TE Fantasy Sleepers – Dante Pitts

Finding the perfect Fantasy sleeper can always prove difficult considering they are usually sitting around late rounds being passed on. I’ll give you some picks that while be available beyond the seventh round and will supply you with productive fantasy numbers.

  1. Zach Miller – After Martellus Bennett was shipped off to the Patriots this immediately boosted the fantasy outlook on Zach Miller. In the last 8 games of the 2016 season, Miller caught a touchdown pass in at least 4 of the contests. Jay Cutler relies heavy on Tight Ends and Miller should show a good production value in the late rounds of drafts.
  2. Dwayne AllenAndrew Luck is back and Coby Fleener is gone, the Colts enjoy throwing the ball off of play action passes in the red zone and Allen will be there to reap the benefits. In the past, Rob Chudzinski has been known to rely heavily on his Tight Ends. I would avoid Allen in PPR leagues as I do predict he will not have much of an impact in those leagues. I expect Allen to pull down somewhere around 5-7 touchdowns this season.

    Charles Clay. Photo by Erik Drost

    Charles Clay. Photo by Erik Drost

  3. Charles Clay – Charles Clay had an inconsistent 2015 as he missed 3 games due to back injury. He finished the season on 51 catches for 528 yards. Behind Sammy Watkins, Clay will be the second receiving threat on the Bills. As he continues to get reps from Tyrod Taylor, Clay should emerge as a TE2 and should be found in late rounds of the draft
  4. Eric Ebron – Eric Ebron has proved to be of the most inconsistent Tight Ends in the fantasy realm. He is going into his 3rd year on a Detroit Lions offense that will be missing Calvin Johnson. There is no way to replace Johnson, but look for Matt Stafford to distribute more targets towards Ebron. I would look to take Ebron somewhere after the 10th round, that way if his inconsistency continues you can easily send him to the waiver wire.
  5. Julius Thomas – The Jaguars emerged last season with one of the better NFL offenses. Although Thomas did not play a significant role in the success of the Jags, look for him to bounce back this season. Even with the broken hand he suffered he was still able to reel in 80 receptions. Look for Thomas to have a bounce back season as he is going to have a healthy off-season and, hopefully, a healthy pre-season.
  6. Antonio Gates – Antonio Gates ended up missing 5 games last season and is 36 years old but shows no signs of slowing down. Depending on what you would officially call a “sleeper”, Gates should be available in the 7th or 8th round. Ladarius Green is off to Pittsburgh and should definitely help Gates real in some more targets from Philip Rivers. Last season Gates averaged 8.5 fantasy points last season and shows ton of value this season. Even if you take Gates as a backup and his input declines, it wouldn’t be hard to cut ties with the veteran Tight End.
  7. Jimmy Graham – Many thought that Graham to the Seahawks was a match made in heaven. Many thought the former Saints Tight End was poised for one of his best seasons yet but it never really happened. Currently, Graham is on the PUP list and it seems that the Seahawks are in no rush to get him onto the field. Listen, I understand your concerns, he only scored two touchdowns in 11 games, he’s susceptible to injury… the list goes on. There aren’t many NFL players who stay 100% during an NFL season, and Graham happens to be one of those players. Look to pick up Graham in later rounds as he will make a great TE2
  8. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Jenkins came out of the Gate hot in 2015 where he got 110 yards and two touchdowns during week 1. Although a shoulder injury left him on the sideline for 9 weeks, it’s worth a shot for a late draft pick up. Jamies Winston is still developing as a quarterback and anyone knows a Tight End is a quarterback’s best friend.
  9. Kyle Rudolph – Kyle Rudolph had a breakout season in 2012 where he pulled in 9 touchdowns on 53 catches. Rudolph hasn’t seen those numbers in the past season because of a recurring theme on most of these Tight Ends, injuries. The Vikings reverted Rudolph to more of a blocking role last year thus making it difficult for him to pull in big numbers. Rudolph this season will become more of a red zone threat this season giving him the predicted role of a high TE1
  10. Jared Cook – Jared Cook inked a one year deal with the Packers this offseason and now will have the best quarterback he’s ever had since he has been in the league. I would pay close attention who ends up sliding into the starting spot this season as Richard Rodgers has come into training camp looking a lot slimmer to improve his speed and route running. I would draft Cook if you need to fluff your roster but keep an eye out for him on waivers if he does get the starting role.

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