The way TEs are going down this year, you'd think we were talking about running backs.
The top three TEs off the board in almost every fantasy draft: Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark and Jermichael Finely. Finley and Clark are both out for the season, and now Gates is banged up.
Several other guys drafted to be starters have struggled (Witten, Celek and Shiancoe). Owners looking for an upgrade have picked up guys like Hernandez, Lewis and Watson, who are off to strong starts.
But can any of these pickups realistically be top-five options? Probably not, but it is possible. But now with Dallas Clark out for the year, his replacement, Jacob Tamme, does have top-five upside.
So Who Is Jacob Tamme?
Well, in my league, Clark's owner made the mistake of picking up Brody Eldridge, who has been listed as the backup TE for the Colts this season. I guess he didn't research it very carefully because Eldridge is used as a blocking tight end, Tamme is more built for Clark's role. It didn't take long, as Tamme has already been listed as the No. 1 TE on the Colts depth chart. Lucky for me I was able to grab Tamme after he made this foolish pickup.
So is this Tamme guy any good? Well he was drafted in the fourth round by the Colts in 2008 after a couple outstanding years at Kentucky. He led all SEC tight ends with 32 receptions for 386 yards and two TDs in his junior year. His senior season was even better: 56 receptions for 619 yards and six TDs. He was named to the first team All-SEC both seasons.
He is 6'3", 240 pounds and ran a 4.60 40-yard dash at the combine. He is known for having great hands and making plays after the catch. He is used to lining up in the slot like a wide receiver, which should help him fit in to Clark's role. He is known for his impressive work ethic, which is an absolute necessity for anyone playing with Peyton Manning. Oh, and Tamme is pretty smart too. He earned numerous accolades at Kentucky while completing his degree in three years and getting his MBA before leaving for the NFL. That should help him get on the same page as Peyton.
He gets to play in place of Dallas Clark. He has Peyton Manning throwing to him, and Peyton seems to make everyone look great. I highly doubt that Peyton will stop throwing to the TE just because Clark is gone. Peyton doesn't seem to do that, instead he helps players step up when starters go down.
For those of you struggling at the TE position or just looking for a nice backup, Tamme is well worth a pick up. I picked him up to backup Zach Miller, and possibly use as some trade bait if he really gets going. I can in no way guarantee that he becomes an elite option, but Peyton has an excellent track record of turning "nobodies" into stars, so why not Tamme?