Draft Him, Not Him! (TE Edition)

There exists a website called Eat This, Not That! which gives practical advice on how to lose weight and eat healthier without going on an explicit diet. I love the concept enough that I wanted to translate it to Fantasy Football. Below is the final part in a four-part series of simple, practical drafting advice columns regarding players I would avoid in drafts this year, along with alternative solutions that are being drafted in later rounds.

Link: QB Edition

Link: RB Edition

Link: WR Edition

TE

Draft Him: Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers
ADP:
6th Round
Notes: Aaron Rodgers lost his favorite red zone target this off-season in the form of Jordy Nelson’s departure; someone needs to fill in that large void. Who better than a 6’7″ freak of nature who had 10 receiving TDs last season? A-Rod has never had the luxury of having a stud TE, and I think he’s likely to take advantage of that this year. The value potential of this pick is phenomenal, especially when you consider he’s going four rounds later than…

NOT HIM: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
ADP:
2nd Round
Notes:
Let me start by saying that I do think that he is going to finish as the top player at the TE position this season from a fantasy perspective. Having said that, I do not think he’s going to be so much better than his peers that he’s worthy of one of your first two picks – let someone else make that reach. He hasn’t played in all 16 games in a season since 2011, and with all the the pass-catchers that Brady lost this off-season, teams are going to be able to go all in on blanketing Gronk. Early rounds in the draft aren’t a time to get cute or aggressive; they’re a time to be smart and solid.

Draft Him: Trey Burton, Chicago Bears
ADP:
8th Round
Notes:
Young quarterbacks who haven’t developed the ability to go through their progressions at an adequate pace often use their tight end as a safety valve. Mitchell Trubisky falls under this umbrella, and the beneficiary will be Burton. The flashes Burton showed when Zach Ertz was hurt last season, when combined with Matt Nagy’s historic tight end usage, leave me no choice but to recommend targeting him later in drafts as a value TE. His upside is through the roof, unlike…

NOT HIM: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
ADP:
7th Round
Notes:
Rudolph has had exactly one excellent season (2016) since coming into the league in 2011. He’s had issues with injuries and multiple surgeries in the past, including ankle surgery this off-season. Why he’s coming off the board before young guys with higher ceilings (Burton and Evan Engram) and a veteran with a higher floor (Delanie Walker) is beyond me.

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