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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: MARTELLUS BENNETT TE GREEN BAY PACKERS

The tight end position in fantasy football has always been right on par with the catching spot in fantasy baseball.  Each year there are a few top-heavy talents and then the bottom falls off completely to the point that half a given league is playing the wire seemingly week-to-week the rest of the way.  The 2017 fantasy football season once again shows the tight end position as one gigantic mess and it begins right at the top with oft-injured New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.  Already with a back and knee surgeries under his belt, Gronk is arguably THE most injury-prone player in all of fantasy football and the best course of action is to avoid his annually high price tag as a result.  Next you have Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce who are both no-doubt starts but do you really want to use a third or fourth round pick on either?  Put Olsen or Kelce's numbers at wide receiver and they start becoming much less impressive.  The bottom line is that tight end should be treated like catcher in terms of looking for undervalued talent and there are a slew of such guys this season such as San Diego's Hunter Henry, Detroit's Eric Ebron, and Green Bay's Martellus Bennett.  What is interesting about Bennett is that while Henry and Ebron are young talent who still have ceiling to their name, Bennett is a clear veteran at the age of 31.  Bennett is also coming off a disappointing year in 2016 with the New England Patriots where injuries limited him to just 55 catches for 701 yards and 7 scores.  While the seven scores were a very good total for tight end, the rest of the numbers not so much.  Especially when you consider he went for 90 balls in 2014 with the Chicago Bears.  So why is Bennett a sleeper this season?  Allow me to share.

First of all, Bennett's 2017 fantasy football draft price looks quite affordable right now with an ADP in the eighth to ninth round.  That is the perfect spot to take a tight end once you got your starting wideouts and running backs and maybe a QB filled in.  Also at the age of 31, Bennett is not old and has had some very good receiving seasons in the recent past.  In addition, Bennett's new QB is tight end-loving Aaron Rodgers and the All-Pro always has loved targeting the position around the red zone.  So at the very least, Bennett is a quiet threat to double-digit touchdowns this season and that alone makes him quite intriguing.  We all know by now how explosive a Rodgers-led Packers passing offense can be and Bennett will likely stand to benefit right away.  While we would love to chase the potential on a Henry or an Ebron, we have not seen the numbers from those two that we have seen out of Bennett so we know the latter is capable.  Throw in that nice draft price and Bennett is the top value tight end target of this peanut stand.

2017 PROJECTION:  77 catches 896 yards 9 TD  


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