Early TE Sleepers

The TE sleeper is an odd player to identify. Especially with the incoming crop of exciting rookies entering the league, there are some tight ends who will be flat out ignored in drafts. However not all is bleak and with injuries always a concern, finding a reliable TE who also has upside is a true asset. Nobody I list here is going to be coming off the board early, in fact the highest drafted TE on this list doesn’t leave the board until the 14th round of 12 team leagues. Also, I can’t decide if the combine uniforms are ridiculous or cool. Feel free to comment below and help me figure this one out.

Mychal Rivera – After Raiders owner Mark Davis botched the answer to who the Raiders foundation is, Head Coach Dennis Allen was given the question and named Rivera as one of his centerpieces. That makes most snarky NFL fans laugh and has others launching into a rant about the current state of the Raiders. For me (and other fantasy owners) that says that Davis is planning with Rivera in mind. He’s no household name and didn’t post any single ‘wow’ game last season but being named as a foundation piece by your head coach speaks volumes. In addition his QB is Matt Schaub who has something of an affinity for throwing to the TE. Schaub likes the TE, Allen likes Rivera, so I like Rivera. And considering that he’s currently going undrafted I love the price. Could finish as a top 15 option at TE with upside.

Ladarius Green – As Antonio Gates enters the twilight of his career it is Green who will benefit most. As someone who grabbed him on the waiver wire last season I enjoyed the flashes I saw from weeks 11-13. In fact for someone who had such a profound albeit brief fantasy impact I was shocked when I saw that he only had 17 receptions on the season. However with those catches going for 376 and 3 I’m interested. Early reports are that the San Diego coaching staff is excited to incorporate Green into the gameplan more. When these talks are already happening in April it’s a very good sign. With the type of explosive play he brings to the field he adds extra value to leagues that have yardage bonuses.  Green is the very rare handcuff TE because if Antonio Gates has an injury that will hold him out for any length of time Green will be a sure top 10 TE. I’d say even with Gates on the field he is still a top 20 player.

Levine Toilolo – I could play with you all and cite Toilolo’s amazing 79% catch rate which is a full 19 points higher than Jimmy Graham’s. However with just 11 catches on 14 targets it’s a rather small sample size we’re working with. What I can say is that I like Toilolo for the same reasons I like Toby Gerhart. He’s spent time with one of the best to ever play the game so he’s bound to have picked up some habits and has some impressive game tape to watch. He’s also a gigantic target at 6’8 265. It’s early and Toilolo is already becoming a popular sleeper so there’s a chance that the hype train is speeding by preseason time but if he’s still around in the 13th round of drafts i’m taking a shot at the new kid in the ATL.

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