Q: How did the Tight End cross the road?
A: On a stretcher…on a stretcher… Que the crickets…
Fine readers of the Going For 2 fanbase my name is @TheBLeagueSays and I am 100% certain that before my time is up I believe that the ‘Macarena’ will outlast the ‘Dougie’! And thank you for the awesome feedback and conversations following last weeks Pros And Cons – it seems to have struck a chord with the audience; I think we all knew the Patriots would bounce back and in the manner in which they did and it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. How Miami folded quicker than Superman on laundry day is another story though. They probably could have used a pass-catching Back like Kenyan Dra…oh, wait they have him and they didn’t use him while they were getting pumped. Woof. Oh well, I am still absolutely looking forward to addressing Week 5 with you. Once again please remember that the articles I bring to you will be based on the Pros and Cons of players or scenarios the Fantasy Football Community has split ideas on heading into future fixtures for your matchups.
So before we get started – Thank you, and enjoy!
So I am no screenwriter. To be fair I’m barely an opinion piece writer, but I sleep ok at night with what I put out there and I’m fine with that. But I have an idea for a Fantasy Football movie. It’s a little rough and there are holes in the plot but I have enough material to put together an action/horror flick that may grab the attention of players and enthusiasts worldwide. I mean ‘The League’ to the day is still highly revered and has a cult-like following so why can’t someone put a movie together based on Fantasy Football and hope to get the same response? So here is what I have come up with so far:
‘Following an injury crisis, the Tight End position has become a positional wasteland and rosters only four weeks after draft day have collapsed. Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are survivors who were captured by team owners through a high draft capital price tag; which as a result declared war on their league mates, and whose army includes a stranglehold on a single position while everyone else has to scramble, stream, or lose everything in a trade and/or hope for the best. Previously designated as universal bloodsuckers, Eric Ebron and Jared Cook have flooded the statistics to which Gronkowski, Kelce, and Ertz normally sit atop of, have at times have struggled to keep up with Cook and Ebron, which in return has imprisoned many a thought process with illogical decisions like ‘is Rhett Ellison a good pick up while Evan Engram is out of action?’. Meanwhile, body bags have been collected for Hunter Henry, Delanie Walker, Jake Butt, Will Dissly and Tyler Eifert already, while blood donors already have been called upon by the masses for Jack Doyle, Evan Engram, Adam Shaheen, O.J. Howard and Greg Olsen. The fear is this nightmare will continue, forever.’
What do we think? It feels like it hits too close to home at the moment but the struggle is real. And for those who have a weak stomach, I am sorry for the graphic opening to this week’s Pros And Cons. But does it read similar to something you have read before? Is this familiar?
‘Following an energy crisis, the world has become a desert wasteland and civilization has collapsed. Max Rockatansky, a survivor, is captured by the War Boys, the army of the tyrannical Immortan Joe, and taken to Joe’s Citadel. Designated a universal blood donor, Max is imprisoned and used as a “blood bag” for a sick War Boy called Nux. Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa, one of Joe’s lieutenants, is sent in her armored semi-truck, the “War Rig”, to collect gasoline. When she drives off-route, Joe realizes that his five wives—women selected for breeding—are missing, and fleeing with her. Joe leads his entire army in pursuit of Furiosa, calling on the aid of nearby Gas Town and the Bullet Farm.’
Yep, I essentially took the plot from Mad Max: Fury Road and applied it to the Tight End position for the 2018 season. Crazy right!
And I don’t want to come off as a smug tool for making a comparison of the Tight End position to a post-apocalyptic battleground because I’m probably sure I’m not the first or the last to do it, but I did put it in movie format so that has to count for something right? This is why Tight End Premium PPR leagues are becoming more frequent or extra Flex positions with the Tight End in it as opposed to its own slot gets dropped in league formats have been popping up. Is it due to the frustration of poor performances, how teams utilize the position and/or the lack of opportunity these skilled players get? Sure, it could be. As a result, Fantasy leagues are having to get more creative (like I mentioned above) to keep the game flow at an optimal. There are ways to making this position in Fantasy Football more useful and relevant and this is where the game seems to be (or needs to be) trending towards. But that doesn’t help us right now, does it? So did we get anything right this year so far? I have put together a basic chart with where each player was selected from this year’s Average Draft Position (Standard Scoring / PPR), Total Points (Standard Scoring / PPR), and their Current Positional Ranking (Standard Scoring / PPR) – data/information provided is via fantasypros.com.
