There are all kinds of strategies to assembling a fantasy football team, but an approach I seem to find myself sticking to across all Fantasy Sports is ensuring to balance my high risk picks with what I consider safe and reliable options.
I kicked off my All-Reliable QBs, Running Backs and Wide Receivers already and for the purpose of this 2013 Fantasy Football All Reliable Team, players who are projected in the top third of required starters at their positions based on FantasyPros consensus rankings and standard league roster formats aren’t included.
For example, everyone wants a receptions hawk like Jason Witten, but he is currently ranked 4th, so he isn’t eligible.
2013 Fantasy Football All-Reliable Team: Tight Ends
Greg Olsen, Carolina
Olsen is coming off a career season, in which he finished as the 6th best Tight End option. Olsen is currently ranked 9th among the “Expert” crowd, but with no changes for the Black Cats his role shouldn’t change and that sounds like value to me. He might have reached his ceiling in 2012, but there is nothing wrong with a handful of scores and the 4th most receiving yards within the position.
The Bears 2007 1st rounder had teased fantasy owners with his potential for half a decade and although, you’d like to see more TDs, Olsen settles in as middle tier TE. He has gelled nicely in Carolina and should easily repeat his 2012 numbers.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco
Alright, so maybe Davis isn’t the safest guy at all. But heading into draft season talent rules and there is no denying what he is capable of doing. Secondly, with Michael Crabtree’s injury Davis will have to see his targets increased. Talent + Opportunity = Safe Pick! Although, I have never really been a math guy.
This is a player who has hauled in 13 TDs in the past and gone good for just under 100o yards, so his current 8th ranking presents exceptional value. He is a matchup nightmare, post-season monster and clicked with Colin Kaepernick when it counted against the Falcons and Ravens to finish the season.
Early Thoughts on Fantasy Tight Ends
It would appear that there is value to be found in the middle rounds, as Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez are going around the 6th round. However, after that Dennis Pitta, Vernon Davis and Kyle Rudolph are all coming off the board basically a round at a time.
It gets sort of interesting, because the bottom tier are all being gobbled up between the 9th and 11th round. Jermichael Finley, Greg Olsen, Antonio Gates, Brandon Myers, Owen Daniels, Martellus Bennett, Jared Cook and Jermaine Gresham all have an ADP currently between 110 and 140.
There is obviously a lot of security in owning Jimmy Graham, but it’ll cost you. Instead, I am looking at the value of Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten in the middle rounds, or the above discussed Vernon Davis. If those pieces don’t fit into my drafting puzzle, I’ll fall back to my old TE approach of looking for the hot hand and staying active on the waiver wire.
Finally, I’d recommend some additional reading from my colleague at The Fake Football, C.D. Carter, who has looked deeply into the reality of streaming TEs. It is a great read and given the dynamics of the position, the depth and number of TEs going around round 10 as highlighted above, it may be a solid strategy heading into 2013.
I’m a Loyal Leafs, Cubs, and Cowboys fan for decades. I wear the C for The Fake Hockey, in addition to contributing to The Fake Baseball and The Fake Football in more of a Timmy Try Hard role. You can also find my weekly fantasy baseball preview here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.