Fantasy Football

2016 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers: Zach’s Attack

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Tight End Sleepers

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The tight end might be the most fickle position in all of Fantasy Football. It is very difficult to predict and leads to many sleepless nights searching for that waiver wire gem. A few players at the position look like they could end that frustration.

The need for finding these players increases every season and you don’t want to be the person who misses out on these players because of a lack of research. Tight ends fluctuate in production so much that finding players that can bring constant production leads to success and could even lead to a championship.

However, my predictions are just that, predictions. In July, many players seem like obvious hits. As the season goes on, different factors play parts in how well these players actually do.


Last July, nobody talked about Gary Barnidge as someone who could be relied on in fantasy football. After doing a little research, I found a few players who look like they could be projecting up.

2016 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

Coby Fleener (ADP: 77.7, TE7)

I talked about Fleener in my Tight End Preview article, and I believe that he is due for a potential breakout season. Fleener was caught in the middle of a tough situation in Indianapolis last season.

His quarterback, Andrew Luck, hardly played due to injuries and when he took the field, was not the same Andrew Luck. He also had to deal with a constant position struggle with fellow tight end Dwayne Allen.

The Colts resigned Allen and let Fleener walk right into a better situation in New Orleans. Drew Brees and the Saints know how to take care of their tight ends. Just ask Jimmy Graham and Ben Watson.

He is already getting a lot of praise from the coaching staff, and given his natural abilities, there is a lot of potential for Fleener to put up monster stats in the Superdome.

He currently projects as the seventh tight end off the board, but I see Fleener potentially breaking the top five in scoring for tight ends once the season ends. I recommend drafting Fleener. You may regret it if you pass on him.

Zach Miller (ADP: 187.5, TE20)

Miller is currently one of my steals of the draft, because there are not 19 tight ends in better fantasy situations than he is. The Bears lost Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte during the offseason and gained… nobody. Jay Cutler needs to throw the ball to someone.

It is true that Chicago gets last year’s first round pick Kevin White back after he missed all of 2015 with a stress fracture. However, Miller is still a safe bet to get targets in Chicago, and with Jeremy Langford as the current lead back, the passing game must be utilized heavily.

Enter Miller. He failed to drop a single pass last season. That much reliability leads to targets. The fact that he is going undrafted in most leagues needs to be taken advantage of. Waiting until the last round to snag Zach Miller is a completely plausible scenario.

If he still sits on the board near the end of the draft, take him. The rookie runningbacks you take a shot in the dark on are much riskier than just taking Miller as a backup tight end.

Zach Ertz (ADP: 96.5, TE10)

Ertz actually had a good season from a tight end’s perspective in 2015. The only problem was that he only caught two touchdowns. To be fair, there was only one player who caught more than three touchdowns in Philly last season and that was Jordan Matthews.

The reason for optimism this year comes from the fact that he had 853 receiving yards last season. That was the seventh most among tight ends. Only one Eagle had more yards than him and that was also Matthews.

The third most receiving yards in Philadelphia came from Darren Sproles… with 388. He is a clear target for whoever ends up being the starter for the Eagles.

Somebody has to step up in that offense and Ertz has just as good a chance of being that guy as anyone. He just signed a five-year contract extension and has solidified himself as the guy for the Eagles.

That yardage shouldn’t drop, but the touchdowns should only climb. You could do much worse than Ertz in the late rounds.

Clive Walford (ADP: 188, TE23)

Everybody loves a deep-sleeper, right? Second-year tight ends always have potential to break out. Walford was a third round pick last season and kicked it in gear in the second half of the year. He ended his rookie campaign with a respectable 28-329-3 stat line and passed Mychal Rivera on the depth chart.

Oakland built its offense up and behind the arm of Derek Carr could make some noise in the AFC West. Walford could very easily reap the benefits of that.

He may not come with the pedigree that a lot of tight ends above him may have, but given the low-risk of his draft position, he is someone that could make you look very smart for drafting.

Even if you choose not to draft him, at least keep your eye on him, because in that offense, he could break out, and when he does, you could already have him on your roster.

About Eric Robinson

Eric is a writer for Fantasy Six Pack who has grown up studying nothing but sports. Follow him on twitter at @ERob_F6P.

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