Let’s take a look at how we selected:
|OVERALL||PLAYER||SS / PPR||CURRENT RANK|
|21 / 21||GRONKOWSKI||27.3 / 44.3||11 / 7|
|28 / 25||KELCE||48.7 / 71.7||2 / 2|
|39 / 35||ERTZ||32.7 / 63.7||5 / 3|
|49 / 53||GRAHAM||22.9 / 38.9||14 / 11|
|59 / 56||OLSEN||3.3 / 5.3||57 / 65|
|66 / 63||ENGRAM||16.4 / 26.4||20 / 21|
|74 / 72||RUDOLPH||30.8 / 48.8||6 / 6|
|76 / 70||WALKER||5.2 / 9.2||49 / 53|
|81 / 84||BURTON||29.8 / 40.8||7 / 8|
|88 / 82||REED||20.8 / 34.8||15 / 15|
|109 / 104||NJOKU||12.1 / 26.1||29 / 22|
|116 / 108||DOYLE||6.0 / 15.0||47 / 40|
A few things to remember; Delanie Walker has been out since Week 1 and is done for the year along with Will Dissly who was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve this week. Greg Olsen, Jack Doyle, and Evan Engram have had injuries, the latter is likelier to return sooner than the former. Jordan Reed has also played one less game due to a Week 4 Bye Round.
That is a stack of numbers and information there, but did you know…
- That over the last five years from Weeks 1 to 4 the following players have been in the Top 10 of Tight Ends: Coby Fleener, Charles Clay, Austin Hooper, Cameron Brate, Jacob Tamme, Eric Ebron, Zach Miller, Gary Barnidge, Tyler Eifert, Larry Donnell, Niles Paul, Owen Daniels and Jared Cook. The biggest discrepancy in points between the Top 2 Tight Ends was in 2013 when Number 1 Ranked Tight End Jimmy Graham went bonkers for 81.8 Standard Scoring Points (108.8 in PPR) over then Number 2 Ranked Tight End Jordan Cameron for 66.0 Standard Scoring Points (96.0 in PPR) leaving a 15.8 point difference.
- That both Jimmy Graham and Jordon Cameron’s totals from 2013 are also still the top scoring numbers for the opening Weeks 1 to 4 of a season for the Tight End Position? Rob Gronkowski came close in 2015 but had the Bye Round in Week 4 and was held to 54.8 Standard Scoring Points (70.8 in PPR).
- That this season there are five new faces in the Top 10 this year including household names like Will Dissly, Jesse James, George Kittle, O.J. Howard and Trey Burton. This season also hold a new name at the top of the Tight End leaderboard in Jared Cook and Eric Ebron cracks the Top 5 for the first time and considering it took for him to get cut by Detroit to do it; seems he may finally be living up to his potential in the last year of this Rookie contract in Indianapolis.
Wow, @TheBLeagueSays, you’ve gone from Kickers to the Patriots, and now to the Tight End position. What’s your point, is it that the position is a sitting duck? We get it! Can you at least get to the Fantasy Football version of…
The Patriots are back! That’s a good thing right?
Speaking of short and sweet, followed by a ‘you kind of asked for this to happen, didn’t you?’ So last week I was banging on and on about how everyone was giving the Patriots grief because their record was stinking (by their standards) and the Dynasty that is was on the verge of sinking.
And the Patriots responded by whipping the Miami Dolphins 38-7. And in true Patriots style, instead of a monster statistical day for our heroes Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan, they got Cordarelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett into the end zone. Further proof that Bill Belichick hates your Fantasy team.
The Patriots have moved to a 2-2 record and on a short week play at home to the Indianapolis Colts, who this week have already stated they will be without Jack Doyle, T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack on Offense, while Darius Leonard, Ryan Kelly, Anthony Costanzo, and Adam Vinatieri are already questionable to play. Meanwhile, Julian Edelman returns this week and Josh Gordon logged a few snaps so the Patriots are seemingly getting stronger in attack this week also.
Start your Patriots and watch them go to the top of the Division with a 3-2 record. Unless you think Miami will get the better of the Cincinnati Bengals and…
Andy Dalton, who must play fantasy football…
No one was starting Tyler Boyd four weeks ago. A.J. Green was someone (I have no idea why) that was slipping down Draft boards as the word “regression” was being tossed about. Giovani Bernard is someone that the underground PPR fanatics were beating the drum for as last years stats were something to grasp onto and to keep him relevant – even though the Joe Mixon hype train was at full speed. Tyler Eifert (R.I.P) was someone we all hoped the best for and have believed in for many years with health being his biggest opposition and not his opponents. John Ross has started to do more on the field which is a step forward from whatever the hell happened to him last year. Which leads me to believe…
That Andy Dalton, deep down is a massive Fantasy Football enthusiast and drafted every Bengal possible into his team. That’s the only way I can describe it. Dalton has been going nuts, leading the Bengals to a 3-1 record and has got everyone looking at the guys around him in a different light.
