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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS TIGHT END TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS


                                                Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Like with the catcher position in fantasy baseball, the tight end spot in fantasy football annually is one that is very top-heavy and leaves many playing the waiver wire weekly for their starter.  2015 is no different in fantasy football as we have our standard top-heavy twosome in Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, followed by a second tier of solid players in Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen, Martellus Bennett, and Julius Thomas.  Once you get past those six, the bottom starts to drop out and the mess begins.  That means it is always a good idea to look for value from the tight end position and this season there are some names that hold solid sleeper value.  The most popular of course is Josh Hill who everyone is drafting heavily early on since he will be replacing Jimmy Graham in the New Orleans passing game. 

While we like the potential of Hill, the price not so much.  Instead we will look today at Tampa Bay Buccaneers second-year tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who has quietly earned massive praise during the offseason as his extremely athletic body is starting to become synched with his NFL mind.  Most tight ends as rookies are not very productive given the pass blocking that has to be learned along with the receiving routes.  Seferian-Jeknkins was no different as he caught only 21 passes for 221 in 9 games as he battled injuries.  Still the massive 6-5 and 262 pound Jenkins was a second round pick (number 38 in 2014) to stand idly on the sidelines.  Having a nice burst for a tight end, Jenkins looks primed for a big season in 2015 as the Buc's work in a rookie QB in Jameis Winston.  Winston and Jenkins looked like a very potent tandem during offseason workouts and the Tampa Bay beat reporters continually wrote glowing stories on his progress through the summer.  Of course now is the time to shine with training camp here and some games to judge him on but Seferian-Jenkins looks ready for the chance to put his name on the fantasy football map this season. 

Outside of the athletic skills that he possesses, Seferian-Jenkins is in line for a big uptick in receptions due to Winston alone.  We all know that rookie QB's look toward their tight ends even more often than their wide receivers as a sort of a safety valve and that should be the case for Winston and Seferian-Jenkins this season as well.  That should also be especially true near the red zone where the Buc's would be smart to take advantage of his size and ability. 

When you put it all together, Austin Seferian-Jenkins looks like a very intriguing fantasy football tight end sleeper for 2015.  He is better priced than Josh Hill and could even have better numbers given the uncertainty of his New Orleans counterpart.  This is a guy who can be snagged with the very last pick in your draft and thus the value could be great. 

2015 PROJECTION:  55 receptions 791 yards 6 TD

 

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