In the fourth of seven positional lists of fantasy football sleepers, we bring you five tight ends who should be selected as bargains in your draft that will pay good dividends for you in 2011. Some of these names are going to be ones you know, but some may be relatively unknown to you or your league mates.
So remember, these guys are sleepers to us because they will come at a good draft value and very likely outplay their 2011 draft value throughout the season.
Also, as we look at their Mock Draft Central Average Draft Position (ADP) and make general statements about their statistical projections, we assume full health for all players (even players with a history of high injury risk).
Of course, if you want to see our full rankings Top 25 rankings for the tight end position, click it.
AFTER the jump, you’re going to find our top 5 fantasy football TE sleepers for 2011…
5 Fantasy Football Sleepers For 2011 At Tight End
- Owen Daniels, Houston Texans. Daniels didn’t score a TD until Week 16 of last season, and that is hurting his ADP in 2011 (currently he’s no. 120). Anyone who remembers his 2009 campaign (5 TDs in 8 games), should be willing to forgive his bust campaign of 2010 and look to the future in 2011. Expect more catches… more yardage and, if healthy… more TDs in 2011. Don’t be too nervous about drafting him as your no. 1 TE after Gates, Dallas, Witten, and Jermichael are off the board this year.
- Todd Heap, Arizona Cardinals. Another change of scenery scenario that could pay major dividends for fantasy football owners. 2003 and 2008 aside, Heap is almost a lock for 50+ catches, over 500 yards, and over 5 TDs a year when he plays 16 games. Over the last couple years, no team has run the ball less than the Cardinals. And while I don’t have the stats to back it up, the Ravens seem to have a run-first offense despite their talented receiving corps. Heap could return to being a TE1 in 2011, but his ADP of 222 means he’s going undrafted in most standard 10-team and 12-team leagues. Heap could be a steal in your draft as your Mr. Irrelevant.
- Benjamin Watson, Cleveland Browns. Amazingly, Benjamin Watson led the Browns in 2010 in catches and yards. He only crossed the goal line 3 times, though. Considering he is such a favorite target of Colt McCoy, you have to like his chances to have a repeat season in 2011. The chance you are taking is whether or not he will cross the goal line more often. Touchdowns aside, Watson is easily a TE1… and you can get him with a very late draft pick (ADP 202).
- Kevin Boss, Oakland Raiders. Boss is taking over the role of Zach Miller now that Miller is off to Seattle. With Jason Campbell at the helm of the Raider offense, the tight end is always going to get a lot of catches (see Cooley, Chris circa 2007 and Miller, Zach circa 2009) and sometimes, that even translates into TDs. Boss was a productive receiver in the Giants offense with more capable receivers on the wings than he will have lining up in Oakland (he had a more talented QB, too). He probably is still a high TE2 that could emerge into a TE1 if the ball finds it way into his hands as much as it did for Zach Miller the last two years as a member of the Raiders.
- Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans. New Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck loves the TE (just ask John Carlson and Jerramy Stevens). Cook is a lot more of a risk with upside than the other TE’s listed above, but if the O-line can’t protect Hasselbeck long enough to get the ball into the hands of Kenny Britt or Nate Washington down field, Cook is line for a lot of possession receptions. Consider him a high TE2 if you’re in a league with two TE’s or a great candidate for Mr. Irrelevant if you have an injury prone tight end like Vernon Davis.