I find Fantasy thought intriguing. A couple of articles regarding the NFL Tight End position lead to thoughts of how Andy Reid envisions using his three Tight Ends in the upcoming season. The Tight end position sure does seem to be a security blanket for NFL Quarterbacks.
I thought it might be helpful to use a slightly wider lens in examining how NFL tight ends were once used, and how they’re deployed today.
- Targets: 2,684
- Receptions: 1,698
- 25+ Yard Catches: 95
- Touchdowns: 137
- Targets: 3,340
- Receptions: 2,147
- 25+ Yard Catches: 129
- Touchdowns: 187
- Targets: 3,827
- Receptions: 2,449
- 25+ Yard Catches: 186
- Touchdowns: 202
It’s all a bit jarring. Distilled, here’s the main takeaway from the above numbers: tight ends of a decade ago (this includes all tight ends) averaged 28.5 targets per season. This number in 2012 spiked to 35.5 targets per season.
That sort of increase, spread across all 108 NFL tight ends, could – and should – change the way we think about the position in fantasy football.
What should we expect from our three headed Ghidrah? 110 Targets on the season? Seems awfully low when the Chiefs will hopefully have 560 targets to divvy up to the pass catchers in 2013.
Rules that limit contact near the line of scrimmage and penalizing head-hunting hits so common in over-the-middle pass routes don’t just benefit Graham and Gronkowski, but Greg Olsen (ADP 10.06) Martellus Bennett (ADP 12.09), Jordan Cameron (ADP 13.09), and Rob Housler (ADP 14.04).
"No longer is the intimidation factor relevant in the middle of the field," Trent Dilfer said in an interview with theTampa Bay Times. "I've seen routes being called with tight ends and slot receivers that you never even thought about running 10 years ago because you'd get your guys killed. So now you get all this chunk yardage in the middle of the football field with players that don't have to necessarily have top-end speed." - dc
ADP or Average Depth of Pass is important. Ten and 15 yard chunks of yardage with the possibility of 15 targets per game to the TE position. Dwayne Bowe is going to get his targets (probably approaching 10 per game) and Jamaal Charles is going to get his touches. The beauty though is that teams like Dallas, Baltimore, and Atlanta only have one dude. The Chiefs can line up two; just like New England was able too.
Streaming is the ability to match-up cheaper fantasy players in favorable situations against teams that are poor against something. Like Antonio Gates against the Chiefs. Most teams either have an answer for the Tight End or they don't. Almost none have an answer for two pass catching Tight ends.
Carter illustrates the futility of attempting to ride a single tight end all season long if he does not qualify as among the best of the best at his position. He also demonstrates how the highest tight end point totals are delivered by such a wide array of players as to make it foolish to expect consistent output from the non-elite. As we will demonstrate later on, he is right on the money. - pt
Out of the top 25 scoring tight ends, 18 of them averaged more points scored against defenses that were in the bottom half of the league in defending fantasy tight ends. Oddly, only five of the top 10 tight ends averaged more fantasy points against bottom half defenses. However, from the 11th tight end through the 25th, just two averaged more points against top-half tight end defenses than they did against the bottom-half teams. - pt
Is it possible, that having two or three middle tier Tight Ends is better than just one Gronkowski or Pitta?
It is very tempting to treat that piece of data like sausage, and just enjoy it without asking too many questions about what goes into it – and risk being inaccurate in attempting an explanation. However, one thought that comes to mind would be their relative importance to game planning.
From the first group, Gronkowski, Witten, Dennis Pitta, Owen Daniels and Kyle Rudolph all averaged more points on a per-game basis against the tougher tight end defenses. Perhaps this is indicative of the fact that these players are so vital to their respective offenses that they tend to play prominent roles in the game plan on a weekly basis, regardless of the opponent.
Tight ends who play more of a bit part in their offenses are more apt to show up when the conditions are favorable. Martellus Bennett, for instance, saw 61 out of his 84 targets (72.6 percent) when facing bottom-half tight end defenses (60 percent of opponents, not counting Week 17 games). He was targeted 6.8 times per game against easier competition, as opposed to seeing only 3.8 passes come his way against top-half tight end defenses. -pt
Another thought is that a single dominant TE has known areas of strength and weakness. Why is it not possible to play a match-up game against the defense with maybe not dominant TE's but an assortment of strengths against certain defenders on a weekly basis. Much was made of Jon Dorsey and Andy Reid's lack of attention to WR in Free Agency. Donnie Avery was the only notable signing and he was expected to play the Slot. Anthony Fasano was signed, Travis Kelse was drafted with our 2nd 2013 draft selection, and Tony Moeaki remains on the roster.
Maybe Andy Reid addressed the WR position in a different way than we thought he would?