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. And that’s why I started writing my 2013 Fantasy Football All-Risk Team.
For the purpose of this post, players who aren’t projected to be starters at their positions based on FantasyPros consensus rankings and standard league roster formats aren’t included.
Further, with only 12 options, I’m going to take a few liberties and associate risk with ADP and incorporate the final results of your team’s makeup. It’d be pretty easy to list Rob Gronkowski as risky and move on, but not today my friends, not today.
2013 Fantasy Football All-Risk Team: Tight Ends
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
But Neil, how can the consensus number 1 TE in fantasy football be risky? Well brilliant reader, I am so glad that you asked.
I have mocked my socks off and approached a number of them with the sole purpose of taking Jimmy Graham in the early 2nd round. Recently, in an industry mock with my colleagues and friends at Fantasy Sports Locker Room, I selected Graham in the 2nd and the inevitable took place, I was short at WR and RB.
Jimmy Graham should easily cruise through 2013 as Fantasy Football’s top TE, but with the position’s depth and reliable options available on waivers weekly, his current 2nd round price tag is steep. Passing on running backs and wide receivers early could leave you searching for answers in the 4th round and hiding in the other room when you select Ryan Mathews, or settling for Greg Jennings as your 2nd WR.
Is Jimmy Graham risky as a player, absolutely not, although, he has had some injury issues, everything looks straight ahead for this season. The risky factor with selecting Graham is the position it puts your fantasy team in and it leaves little, to no room for error when plucking mid-round running backs and wide receivers.
Just remember, TE is a deep position. In my mock experiences this summer, Jimmy Graham in the 2nd round has crumbled my running backs or wide receivers. I’ve tried to make it work, but it just doesn’t. Ohhh, how I’ve tried.
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
This is the same guy who has been a super-secret-sleeper pick for the Titans the last 2 or 3 years right? So now, he is back on the trendy map with the post-hype, relocation buzz coordinates.
There is no reason not to be optimistic about Cook heading into the season, but to the tune of the consensus 9th ranked TE and 10th off the board is mighty generous in my books. Lance Kendricks wont be a complete afterthought either, especially considering he had 3 scores and a 2-point conversion over the final 6 games of 2012.
The talent isn’t in question with Cook and he flirted with being a reliable fantasy starter in 2011, but regressed last season and has never caught 50 passes, 5 TDs, or gone good for 800 yards in a season. That should make anyone reaching for him as their starter a little nervous.
However, owners will be rewarded if Cook finally breakouts and even more so, if he can become Sam Bradford’s go-to-man inside the 20. If Cook lands in your hands you could hit the jackpot, but there is no need to reach for him, with other upside guys likely also available.
Updated Thoughts on Fantasy TEs
In the All-Reliable Team breakdown, I talked about being active on the waiver wire with TEs and I doubt I’ll personally be reaching for anyone. The position is just too deep and there is little separation amongst those currently ranked 8-20. A case could be made for Dustin Keller, while Rob Housler and Jordan Cameron are currently conducting the hype train right up draft boards.
Then, there are options like Jermichael Finley and Antonio Gates looking to return to prominence, Fred Davis returning from injury and former first rounder Martellus Bennett in a new pass happy offense. The list goes on and on, with Jermaine Gresham, Brandon Pettigrew and Brandon Myers.
With all that being said, don’t be oblivious to what is going on, because others are likely going to be waiting too and there is a lot of security in Vernon Davis if you’re set and comfortable at running back and wide receiver.
I’ll leave you with this little tidbit that Gonos shared in the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition. In the 14 seasons between 1990 and 2003, 37 TEs scored 100 fantasy points, in the last 4 seasons, 40 TEs have surpassed the century mark.
The position is changing and if you are used to reaching for a tight end, your draft approach should change too.
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 work here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.