With the recent news surrounding the tight end position, it’s a great time to take a look at the “best buys” in fantasy auction leagues.
I hear people saying that with the news of Rob Gronkowski’s injury and Aaron Hernandez’s soon to be jail sentence, you need to spend more on tight ends. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Last year Tony Gonzalez from the Atlanta Falcons was ranked out of the top ten during preseason and he went for around five dollars in auction leagues. That is a crazy cheap prize for the point production Gonzo put up last year. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be another Gonzalez in this years group. Let’s take a look at four guys I think you can get cheap for a nice return of fantasy points.
Over the past two seasons Greg Olsen has proven that he’s a player on the rise and a force to be reckoned with in 2013. Last year Olsen had 24 more receptions than he did 2010. His yards increased by 303 and his yards per game increased by a whopping 18.9 yards. Just looking at yards and receptions, Olsen increased his fantasy points by 54.3 and I think that number increases again in 2013. Olsen and fellow quarterback Cam Newton have great chemistry together. With this growing rapport fantasy owners need to target Olsen while his stock is low, you should be able to get Olsen for around $15 to $20 dollars.
2nd year Tight end Kyle Rudolph teamed up with starting quarterback Christian Ponder to become one of the most interesting touchdown threats at the position. While not everyone’s fantasy favorite due to inconsistency, a lot of the blame can be attributed to being one of the only threats for Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings passing game. This year the Vikings bring in a crafty veteran in Greg Jennings and add rookie threat in Cordarelle Patterson. Though there are more weapons for Ponder this year, I think this actually helps Rudolph to get into the open and still be the end zone threat that he has built his game upon. You should be able to snag him around the 10-15 dollar range.
Gresham is another one of those players that is slowly increasing his stats over the years. With A.J. Green being a mini Megatron in Cincinnati, teams are starting to learn that they need to isolate the number one target. That opens the gate for other receivers and a certain six foot five inch 260 pound tight end. It seems as though the young Bengals offense including third year starter Andy Dalton are making a push to be one of the top offensive threats in this years AFC. Get a hold of Gresham and thank me later. Snag him for no more than ten dollars.
This guy has 2013 breakout candidate written all over his him. Although his stats are not nearly as impressive as the gentlemen listed above, he did double almost every stat category he could last year and I think he can come close to doubling it again. Bruce Arians, new coach of the Cardinals, has been quoted as saying, “I see a wide out playing tight end.” This is a great quote from a guy who has also admitted that he would rather have a tight end on the field than a fullback. With the addition of Carson Palmer, who helped turn Brandon Myers into a top ten TE last year and you have everything you need to get on the Housler bandwagon. Housler is a boom or bust TE that should go for less than eight dollars. Hopefully you can get him for less than five.
This concludes the auction league best buys for 2013. Wait, Wait, Wait, what about kickers and defense? Great question. If you read my intro to article on Auction league you know how I feel about these positions. If I was co-managing a team with you this year I would not allow you to spend three dollars on a defense. I prefer you to spend no more than two but for some reason folks still need that number one ranked defense. Kickers are like fruit flys at a produce stand, there are many options and you do not really need the best one. I would suggest spending no more than a dollar on a kicker and please do not get into a bidding war over Greg Zuerlein because he kicked some long balls last year. I wish you all the best of luck in your upcoming drafts this year. Remember, keep track of everyone’s money and make sure you have a strategy going in.