By Des Boodam
I don’t believe in sleepers anymore, and haven’t for about a decade. Sleepers used to be players you thought would be great that no one else was thinking about. You could draft these players late in drafts after all the better players were gone, and then a few weeks into the season, they would perform like a 2nd or 3rd round pick or better. Everyone recognizes your pick as lucky, even though your pick was planned and clearly thought out. This never happens any more. There is too much exposure now to teams and players with social media, and so now everyone sees every fringe player as a potential “SLEEPER”. Because everyone knows about a sleeper, they cease to become a sleeper and are now simply a value pick. The challenge is getting them as late as possible so as to extract as much value as possible. The main question fantasy owners’ need to ask themselves is “how do the other managers in your league value the same players you value”? This will determine whether or not you can get your player when you want them. I believe the TE position is the easiest of all to break down, so here’s my shot. There are three tiers: The first tier is Gronk and Travis Kelce. The second tier is Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker, Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, Evan Engram, Zach Ertz and Kyle Rudolph. Everyone else is pretty much crap. Gronk and Kelce will get 8-10 targets every game, and catch passes all over the field including in the red zone. You will have a major advantage if you can roster one of the first two, but you will have to pay the price for said advantage. The remaining seven are ALL interchangeable yielding anywhere from 3-8 targets per game with no guarantee of red zone targets. All of them are boom or bust every week, until they prove otherwise. All of them are great at their position and should be a welcome addition to your roster — If you are in a 10-12 person league OR looking for a GPP dart throw, I have four tight ends to consider just in case the top nine happen to miss you.
DAVID NJOKU – Cleveland Browns
Any time you have a second year pass catcher teamed up with a new QB I’m skeptical. I will say however, that Tyrod Taylor was great at finding Charles Clay in Buffalo. Njoku is an athlete and this team is much improved. He’s worth a shot.
JAKE BUTT– Denver Broncos
Another 2nd year TE with a new QB – I like Butt in this environment in Denver. Case Keenum was a gamer in Minnesota finding Kyle Rudolph all over the field last season. There’s no one in his way either and Denver’s offense need him to be great.
AUSTIN HOOPER – Atlanta Falcons
This is a trendy pick that many experts are on board with, and I’ve tried to fight it and discredit these write-ups supporting him, but I can’t. He’s in a great offense and showed great progress last season. All signs point towards an even better season this year.
O.J. HOWARD – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He’s really athletic and has major upside, based on his body type, and production last season. The biggest problem right now is no Jameis Winston, which is likely to stifle production until Winston returns. Either way, he’s worth a flyer