Sunday, June 30, 2013

To Gronk or not to Gronk?

Article submitted by
twitter.com/Mrblistr







To Gronk or not to Gronk...that is the Question?

The Elite tight end.  Should you have him on your team?  Let's take a look at some numbers and then maybe you can decide.  When we think of tight ends, there are really only 2 that we can rank as Elite, Rob Gronkowski in NE and Jimmy Graham in NO.  In most auctions last year they ran the buyer usually between $35-40.  A good tight end (Hernandez, Witten, Gonzalez) will cost you between $12-18.  The values will probably run you $2-$6 (Olsen, Myers, Rudolph).  
Last year these were your top 15 fantasy tight ends: (keep in mind all fantasy scoring systems have slight differences so the numbers may not look exactly like they did in your league)

Name
Team
Games
Yards
TD’s
Fantasy Pts
Last Years FFA Auction $
Jimmy Graham
NO
15
982
9
152
39
Rob Gronkowski
NE
11
790
11
143
31
Tony Gonzalez
ATL
16
930
8
141
4
Heath Miller
PIT
15
816
8
132
1
Jason Witten
DAL
16
1039
3
122
7
Greg Olsen
CAR
16
843
5
114
7
Dennis Pitta
BAL
16
669
7
109
1
Owen Daniels
HOU
15
716
6
108
2
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
16
493
9
105
3
Brandon Myers
OAK
16
806
4
105
--
Germaine Gresham
CIN
16
737
5
102
6
Antonio Gates
SD
15
538
7
96
21
Martellus Bennett
NYG
16
626
5
93
--
Scott Chandler
BUF
15
571
6
91
--
Vernon Davis
SF
16
548
5
85
19



Now if my memory serves me correct, some big names that did not make top 15, but pulled down good money in last year's auctions, include; Aaron Hernandez ($18), Jeremichael Finley ($15), and Fred Davis ($6).  As with any position, injuries played a large part in why some people did not finish as high as we expected. But injuries happen and we cannot predict those.

Spending $35-40 on a tight end will get you Graham or Gronk.  That obviously means you will have less to spend on your other key positions.  Last year's numbers for both Gronk and Graham were better than the rest of the pack, but there wasn't enough of a gap to justify the big $$.  We know they both suffered through some injuries which did not help.  In addition, Graham did not have his head coach on the sideline.  I think both will have better numbers in 2013, but good enough to justify $40?  A healthy Gronk and Graham probably will beat the other 10 tight ends in your league most weeks, thus, you will have that position nailed down.  If you do draft one of these two, do  NOT waste any $$ on a back up TE...you would be crazy to play any other TE over those 2, and if you spend $40 on a player, you better play him.    

If you draft anyone else at TE, you may pay from $1-$18.  However, if you look through the top 15 listed above, there really is no relation between top 15 and money spent.  Spending $18 is still a high number.  If you are in a 12 team league, the #12 TE last year averaged 6.4 points per game.  Now, if you were able to get a tight end or two for that matter, for $2 or $3 each, and play the matchups each week, you would have more money to spend elsewhere.  In comparison, a typical 12 team league will run two to three WR's per team.  The 24th ranked WR (TY Hilton)scored an average of 8.73 PPG.  The 36th ranked WR (Brian Hartline)scored an average of 7 PPG.  However if you used your saved money from buying a cheaper tight end, you could then invest in an extra top end WR or two.  The top WR (Calvin Johnson) averaged 13.75 PPG and the 12th ranked WR (Wes Welker) averaged 10.7 PPG.   Also, a typical league will run 2 RB's per team.  The 24th ranked RB (Danny Woodhead) averaged 7.25 PPG.  The top RB (Adrian Peterson) averaged 19.2 PPG. The 12th ranked RB (Matt Forte) averaged 11.8 PPG. Gronkowski did put up comparable numbers (13 PPG) in his 11 games, and Graham’s numbers (10.1PPG) were also still quite good. If we were to look into the 2012 numbers even closer we would see this:




Week
Leader (Fantasy Points)
Double Digit TE’s
1
Graham (14.5)
10
2
Rosario (22.8)
9
3
Miller (18)
9
4
Chandler (18.2)
6
5
Gonzalez (18.3)
6
6
Gates (20.1)
4
7
Gronkowski (19.5)
5
8
Gronkowski (26.6)
4
9
Myers (17.9)
7
10
Graham (26.6)
7
11
Gronkowski (25.7)
8
12
Keller (12.4)
6
13
Myers (19)
9
14
Hernandez (17.9)
6
15
Pitta (24.5)
8
16
Kendricks (17.9)
4
17
Graham(17.5)
4

For those of us playing in a 12 team league or smaller, this is an important piece of information.  In a 17 week season, 12 of those weeks had at least 50% of the top TE`s getting double digit fantasy points.  In most standard scoring leagues I play in, getting 10 points from each of your starters gives you a solid chance at winning each week.  Also, in all of the weeks listed above, I never included players who accumulated 9.6, or 9.8 points, which is still a respectable score, and would have upped the numbers even more.
Recall some of the numbers I pointed out above.  The top WR averaged 13.7 PPG and the top RB 19.2. But, when you look at RB`s and WR`s you will not see a percentage of players from that position finishing with quality points like the TE`s do from week to week.  What I am saying is this, if you are in a 12 team league and in 12 of 17 weeks 50% and higher of the TE`s playing are capable of getting double digit points, this isn't happening at RB or WR.  Therefore, if you want to nab a quality WR or 2, or perhaps two high quality RB`s in your auction, then you will need to budget more money for those players, and spend less on your TE.
Scenario A: Gronk costs you $40 or 20% of a typical $200 budget.  You then  are forced to get secondary receivers like Antonio Brown or Malcolm Floyd (who had a lot of hype last year...but didn't produce very often).  Or,  your RB`s may include the Law Firm and McGahee.  Scenario B: You spend $6 on TE but pick up two, perhaps a Kyle Rudolph and Martellus Bennett.  Now you can afford to go after the higher priced talent at WR or RB.

One last piece of info I want to include for you to consider is Tiering your TE’s.  Your tiers may look different but if you tier them and take the info to your draft, you will be able to strategize and re-evaluate as the auction progresses.



Tier 1 $30-40
Elite
Tier 2 $15-25
Solid
Tier 3 $8-14
Hmmm
Tier 4 $3-7
Value-take 2
Tier 5 $1-2
Fliers
Gronkowski
Gonzalez
Daniels
Rudolph
Fleener
Graham
Witten
Pitta
Bennett
Cameron

Hernandez
Gresham
Cook
Allen


Miller
Celek
Eifert


Olsen
Keller
Lewis


Myers
Finley
Tamme


V. Davis
Pettigrew
Walker


Gates
F. Davis
Chandler




Kendricks




Dreesen




Watson

If you end up with a couple tight ends from tiers 4 or 5 you can then plug and play week to week.  Also, at that price, dropping them for a waiver wire add doesn`t hurt too much either.  Look at the first chart I put together.  Three of last year`s top 15 tight ends were not even drafted in our league and another 5 went for less than $4 each.  So 8 of the top 15 TE`s in our big FFA auction cost less than $4.  You could easily have had 2 or 3 of them and played weekly matchups and bested your competition at TE, and probably beat them all over as you then had studs at WR and RB.  
Hope you enjoy the read and hope that the draft kit serves you well.  .  Best of luck in your 2013 fantasy football season.

@Mrblistr...this is what I do.