A good quarterback can essentially play until the wheels fall off, and tight ends take a long time to develop. When it comes to finding a consensus on age and Fantasy Football production for quarterbacks and tight ends, however, it seems more important to focus on an individual player than a general set of stats.
The quarterback and tight end position are very unique in terms of Fantasy production, so my articles on running back ages and Fantasy Football success and wide receiver ages and Fantasy Football success are a little more in-depth.
You will be hard pressed to find a wide receiver or running back in his late thirties return from a severe neck injury to post some of the best numbers of his career, but that is exactly what Peyton Manning accomplished.
After his final season with the Falcons, teams were still trying to coax the then 37-year old Tony Gonzalez out of retirement, as he finished 2013 with 859 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches.
Success & Ages of Quarterbacks & Tight Ends
Quarterback Production & Age
Out of the Top 10 Fantasy Football quarterbacks in 2014, five were over the age of 30. Obviously, with the ages of quarterbacks, certain mechanics will start to decline, but that doesn’t mean you need to completely avoid an older signal caller.
There is a lot of chatter stating that Drew Brees has lost a step, and the New Orleans Saints are going to a more run-heavy attack because the 36-year-old quarterback is on the decline.
Drew Brees Fantasy finishes among QBs since 2005: 3 2 1 1 6 2 1 4 2 7 ..yet many arguing he will plummet because they lost Graham? C’mon.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 7, 2015
By at least looking at the numbers, you wouldn’t find that statement to be accurate. Last season, Brees posted the third-best completion percentage of his career, the fifth-most passing yards, the fifth-most 300 yard passing games and tied his 2010 season with the sixth-most touchdowns. In a 14-year career, that isn’t too bad.
I’m not going to ignore the bad numbers though, as he tied for the fourth-most interceptions of his career in 2014, and his average yards per pass was in the middle of the pack of his career totals. So while he may not be the same quarterback as he was during his 46-touchdown season in 2011, that doesn’t mean he will fall off the face of the earth, or even out of the Top 10 quarterbacks for 2015.
Tight End Production & Age
As far as tight ends go, the position is unique because of the importance of blocking. Zach Ertz is a young talent, but he lost opportunities in favor of a better blocker, Brent Celek. It can take a tight end several years to work his way into an offense, so the window for finding elite-tight end talent in Fantasy Football drafts can be very small.
Even with the coach talk of Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins receiving bigger roles in their second year in the league, that doesn’t mean they will replace Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham as the new star tight ends of the NFL.
To find tight ends with upside, I generally look for teams with younger or mobile quarterbacks. A tight end who is a good blocker will be out on the field more, and younger and mobile quarterbacks will often look to their tight ends as security blankets.
There is also something to say for veterans such as Antonio Gates, Jason Witten and Owen Daniels, as their experience lends to building a good rapport with their quarterbacks.
Drew Brees Photo Credit: Kelly Bailey
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