Collectively the Bengals players are playing above and beyond what anyone had really expected from them as a group. Most were optimistic that they could be of bargain-bin value and to be fair most have been. When Mixon falls to injury, Bernard (who in many leagues was out on the Waiver Wire) is a no question starting Running Back. Tyler Boyd has slotted into (pun, sweet) his role within the team as a possession receiver and has made big plays and since Week 2 has either had 100 yards to his name and/or a Touchdown. Their revamped Offensive Line has played better, which was a huge concern that onlookers had and is exactly why in the offseason this Franchise actually made an effort to recruit and Draft players to make their front-line stronger. The Bengals, to me, along with Kansas and Chicago are this year’s biggest and best surprise packets.
And I get that different leagues will use different scoring systems and roster constructions – and that’s fine, so please take my next question with a grain of salt – but are we at the point to where we can’t bench any of the Bengals starters? I understand that John Ross is the biggest question mark out of all of them because at times he has been more ‘bust than boom’ but he does have two Touchdowns this year and that’s more than many players we drafted at the top of our boards this year. And now with Tyler Eifert heading to the Injured Reserve, guys like C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft could both have ‘streaming appeal’ and are maybe matchup based – and I am sure this week we will see some clarity as to who sees more Target opportunity, but in deeper leagues, to me, they are all considered options to start.
So Corey Davis had been dropped in a lot of leagues prior to Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. On paper, I get why people were hesitant to play him and understand why he may have been dropped from rosters. The reality is, that Tennessee has looked pretty rough to watch. Yes, the Targets were there but with each Reception, he had never really looked like he was a threat in their Offense. There were a few things about his season that people were holding onto though. Corey Davis does hold one of the better percentages in the league for evading the first tackle and with that, you are hoping that the Yards After Catch are high – but the most yards he had collected so far was 62 yards and that was on the back of 6 Receptions; which isn’t bad, it’s just not that great. That information alone has the feel of an ‘OK Floor’ play per week especially in PPR formats where he could be considered a reasonable ‘Flex’ play but it’s still not something that gave you a tonne of confidence. Davis also has the title of Most Targets (39 Targets) in the Titans team this year, however, his receptions and yards from Weeks 1 to 3 had declined each week. That may be because (for some) the belief in Quarterback Marcus Mariota has wained a little more this season than of the past due to poor and sloppy performances and his health is sometimes (like this week) has been a question. It could have been Blaine Gabbert being awful too. Yeah, Blaine Gabbert is awful, that’s it…duh! But despite all this, Davis has a League-High Target Share percentage of players amongst teams with 33%. That’s more than Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins – all of them. He is at the top of that pile and that is a big, big deal.
There are reasons why we doubted Davis whether the inability to score, who is supplying the rock to him or his stat lines starting to drop. So to say that Davis was going to go off for 15-9-161 yards-1 TD against the former Super Bowl Champions was as big a surprise as any last week. Buffalo, Baltimore and the L.A Chargers await Corey Davis before their Bye Round due in Week 8, there seem to be a few favorable matchups coming his way. Last week Buffalo allowed 81 yards to Davante Adams at Green Bay, Baltimore allowed 62 yards and a Touchdown at Pittsburgh to Antonio Brown and the Chargers just allowed 125 yards and a Touchdown to George Kittle against the 49ers last week showing that there is an opportunity for Davis to keep moving forward.
You really have a thing for the Patriots don’t you pal? Right then, you weirdo, get on with…
Tyler Eifert, we miss you…
Your presence was all we could ask of, blessing us after years of doubt and concerns. Finally, you were fully healthy. with a mullet flowing in the wind whilst you were in full stride while His back was fused and stronger than ever. No problems also with the elbow that’s no longer missing any detached of tendons and that torn labrum? Woah boy, not anymore!
But a broken Ankle? That’s a new one, even for him. You see Tyler Eifert, as much as anyone does play as physical a game that you could out there which explains the neck, shoulder, back and elbow damage he has taken. But outside of that, Eifert has had a pretty clean lower-body injury history. In fact, 2017 was the first time he had a knee strain. That’s it.
Selfishly I hope this isn’t the end for Tyler Eifert. I can imagine, that the thought may go through his – or anybody’s for that matter who has gone through that much pain and disappointment – to give the game away (no I’m not suggesting he should retire or that he is thinking about it – he would only be human if he did). But he was looking like his old self and if he still has that itch, I think we are all hoping for a safe and flawless comeback to watch him scratch.
That sounded weird… My point still stands… Good luck in your recovery and let’s hope to see you back out there next year!
What’s up with Seattle?!
