This offseason has shook the NFL with earthquake-like proportions, especially in the tight end department. While there are fewer changes than in other positions, many of the biggest names and highest producing fantasy tight ends found themselves a new home these past few months. We all know that having the right tight end can be the difference between finally becoming league champion and missing the playoffs. So who’s going to be the next stud tight end for your 2015 fantasy football season? Keep reading to find out who to draft, who to watch for, and who to completely avoid.
Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks
Without a doubt, the biggest tight end to change teams was Jimmy Graham, who was traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks gained a tight end that may help them reach a 3rd straight Super Bowl. Graham is a big-time player, which means a big-time upgrade from Luke Wilson and Anthony McCoy. There probably isn’t a coach better suited to use Graham’s skill set more than Pete Carroll. Russell Wilson is looking forward to opening up the passing game a bit and diversifying the Seattle offensive attack after posting a league low 454 passing attempts last year.
This will also take some of the workload off Marshawn Lynch, extending his effectiveness. Graham is a “team first guy” according to reports, and the three-time Pro Bowler seems to have no problems adjusting to his new teammates and playbook. The 12th Man is frothing at the mouth with anticipation for him to score a touchdown at Century Link Field. Graham should be a top target on the Seahawks, if not THE top target. Do not hesitate to make sure this guy ends up on your roster.
Julius Thomas to the Jaguars
Along with $9.2 million dollars a year, Julius Thomas states “Everybody will say it’s about the money. That’s their opinion. I am not going to try and take them off that stance. I saw something here I could identify with.” Apparently Thomas believes in the overall mission of the Jaguars, and wants to be part of it. Keep in mind that in the last two years, the Jaguars have only won 7 games. While this is a great addition for the Jaguars, it probably won’t mean good news for your fantasy football roster.
Thomas will see a downgrade at the quarterback position as well. Let’s be honest, Blake Bortles is not Peyton Manning. Thomas still has tremendous size and physical capabilities. However, the new location in Florida slides him down the rankings to somewhere in the middle of the pack from his former top tier position among the elite.
Owen Daniels to the Broncos
Owen Daniels may have had a rough past few seasons. But that can easily be attributed to poor quarterback play, something the Texans are getting used to at this point. Linking up with Peyton Manning and Co. in Denver, CO is enough to convince me to take Daniels higher than I would any other year. Manning just knows how to get his guys open in the NFL. No doubt Daniels will be a main beneficiary in certain situations. The only negative for Daniels in his age (he turns 33 this season) and that might mean he has lost a bit of an edge when running routes against younger linebackers. On top of linking up with Peyton, Daniels also re-joins Gary Kubiak, a coach who knows what he is capable of and the best ways to use him. If you are scrambling for a Tight End in later rounds, Daniels might be just guy for you.
Jordan Cameron to the Dolphins
Jordan Cameron is now a Miami Dolphin. This was a great career move for him, becoming part of a younger team that has a very capable quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. Cameron finally escapes the turbulent quarterback situation that was the Cleveland Browns. Here’s to hoping some continuity will see Cameron rise to the top-tier of fantasy tight ends. He’s definitely on my short list. With Clay gone, he will be a favorite target for Tannehill. However, something to monitor and keep an eye on is Cameron’s unfortunate streak of injuries and concussions. No reason to have a liability taking up precious room on your roster.
Charles Clay to the Bills
Leaving Miami and now in Buffalo. Let’s hope that Charles Clay favors wind and snow over heat and humidity. Or maybe fuel-injected offense that also includes Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy will do the trick. With Matt Cassel throwing the rock, Clay probably has a decent chance and remaining a mid-tier Tight End. With over 55 receptions and 600 yards in each of the last two seasons, Clay’s statistical output should remain about the same, barring some sort of surprise breakout no one sees coming. Consider Clay a “safe” pick, choosing reliability over explosive success.
Other Notable TE Team Changes
Scott Chandler – BUF to NE
Anthony Fasano – KC to TEN