Ebron scares me and that Colts offence….yuk.

Jack Doyle is still there in round 11 but I am going to take my QB here. The best QB on the board at the moment is Kirk Cousins. Others available are Big Ben, Dak Prescott, Phillip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan. I am a bit scared of taking Cousins due to the Vikings not necessarily needing much from him with Dalvin Cook and that Defence. Big Ben is very up and down and that’s the case for all of these QBs at this point. But as there are a lot of weapons for Cousins, I will take him and change from my usual take Phillip Rivers ploy.

My team is as follows:

QB: Cousins

RB: Bell, Cook, Lewis, Burkhead

WR: Fitzgerald, D.Thomas, Garcon, Kupp, Hogan

TE: Reed

Options available to me now are TY Montgomery who has potential upside in the GB offence, Desean Jackson, Mohammed Sanu and Ted Ginn, boom or bust WR. However I am going to pick my backup TE to Jordan Reed in George Kittle. Probably not advisable to have players from the same passing attack, but I like Kittle a lot this season coming in to his second year. Could have gone Cameron Brate or Austin Seferian-Jenkins here also.

The turn saw Jacksonville defence come off the board (1st defence to be drafted) and as I am picking late in the last round, I do not want to be left with a middle of the road defence. It’s a take your pick from Minnesota, Philadelphia and for me, Los Angeles Rams. I am going to be controversial and take the Rams before the Vikings and Eagles defences. Don’t @ me. It’s a division where they could feast on the Seattle offence twice a year along with Arizona, one of the worst for giving up sacks last year.

My last pick could be absolutely anyone. RBs on the board are not inspiring: Abdullah, Martin , Breida and Robert Kelley. WRs are Desean Jackson, Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace,  Danny Amendola and Mo Sanu. I don’t need a TE and there is not point taking another defence or QB. So I plump for Sanu, who had some good weeks last year and is the No.1 in Atlanta, if Julio goes down.

So that’s my draft! The good thing about fantasyPros is that they grade your draft and here’s how I did:

2018-04-16-4.png

On reflection, there were probably one or two players I could have waited on a bit longer but this is why you practice drafts. to see what players are in which parts of the draft and get comfortable in predicting who you can get where. I love the RBs on this team and if it was real, i would look to trade one to an RB needy team. Not overly enthused about my TE but if Reed plays 16 games, then I perhaps have the steal of the draft.

Hope you enjoyed the ride! We will do another one soon. perhaps over a podcast as this was very painful to do as a blog and has taken almost 2 or 3 hours.

Love to hear your thoughts on my team or which team won in this draft. For reference, here are the final rosters below:

2018-04-16 (5)

Please get in touch on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and let us know your thoughts! Don’t forget our #raceto500 giveaway. When we have 500 followers we will give a prize away (likely an NFL jersey!). Please show some support on our website full10yards.com and look at some of the articles and mock drafts that are on there.

Finally, our podcast will be back later in the week where we will be looking at the 2018 NFL draft with our guest mock draft writer, Lee Wakefield.

 

Free Agency – Is my End Tight enough?

te_slant

The tight end position is a dumpster fire of a position in Fantasy. So I shall not keep you long.

You either stream the position until 1 sticks, draft one too high if you want to draft it and forget it (Gronkowski, Kelce being the main ones in recent years after Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen’s ascendancies in New Orleans and Carolina respectively). or you pick up a mid to late round one and maybe grab one off of waivers and “see how it goes”. Either way, GMs ideas of how to play the Tight end is probably one of the most varied on the spectrum of the skills positions (QB being the nearest comparative).

Couple with that, you aren’t able to get much of an edge from rookies as TEs don’t usually perform that great in the NFL (Evan Engram last year aside). Whether this is due to the TE always being scheme dependant, or it just takes a couple of years to get to grips with the TE position in the sport.

All in all, I can see why some leagues make the TE only position a flex, essentially treating the more elite TEs effectively a WR.

That said, the Free Agency has thrown up some interesting storylines heading in to the 2018 season;

Trey Burton was the guy who is probably the biggest winner in the TE Free Agency. He heads over to the Bears for a whopping 4 year, $32m deal. The coaching staff there have already come out and said they intend to use Trey Burton as a pass catcher, working from the slot on occasions (All aboard the hype train!) and with the name exposure he gained from the SuperBowl, expect Mr UK Men’s Clothes Retailer to go overdrafted in your league.

That said, he is only 26 and has his best years ahead and now will get the volume, so who’s to say he cant break into the top 5 this year at the Tight End position? The offence needs to take a step forward under Trubisky but a TE is always a QBs (especially newer QBs) best friend and security blanket. I think he’ll have a big year.

