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Since we have already gone over quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, it is now time for the fourth and final installment of our Mispriced Pairs series, tight ends. As a reminder, everything we look at will be in the context of a standard, non-PPR format.

The tight end position in 2015 is an interesting one. Rob Gronkowski is in a class all by himself, and he deserves to be a first-round pick in almost any format or league size.

The next tier includes Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce and Martellus Bennett. I think all four of those players are relatively interchangeable and all will probably be drafted between picks 40 and 60 overall.

The next 10 or so tight ends provide marginal differentiation and all have varying degrees of warts on them.

If you do not take the Gronk plunge early or snag a tight end from the next tier, I think you are best off picking up a tight end late in your draft. There just isn’t a huge need to grab the sixth best tight end when the 16th ranked one is not projected to be drastically different.

As you have seen, we will look at three pairs of tight ends, analyzing their differences in ADP and projected Fantasy production, and discuss why the gap in draft position should not be as wide or present at all.

We have used ADP and projections data from www.fantasypros.com. They compile consensus figures from a variety of sources so the chances of site biases are minimized.

Now let’s get to it!

New Digs versus New QB

Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins

Games Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TDs Fum Lost Fantasy Pts ADP
2013 15 80 917 11.5 7 0 133.7
2014 10 24 424 17.7 2 0 54.4
2015 Proj 51 618 12.1 5 0 88.2 88
Career 12.3

 

Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Games Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TDs Fum Lost Fantasy Pts ADP
2013 15 60 571 9.5 6 0 93.1
2014 15 63 890 14.1 4 0 113.0
2015 Proj 58 682 11.8 4 1 92.2 116
Career 11.9

 

Jordan Cameron signed a free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason, and he is trying to put an injury-riddled 2014 campaign behind him. By landing with the Fish, Cameron arrives in appealing spot.

The Dolphins targeted their tight ends over 20 percent more than the Browns did in 2014. Also, the revamped Dolphins offense, at least on paper, looks to be better than they were last year when they finished 11th in the league in terms of points per game. This compares to the sixth-worst offense that Cameron leaves behind in Cleveland. The main drawback in signing with the Dolphins is that there are a lot of mouths to feed, especially when you consider the growing role of Jarvis Landry.

Delanie Walker has turned his career around since arriving in the Music City prior to the 2013 season. Last year, Walker was the fifth-most targeted tight end in the NFL in addition to leading the Titans in targets, receptions and receiving yards.

It will be interesting to see how Walker and rookie quarterback, Marcus Mariota, do in their first year together. The receiving corps of the Titans looks quite weak so Walker should continue to be one of the major focal points of the offense again.

The consensus projections give Delanie Walker a four-Fantasy point advantage over Jordan Cameron, yet Cameron is being picked nearly 30 spots earlier.

Do not catch the Fish; be patient and take the Titan.

Mile High versus The North Star

Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos

Games Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TDs Fum Lost Fantasy Pts ADP
2013 5 24 252 10.5 3 0 43.2
2014 15 48 527 11.0 4 0 76.7
2015 Proj 49 558 11.4 5 0 82.6 120
Career 11.9

 

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings

Games Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TDs Fum Lost Fantasy Pts ADP
2013 8 30 313 10.4 3 0 49.3
2014 9 24 231 9.6 2 0 35.1
2015 Proj 52 564 10.8 5 0 83.8 152
Career 9.7

 

Owen Daniels is looking for a bounce-back campaign in 2015, and he has a decent shot at it with Peyton Manning now throwing him the pigskin. However, the Broncos targeted their tight ends 25 percent fewer times than Daniels’ previous employer, the Ravens, did last year.

In addition, both his role and the Broncos game plan are both a little in question heading into the season. There has been plenty of chatter how the Broncos will place a heavier focus on the running game than they have in previous seasons. Also, Virgil Green should see plenty of snaps given the potential for more two tight-end sets and his solid blocking ability.

Kyle Rudolph just needs to stay healthy. He has only played in 17 of the Vikings’ 32 games over the past two seasons. When on the field, Rudolph has shown to be a solid red zone threat evidenced by his 17 career touchdown receptions in only 48 games. The Vikings should be much better on offense in 2015 given the return of Adrian Peterson and the continued development of Teddy Bridgewater.

Owen Daniels and Kyle Rudolph have essentially the same consensus projection in terms of Fantasy points, which seems reasonable. The part that does not seem reasonable is the fact that Daniels is going over 30 picks before Rudolph.

Pass on Peyton’s guy and pick up Teddy’s guy. Man, I never thought I would have said that.

Free Agent versus Last Man Standing

Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills

Games Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TDs Fum Lost Fantasy Pts ADP
2013 16 69 759 11.0 6 0 119.4
2014 14 58 605 10.4 3 0 78.5
2015 Proj 50 543 10.9 3 0 74.4 172
Career 11.2

 

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

Games Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TDs Fum Lost Fantasy Pts ADP
2013 9 45 499 11.1 3 0 69.7
2014 11 50 465 9.3 0 1 44.5
2015 Proj 59 604 10.2 4 1 80.2 219
Career 10.1

 

Charles Clay cashed in big time in free agency as he is now the fourth highest paid tight end for the 2015 season. In Buffalo, he lands in a murky situation at best. The Bills have a mess at quarterback, LeSean McCoy is already banged up, and Sammy Watkins appears to be the only real threat at wide receiver. The coach and personnel are different this year, but it is worth mentioning that last year the Bills targeted their tight end about 25 percent fewer times than the Dolphins did. The main upside to the inept looking Buffalo offense is that Charles Clay does not have a very tough path to targets.

Jordan Reed looked to be in a timeshare heading into the 2015 season. That was until season-ending injuries hit both Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen. Now, Reed has the gig all to himself and the only question will be around his own health. Reed has not been very durable over his brief NFL career. He has missed 12 of the 32 games over the his first two seasons due to various injuries. With Kirk Cousins now at the helm, Reed looks to stay on the field and take full advantage of the situation he has been handed.

Realistically, both of these guys will be picked as a backup in most leagues or as starters in deep leagues. That being said, it makes no sense the have Jordan Reed being picked nearly 50 spots after Charles Clay when Reed has a consensus projection that is six points higher.

Let the Bill be someone’s problem and pick the Skin late.

Once you take out Gronk and the few others in the next tier, the tight end position appears to be quite similar from a Fantasy perspective for 2015. If you are going to wait on tight ends, make sure you pick the right ones.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Mispriced Pairs series and good luck to all this season.

Data courtesy of www.fantasypros.com and www.nfl.com

 

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