Former New Orleans Saints and New York Giants star tight end Jeremy Shockey may not be done in fantasy football, after all.
The former wrecking ball of a tight end has found a team in such desperate need of an upgrade at tight end, that his regressing skills may actually translate to reasonable fantasy success in 2011.
Shockey has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal to become the Carolina Panthers' new starting tight end. The star tight end announced the move on Facebook, and the move has since been confirmed from several media outlets.
While its not ground-breaking news at this time, it's still worth repeating and taking a look at.
From the perspective of adding to a team to win games, Shockey isn't necessarily a huge name for the Panthers to land, but from a fantasy football perspective, Shockey arguably couldn't have found himself in a better situation to revive his slowly drowning career.
After bursting onto the scene as a tough as nails rookie for the Giants in 2002, Shockey proceeded to churn out six consecutive solid seasons, both by NFL and fantasy football standards. He was consistently among the top 10 tight ends selected each year, until he saw his value take a major hit over the past three seasons in the pass-happy, but spread out, New Orleans offensive attack.
Can Shockey be a solid fantasy player again?
While in New Orleans, Shockey battled his share of injuries, while scoring just six touchdowns in three seasons. While Shockey still found his way to at least 40 receptions and 400 yards in every year with New Orleans, his injuries and inconsistent role slowly killed his fantasy stock.
Now in Carolina, where the Panthers haven't had a viable tight end option since the days of Wesley Walls, Shockey has a chance to turn his career around. His new environment doesn't come with some obstacles, however.
First, Shockey needs to work hard to get into better shape, both to perform on the field, and to stay on it.
Second, Shockey won't be catching passes from quarterbacks like Eli Manning or Drew Brees, like he has for nearly his entire career. Rather, he'll be running routes and getting open for either Jimmy Clausen or a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Regardless, considering Shockey's NFL career and fantasy relevancy were all but gone, the signing brings new life and new possibilities for a player who is still technically in his prime at 29 years of age.
You won't find Shockey high on NFL Soup's fantasy tight end rankings heading into 2011, but you can start the talk now about him possibly breaking back into the spotlight as a quality fantasy sleeper. That is, of course, if there is an NFL and fantasy football season in 2011.