The last week of preseason should typically be ignored for fantasy purposes, but on rare occasions, there are exceptions.
Tim Wright is one of those exceptions.
It's not the fact that he caught four of six targets for 43 yards Thursday night against the New York Giants. It's hard to put much stock in that since Jimmy Garoppolo was throwing him the ball.
What's important, rather than the results, was the process. Just two days after being traded to the New England Patriots from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the talented 24-year-old already looked extremely comfortable in the "move" tight end role.
Bleacher Report and Boston.com's Erik Frenz made a comparison we've been hearing a lot in the last couple of days:
Tim Wright doing Aaron Hernandez-y things on the football field. Emphasis on the last four words.— Erik Frenz (@ErikFrenz) August 29, 2014
Garoppolo, via The Boston Globe's Ben Volin, was also quick to praise Wright:
Garoppolo is impressed with Tim Wright’s intelligence. “Picked it up very quickly.”— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 29, 2014
Again, it's difficult to put too much stock into anything that happened on Thursday night. But as WEEI.com's Christopher Price argued, this paints a picture of an incredibly tantalizing future for the second-year pro:
If that was the starting point for Tim Wright--with 2 days of practice--it is going to be VERY interesting watching him operate.— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) August 29, 2014
Thursday was further confirmation: Wright will not be backing up Rob Gronkowski. A receiver in college, he will line up all over the field, while Gronk will do his work off the line of scrimmage. With Tom Brady under center, there's a lot of potential in that role, especially for a player who caught 54 passes and five touchdowns as a rookie in a much lesser offense.
Of course, there are some drawbacks here.
Where will Wright finish among tight ends?
The Patriots have a deep passing corps. Gronkowski and Julian Edelman will be Brady's favorite targets, while Shane Vereen is going to get a ton of looks out of the backfield, and Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell and Aaron Dobson should also see some looks.
Moreover, the tight end position is still an absolutely stacked one. Even in the TE2 range, according to average draft position, you're looking at players with incredibly high upside like Ladarius Green or Travis Kelce, or players with solid floors like Charles Clay or Heath Miller.
If you're in need of a second tight end, though, I wouldn't be afraid to clog Wright into that group. He's going to be a major part of this offense, and he's in a role that is conducive to fantasy-friendly numbers, as we saw with Aaron Hernandez for a couple of years.