RotoBaller Erin Lee takes stock of where the rookie tight ends stand in the overall fantasy landscape, and she breaks down exactly what you can expect from them going forward and which ones to watch out for as the season progresses.
2013 Fantasy Football Rookie Tight End Updates for Week 5
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals – Through four weeks of football, Eifert has proven that he is a playmaker. While he hasn't yet seen the end zone this year, he’s been a regular set-up man for his teammates to punch in the touchdown. This is frustrating for fantasy owners who want to see Eifert be the guy who puts the points on the board, but his talent indicates that those points will come. He is seeing plenty of targets and will likely to continue to post bigger and bigger numbers as the season goes on. He is playing alongside Jermaine Gresham, which will limit his ceiling, but if Gresham gets injured, Eifert could capitalize in a very big way. The Patriots will be visiting Cincinnati this weekend and that's certainly a tough matchup, but Eifert is certainly worth stashing for use a little later on in the season.
Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots – Sudfeld has been arguably the biggest rookie disappointment this season. After struggling mightily in Week One, during which he turned the ball over and generally couldn't make plays, he then injured his hamstring. He has yet to post a single fantasy point so far this season, and with Gronk’s return coming any day, Sudfeld is simply not worth a roster spot anymore. It’s been incredibly disappointing for fantasy owners who witnessed his size and athleticism during impressive preseason performances and hoped he could be a factor with Hernandez and Gronkowski missing from the lineup. His chemistry with Brady just isn't there though, and with how deep the tight end position is this season, Sudfeld is no longer a factor.
Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers –McDonald is a talented tight end, but playing in the shadow of Vernon Davis doesn’t provide much of an opportunity to shine. However, with a hamstring injury nagging Davis already this season, McDonald might yet have an opportunity to make an impact. Davis seems to have bounced back for now, but at his age, it’s impossible to know if/when his hamstring will nag him again. With a receiving corps that has been as banged-up as any so far this year, Kaepernick will need as many options as he can get on the field, which could translate to more targets for players like McDonald. He’s averaged 14.8 yards per catch this year, and I expect him to get more and more involved as the season goes on. Be sure to keep McDonald on your radar and watch how things develop over the next few weeks.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins – With Fred Davis underperforming and injured, Reed emerged early on as a viable target for RGIII. The two have shown solid chemistry, as Reed finished with 50 yards on five receptions in his last game against the Lions. He did sustain a thigh injury in that game, which kept him out of game action in Week Four, but with a bye this weekend, he has a great opportunity to bounce back in Week Six against Dallas. While he is averaging just 8.2 yards per reception so far, he’s hauled in 13 for over 100 yards and has reached the end zone once already. If he can rebound from his injury after the extra bye-week rest, he is certainly worth a look as a TE2 going forward.