If you are anything like me, one of the last things that you do in your fantasy football draft is take a tight end.
Not because a good starting tight end isn't valuable because trust me, having Antonio Gates in your lineup is one less headache you need to deal with. Not at all, it is because the tight end position is ridiculously deep.
There are at least 20 tight ends that you could make a case for starting. Compare that to the amount of quarterbacks and running backs that are of the same starting quality, and you can see why I wait.
These are those guys that were picked up as last minute additions or are still available on the waiver wire and should have a big opening game and cause everyone to scramble to pick them up.
But you will know better and already have them...and reap the benefits.
The Cleveland Browns are an emerging team. While they may not make the playoffs for real, they have several players who will help you get to the fantasy playoffs.
Evan Moore is one of them. In a West Coast offense, the tight end is a highly utilized position, and Colt McCoy turned to Moore more often than not.
The two had great chemistry in the preseason and that helped lead to a contract extension for Moore.
There are concerns about Moore's health as he tends to take big hits...to the head. Moore might sit out a few games later in the season, but this week, Week 1 against Cincinnati, Moore should have a big weekend.
Projected Stats: 67 yards, one touchdown
It's hard to call a guy who scored 10 touchdowns and caught 700 receiving yards a sleeper, but Marcedes Lewis is still ranked outside the top 10 at tight end. That means one of two things. Tight end is especially deep, or his spike last season is perceived as a fluke.
Yahoo! Sports has him rated as the 14th overall tight end, meaning unless you have a Jaguars fan in your league he is likely available. He is rated behind unproven commodities such as Jared Cook and Jimmy Graham.
Lewis is a big focal point of the offense especially with the Jags being so thin at receiver. The Jaguars open at home against Tennessee. The matchup is a good one for Lewis, and he should put up big points.
Projected Stats: 92 yards, no touchdowns
From 2009 to 2010, Brandon Pettigrew nearly doubled his receiving yards and touchdowns. If he manages that again, he will become a borderline elite tight end.
Detroit is playing Tampa Bay this week, so the matchup is a good one. The Lions looked absolutely unstoppable against New England two weeks ago. As long as Matt Stafford is healthy, the Lions offense will be one of the most potent in the NFL.
There is a concern that Pettigrew's production will drop if Stafford is injured, but for the first week, Pettigrew should put up big numbers in the Lions' passing attack.
Projected Stats: 45 yards, two touchdowns
Lance Kendricks already has shown he can play in the NFL. Catching three touchdown passes in the preseason puts him among the most productive at the tight end position.
Kendricks is a bit undersized so he will not be on the field for every play, but when he is, it will likely mean pass and Sam Bradford has targeted him plenty in the preseason, so there is no reason for that trend to not continue.
The Rams pull a tough draw in the first week against Philadelphia. That means that the receivers will likely be covered. Sam Bradford will likely be looking to Kendricks to bail him out when he is feeling the pressure.
Bad for the Rams, good for your fantasy team.
Projected Stats: 52 yards, one touchdown
Common sense would tell you to avoid the Carolina Panthers on your fantasy team at all costs. They have a rookie quarterback, the offensive line has looked like they are practicing to be bull fighters and the running game has not looked up to snuff.
Even with all that, Greg Olsen is a pass catching tight end in an offense that relies heavily on the tight end being able to make plays.
The Panthers have play makers in Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but the quarterback situation is really hurting them.
Cam Newton was not accurate during the preseason, but connected with Olsen several times. As Newton grows as a passer, the offense will come with him. In the mean time, he will use Olsen and Jeremy Shockey as security blankets, meaning their value will exceed their draft position.
Projected Stats: 81 yards, no touchdowns