As fantasy football draft season heats up and enters full stride, RotoBaller will be bringing all sorts of high quality analysis and sleepers to target in your drafts. These are five solid tight end back sleeper value picks for your 2014 fantasy football drafts.
Fantasy Football Breakouts At Tight End
Zach Ertz - Eagles
Word is starting to spread on just how high Ertz’s ceiling could be. Lets begin with a recent quote from Chip Kelly when asked about his young tight end: “I think Zach can have a huge role.” It’s no secret that Brent Celek is being slowly phased out of the offense, and will now mainly be used for blocking. Ertz has the chance to be one of the team’s top 3 targets behind LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.
When you become one of the primary offensive weapons in a Chip Kelly offense, your potential has no limit. Look for Ertz to have a big jump from year one to year two.
Ladarius Green - Chargers
The best way to describe Ladarius Green? FREAK OF NATURE. A 6’6” athletic specimen that runs a 4.53 40-yard dash. The only thing keeping Green from exploding onto stardom is pesky old Antonio Gates (34). While I do expect the Chargers to realize that they have one of the most physically gifted tight ends waiting in the wings, Gates will still factor into the equation. For how long is the question. Perhaps Green passes Gates right off the bat in Week 1 and makes it completely obvious that he is the superior football player. Maybe it takes till the midpoint of the season for the Chargers to adjust their game plan to focus around Keenan Allen and their young tight end. Who knows? The only thing certain is that sooner or later Ladarius Green will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. He's a good value pick for all fantasy football leagues and a better one for keeper / dynasty leagues.
Kyle Rudolph - Vikings
If you are looking for the biggest beneficiary from Norv Turner’s hiring in Minnesota, look no further. All one has to do is look at Turner’s track record with past tight ends. When he was in San Diego he helped develop Antonio Gates into a star. Last year in Cleveland he managed to transform Jordan Cameron from an average player to a Pro Bowl level attraction. As long as you have the skill, which Rudolph does, Turner will find ways to maximize the value of them on the field. Look for him to put up numbers similar to his 2012 season (54-493-9).
Jordan Cameron - Browns
Cameron had a breakout 2013 campaign finishing with over 900 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns. This coming from a player who only managed to put up 259 yards and 1 touchdown throughout his first two seasons. Many people attribute his growth to the Norv Turner system. While Turner is no longer with the Browns, look for Cameron to finish with strong numbers again.
One reason why we shouldn’t expect a heavy regression from Cameron is the looming suspension of Josh Gordon. Gordon led the team in all receiving stats last year. Without Gordon in the picture, look for Cameron to step up and receive a larger number of targets this upcoming season.
Greg Olsen - Panthers
The definition of what a steady and reliable NFL tight end looks like. Olsen has caught at least five touchdowns for 6 straight years now, and there seems to be no end to the streak in sight. Another positive working in Olsen’s favor is the lack of other options in the Panthers’ receiving game. The team lost 3 of it’s main receivers this offseason, so expect Olsen to be Cam Newton’s favorite target as he gets accustomed to the new receivers.