Tight Ends. They might just be the most unique position in fantasy football. Why? Because after the top 2 or 3,... the rest are just a prayer that they have a good performance week after week. But the top tier, can do some serious damage.
Jimmy Graham is a fantasy monster (especially in a PPR league). With limited fantasy stars at the tight end position, it forces one to value this Yam Machine even higher. But my question is, "how high?"
Everyone has their own strategies and opinions but for me, although I have experimented, I feel that running back heavy is most effective. The right spot for Graham solely depends on where one's draft position is and of course how much one values the beast.
Running Back Heavy
For those that fancy running-backs like I, this can be quite a frustrating decision. Normally I prefer a one-two punch by drafting running back/running back. The scenario in place will be a standard ten team league.
- Draft Position 1-4: First round is obviously running back. Second round, by the time you are up again, I believe he will be gone by then. If not, he is a viable option, and with a quick whip around for the next round, you can still get another solid back in the early third.
- Draft Position 5-7: Again, first round is running back. Second round, Jimmy Graham should be there for you to take. He will more likely than not, not be there for you coming back around in the third. Graham performs like a WR1 in a position where most are not relevant. I don't hate taking Graham here.
- Draft Position 8-10: Running back first round. Running back second round. You have the opportunity to have a tandem of two top ten backs. You will not see Graham by the time third round swings to you, but that's the risk you should be willing to take.
Of those whom desire dominance in the quarterback position, it is most likely your strategy to draft a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees in the first round. So where does Graham land for you?
- Draft Position 1-4: Peyton, Brees, or Rodgers for the majority-pending on whom you favor. With first round over and being a late second round pick, that means the stud running backs and some star receivers could be off the board. If you are at the 4 spot, Graham might not be there in the third, but are you going to wait 'til third round before you take your first RB/WR? But if you are in that 1 or 2 spot, you could take a back or receiver and still land Graham in the third.
- Draft Position 5-7: Although all leagues are different, for the majority--at least one of the top three QB's should be there for you in the first round. Now again, just like running backs, if you hold out on Graham in the second round but favor him, just know that he will not be there come third round. Playing Devil's Advocate, if you do take him in the second, you will not have a running back nor receiver until mid to late third round.
- Draft Position 8-10: I still believe a top tier quarterback will be available for you in the first. That being said, that same quarterback may still be there in the second. But even if one holds off on the quarterback until early second round,.... I find it hard to believe someone would take Jimmy G in the first round. In the majority of leagues, don't bank on Graham being there at the end of the third.
Even though I do love my running backs, Calvin Johnson surely is tempting. But how do those that favor receivers in the first value Graham. Now let's remember, he does produce points a WR1 puts up.
- Draft Position 1-4: Since wide receivers are in such depth, it's hard to foresee any receivers going in the top four, but if so I'd have to assume it's Calvin. If Graham swings back around to you in the second, this does leave you running backless until the third round, but having Calvin and Graham together can put up some major points alone.
- Draft Position 5-10: For the most part, I feel these spots are in the same position as 1-4, besides the fact that in the mid to late positions it is a little more reasonable to go WR1 in the first rather than the first four picks. Also, Graham most likely won't swing back to you in the third here, so going Graham at 2 where you are with a stud receiver can do some serious damage...I don't hate it.
So Where Does Graham Land?
To finally get to my point, I think Graham is a great second round option in any type of strategy. As I stated earlier, this guy produces fantasy points that Calvin Johnson produces.
What makes him even more appealing is that he produces these points in a fantasy position where most don't put up a consistent average of 8 points per week. It's the law of supply and demand--super high demand but very low supply of quality. Graham can give you that leg up on an opponent with a weak tight end.
Matthew Berry and Nfl.com both have him ranked as #8 overall out of all positions. To me that is a stretch, but I do love him in the second round.
But what do you think? Tweet me @DonC70_LTFF I'd love to hear your opinions.href="http://fantasyfootballpros.org/best-fantasy-football-team-names-2014/" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text