I, umm… I don’t know where to start here…let’s start somewhere;
Was it hiring Brian Schottenheimer to be the new Offensive Coordinator? Because his plans to smash the run game looks terrible… I mean being 2-2 isn’t the worst place to be but scoring 24 points or less per week? Their Offensive Line absolutely did not improve and Schottenheimer is still being consistent with his calls to run. Seattle used to be exciting to watch but now? Geez, he has made the unthinkable happen and made Russell Wilson, one of the best Quarterbacks in the league look lost, unimaginative and boring. It’s just a terrible style of play calling for the players he has…
Is it trading back in the Draft (to gain more capital it’s a great idea cough New York Giants cough you should have done this too cough), only to trade back up to take a Running Back? I mean Penny was rated really highly… Hey! By the way, where the hell is Rashaad Penny at?! And why did he turn up heavier in the offseason? Who let him? Where were the team’s dietitians sorting his eating plan? They worked wonders for Eddie Lacy, how come they dropped the ball with Penny? It’s just terrible man-management…
Why did the Franchise not take trading Earl Thomas seriously? No, seriously? The guy is 30 years old and had previous injuries and was playing great. He didn’t want to be there without a new contract so why in the world did you not sell high on him?! The team isn’t winning anything over the next few seasons – not with the L.A. Rams running the joint – so swallow the pill and rebuild. You can do that but you have to take advantage and cash out on the guys who are at the top of their game but with minimal future at your team. It’s just terrible decision making all around…
Everything the Seahawks have done since this offseason seems a bit on the nose. But do you know what stinks out of all of this? They have done it all while Russell Wilson has played below-par and without Doug Baldwin who has had the injury bug along with guys like Will Dissly chipping in and Mike Davis getting it done. It’s not what anyone had imagined for Seattle a few months back. I’d be surprised if anyone really wants this mess for them now too.
Outside of the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals that is…
All projections are for the respective Players ceiling
Tom Brady – Attempts: 34 / Completion %: 66.01 / Completions: 22.44 / YPC: 11.73 / Yards: 263.37 / TDS: 2.37
Doug Baldwin – Targets: 12 / Catch Rate: 69.8% / Receptions: 8 / YPC: 10.2 / Yards: 81.6 / TDS: 1
Jared Cook – Targets: 10 / Catch Rate: 65% / Receptions: 6.5 / YPC: 11.9 / Yards: 77.35 / TDS: 1
There are a few things I want to go over as I wrap this up (yes it is a long one today and you are a super trooper!), but since 2013 only twice has the leading Tight End after the first four Rounds not ended up the leading scorer for that position. In 2014 Martellus Bennett led from the start but was ultimately overtaken by Rob Gronkowski and the same thing happened in 2016 when Greg Olsen eventually lost the pole-position to Travis Kelce. And three times since 2013 have we seen three players move out of the Top 5 and three new faces move in. So there is bound to be some changes at the top half of that ladder – it’s going to happen.
Also, Philadelphia (44.1%), Kansas (32.6%), Oakland (26.1%), Indianapolis (26.8), and San Francisco (26%) currently are all in the Top 5 of the league for Targets to the Tight End position which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the Top 5 is filled with their Tight Ends (Ertz, Kelce, Cook, Ebron, Kittle). And no, I won’t take credit away from guys like Jack Doyle or Dallas Goedert who have contributed at the position for their teams – it’s just an overview. But for argument sake – Washington, Baltimore, Seattle, Buffalo, and New England are the next five teams that round out the Top 10 in Targets to the Tight End position – so keep an eye out for Hayden Hurst, Charles Clay, and Nick Vannett… Oh and Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed again too!
So right now what can change? Can we see a Rob Gronkowski come back into form? I would say so, sure. If Jordan Reed can stay healthy can we expect him to move into the Top 5 after a few seasons out? I think that is entirely possible, sure. Are we an injury away to a Quarterback from seeing production drop off (or pick up)? Absolutely, sure.
All I am saying is that as volatile as the Tight End position can be – it generally levels out by seeing the usual suspects move up with better and more consistent performances. For the Tight End position for me, it will be a case of the cream rising to the top. So for a bit of fun before I sign off, here are my final 2018 Top 5 Tight End Rankings:
1. Kelce / 2. Ertz / 3. Gronkowski / 4. Cook / 5. Burton
I want to thank you for getting this far and taking in everything I have presented. I also want to wish my little Alexandra the happiest of 2nd Birthdays (Daddy loves you very much!), and I know what you readers are thinking: ‘it is incredible that a 2-year-old has opened an app and read this’ and my answer is ‘well, in the immortal words of Nate Diaz, I’m not surprised…’; anyway… Set your lineups accordingly and check out the DFS and Weekly Content all the hard-working staff is pumping out to get you best prepared. Also – download the Going For 2 app, then and rate, review and share with your loved ones. You all deserve it!
You can as always follow and find me at @TheBLeagueSays and offer any view or conversation about this. Let’s all get better together!
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