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Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: COBY FLEENER TE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

It was a quote that caught a bunch of attention early Monday morning, uttered from the mouth of New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees.  In discussing the state of the Saints offense as training camp got underway, Brees praised new tight end Coby Fleener and shared his belief that he can catch "a lot of balls" in 2016.  Sounding like a clear endorsement and a plan of passing action, Fleener is quickly becoming a highly sought after commodity this drafting fantasy football season.

Now a quick refresher is in order on Fleener who signed with the Saints during free agency.  It was about the most ideal place for Fleener to land as the Saints and Brees have often used the tight end as a high-volume target in the passing game.  Jimmy Graham become a fantasy football first round stud for a number of seasons during his tenure there and he instantly turned into waiver fodder upon being dealt to the Seattle Seahawks prior to last season.  Then there was longtime veteran Ben Watson who in his 10-plus years in the league was never a guy who made much of an offensive impact.  Then he goes out and gets targeted over 100 times in 2015 and become a weekly fantasy football weapon.  Enter Fleener into that spot for 2016 and expectations are through the roof at a very volatile position beset by injuries to Graham, Tyler Fiert, and constant health concerns of Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed. 

Prior to his arrival in New Orleans, Fleener was a mild disappointment during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts.  Drafted the same year as his Stanford teammate and QB Andrew Luck, Fleener never really developed a big chemistry with his passer.  In fact Fleener was passed by fellow tight end Dwayne Allen in terms of being a preferred target by Luck and ultimately his high in receptions during his four season in Indy was a modest 54.  Still Fleener is a natural receiver who again is in a tremendous spot in a New Orleans passing outfit that is as good as any in the game.  Brees loves to throw to his tight ends as we have seen in the past and that alone puts Fleener in the driver's seat to easily eclipse his career-high in receptions and yardage and but more than a little. 

If everything shapes up and Fleener stays on the field, we could be talking about an easy 80 receptions and maybe even more.  Unfortunately almost everyone is in on this in terms of the fantasy football community so you won't be able to steal Fleener.  However he could very well be worth whatever price you need to pay for you to get him this season. 

2016 PROJECTION:  84 receptions 915 yards 9 TD  


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