Jimmy Graham not signing back to the Saints was a big surprise once it was confirmed he was leaving Seattle. Instead Green Bay, who aren’t particularly great with TEs in recent memory, came calling and have acquired Jimmy Graham to a $30m, 3 year deal. On the face of it, considering how much Graham has slowed down and become more of a Redzone target (and injury prone), the Packers probably overpaid here. However, With Jordy gone, they needed to replace that Redzone/Endzone body who can just catch the ball and Graham certainly is that. Saints ended up signing former Baltimore Raven veteran Benjamin Watson, who is literally one of the oldest players I know (not personally) and have no idea how he is still getting work.

Ed Dickson, who showed as a competent replacement when Greg Olsen went down last year, has broken free from the shackles of Carolina and has replaced Jimmy Graham at Seattle. But before you get excited, Dickson is primarily a blocking tight end so don’t go rushing to pick him up for your fantasy rosters. Instead keep an eye on Nick Vannett. The 3rd year tight end looks certain to be the pass catcher here in Seattle so there is also a chance that both Dickson and Vannett share targets. In which case, temper expectations for both.

Another surprising move to me saw former New York Jets Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins move to Jacksonville. Surprising in the sense that why didn’t NYJ at least match that offer? They had the cap space for it, he produced effectively last year for the team and is still only 25 years young (if Ben Watson is the barometer for age). He has proved he is over his former demons so maybe there was something else the Jets weren’t liking and decided to cut ties. Either way, seems like a silly move as he was a good fit in that offence. I don’t see him being as good a fit in this offence, though Tom Coughlin knows how to get production out of TEs and often did with lesser names in New York. Jacksonville are going to be a run first heavy offence, but the signing of ASJ gives Bortles a security blanket to make easier, high percentage throws. They got him at a steal, too- $10m over 2 years.

 

Fantasy Impact: Most of the guys above will be drafted by GMs in 2018 (with the exception of maybe 1 in Seattle, but both of those will have streaming value once we have more info on depth and usage type). As stated above, expect Trey Burton to go way earlier than perhaps he should (perhaps 7th or 8th round in 10 team leagues, around the Delanie Walker/Jack Doyle/Jimmy Graham area?) so unless he falls to you in the 9th or 10th round, I’ll probably pass on Ertz in standard leagues. As he is likely to see a fair share of targets, I don’t mind so much in PPR seeing as though TE is a wasteland.

Jimmy Graham could be anything but if you want a QB throwing to you, it’s Aaron Rodgers (though Brock Osweiler to TE is the utopia for receptions lets not forget). However, note of caution on that; everyone thought Martellus Bennett was a good thing last year and he bombed out. I do think Graham will perform better than most recent tight ends in Green Bay due to the Jordy Nelson exit, vacating redzone targets narrative, but i wouldn’t touch him any earlier than the 9th or 10th round, and a lot of people will get him before then.


In other Tight End news:

Tyler Eifert re-signed with the Bengals and has sleeper credentials if he can stay healthy. A lot of people will have given up on him and this also kills Tyler Kroft’s value unless Eifert injures himself again in 2018 (more than likely). Eifert likely to be a double digit round guy because of this so has low risk and potentially high reward and is a perfect draft pick for those that stream the position anyway.

Luke Willson has signed with the Lions from Seattle, with the exiting Eric Ebron signing for the Colts in is what must be the worst Free Agency move in my opinion. Jack Doyle owners will not like the signing of Ebron as there is potentially a 2 TE setup onslaught coming from the colts to try and protect Andrew Luck and Ebron could quite easily eat in to the wealth of targets Jack Doyle saw last year (2nd in targets to Travis Kelce at the TE position with 80). Indianapolis have a history of employing 2 TEs in their lineups going back to the Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen days (doesn’t time go fast). Luke WIllson could see a bit of usage as the lions look to get answers at the TE position so may be a name worth keeping tabs on.

Virgil Green has signed with the Chargers, which was a slightly strange one and it’ll leave more puzzling questions as to what Hunter Henry does next season in terms of usage and receptions.

As previously stated, Ben Watson has signed with New Orleans on a 1 year deal and I fully expect the Saints to draft a TE early in this year’s draft (you can view my mock drafts here).

And finally, Cameron Brate signed a massive deal to re-sign with the Buccaneers so the tandem of he and OJ Howard will continue to leave GMs scratching their heads at which one to utilise in their fantasy teams next season.