Lately we’ve broken down the importance of understanding how to effectively draft in Points Per Reception (PPR) leagues at the wide receiver and running back positions. Next up are the fantasy football TEs. PPR can add a particularly interesting dimension to fantasy TE’s because their scoring outputs become less important, allowing high volume targets who don’t score a lot to blossom.
Jason Witten – Cowboys: The long-time Cowboy saw an unusually low 90 targets last season, but he shouldn’t be slept on in 2015 fantasy drafts. With the departure of DeMarco Murray, Dallas will be airing out the ball more this season. Throughout his career, Witten has routinely lead all tight ends in receptions when the playoffs roll around, and although he certainly won’t but up 100 receptions this year, Witten can be expected to catch at least 75 passes. Currently going as the tenth tight end or so in PPR leagues, Witten is a steal as a tight end two who has the potential to put up elite PPR numbers when the matchup is fortunate, without relying on touchdowns.
Greg Olsen/ Travis Kelce – Panthers/ Chiefs: Let me explain. Most who have done research would agree that Kelce and Olsen are the number three and four tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski at number one and Jimmy Graham at two. The gap between Graham and Olsen/ Kelce is typically 30 or more picks, but in PPR, it should be far fewer. Both Kelce and Olsen are high volume players for their teams. They touch the ball all over the field each and every week. Graham, on the other hand, will see the ball less than he ever has in his career. His new team ,the Seahawks, will likely reduce his role to more of a red zone specialist, meaning his catches will go way down. By comparison, Olsen and Kelce gain far more value in PPR leagues because of Graham’s situation. Both may even pass Graham in points in PPR leagues this year. Avoid Graham and target the next tier for the same point output at a much lower price.
Owen Daniels – Broncos: As a new addition to the high powered Denver offense, Daniels has certainly received his fair share of hype. He doesn’t possess the physical tools of the former Bronco, Orange Julius (Thomas), so he won’t put up 12 touchdowns a year, but Daniels has the potential to thrive in PPR leagues. He’s never been a massive PPR option, but Daniels will bring a veteran presence and a set of reliable hands to the Mile High City. Peyton Manning will look for him often as a check down option. His low ADP makes Daniels available in the last few rounds, so take a flyer on him in PPR leagues.
Delanie Walker – Titans: A 10-year, NFL veteran, Delanie Walker has finally flourished into a reliable fantasy option in the last two years with the 49ers. Walker has caught 60 passes at least in each of the last two years, and with his background as a talented receiver, has the potential to put up even bigger reception numbers. With a consistent quarterback in Marcus Mariota taking the helm in Tennessee, Walker may finally have a consistent thrower tossing him the ball. Last year’s target numbers (106) should only go up in 2015. His upside is tempting this year, so look for him after the 100th pick in PPR leagues.
Tyler Eifert – Bengals: After a disappointing injury in week one derailed what was expected to be a breakout season, Eifert looks to bounce back in the upcoming year. Jermaine Gresham is now a Cardinal, so Eifert has little competition among tight ends for targets from the Red Riffle in Cincinnati. He may even emerge as Andy Dalton’s second target behind A.J. Green. Don’t expect too much, but Eifert makes a fantastic case for a sleeper in deeper PPR leagues, as he could be in for a high volume of targets in areas of the field other than the red zone.
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