DUSTIN KELLER GETS A FANTASY BOOST

Sarah Bojarski, Staff Writer March 29, 2013

The free agent madness has slowed down, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to discuss. There are still some of the lesser-known players that have switched teams and may have a Fantasy impact. We’ll look at a bunch of tight ends this week. In a year where the tight end position is very segmented, it will be interesting to see if new scenery will raise the value of some players. With a couple of quarterback signings and a lot of tight end news, let’s see if there are any hidden values in this group.

With the move to Miami, Dustin Keller is a serviceable TE1. Photo Credit: dgaproductions

Jason Campbell, QB, CLE

Currently listed behind Brandon Weeden, Campbell just signed with Cleveland. It is likely that he will be given a chance to be the starting QB. Serving as Jay Cutler’s backup in 2012, Campbell only played in six games, throwing for a total of 265 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Even when given playing time, he hasn’t put up stellar numbers, but neither has Weeden. In 15 games last season, Weeden threw for 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. With Josh Gordon and Greg Little as the team’s top two receivers, neither QB will be worth drafting in one-quarterback leagues.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, TEN

The Bills finally gave up on the Fitzpatrick experiment. At 30 years old, they figured that he wasn’t going to develop anymore. So the Titans decided to try their luck with the better-suited-as-a-backup quarterback. Locker is still the starting QB for now, but Fitzpatrick will likely be in the mix based on Locker’s injury history. Fitz’s numbers aren’t terrible, but they aren’t what the Titans are likely looking for. In 2012, he had 3,400 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He was useful as a desperation fill-in based on matchup, but that was about it. This year, leave him alone on draft day. If he ends up as a shining star for some reason, he’ll likely be available.

Delanie Walker, TE, TEN

The Titans were in the market for a tight end, and they signed Walker for a four-year, $17.5 million deal. They’ve said that Walker will be an every-down tight end and he will be utilized in the passing game. However, with Jake Locker throwing to him, Walker’s value still is minimal. He’ll be a good value pick in the late rounds of the draft. In leagues where you can start two tight ends (either two TE positions or a TE and a flex where you can start a TE), Walker does provide an interesting option. He had 344 yards and two touchdowns last season, and those numbers will likely improve with Tennessee.

Jared Cook, TE, STL

Moving from Tennessee to St. Louis should help Cook. The Rams saw something in him as they signed him to a five-year deal. He will likely be better utilized than he was with the Titans. Expect Cook to be on the field as a pass-catching tight end more than a blocking one. He had 523 yards and four touchdowns last season with the Titans, and his 2013 numbers should be better than that. He will be working with Sam Bradford rather than Locker, which is an improvement (although not much). As far as tight ends go, he’s still in the same boat as Walker – worth a look as a late-round grab in leagues that start two TEs or if you’re looking for a potential backup or bye week tight end (in deep leagues) that may end up providing better value than his draft position.

Brandon Myers, TE, NYG

In 2012, Myers came out mid-season as a sleeper… until he ended his hot streak toward the end of the season, frustrating many Fantasy owners. His inconsistency will likely follow him to New York. He will have Eli Manning throwing to him, which is certainly an upgrade. The Giants do know how to successfully utilize a tight end (as evidenced by Martellus Bennett), but he will have games where he will disappoint. Last season, his numbers were decent overall: 806 yards and four touchdowns. Expect close to the same this year, with upside for more. He certainly has potential to hit 1,000 yards in an offense that likes to throw. Manning also likes to look for his tight end in the red zone, so the touchdown numbers should improve. Myers should be drafted as a high TE2 in most leagues. He’ll end up starting for someone’s Fantasy team… and he may even be a top TE… on the weeks he doesn’t give you a goose egg.

Dustin Keller, TE, MIA

In order to fill Fasano’s void, the Dolphins turned to Keller. This move is definitely an upside for Keller. Who would have thought we would have said that about turning to Ryan Tannehill as your QB, but after spending the past year with the Mark Sanchez experiment, any change out of New York is welcome. The Dolphins love to use their tight end in the red zone, and Keller is more explosive than Fasano was. Keller may be off some owner’s Fantasy radar thanks to a down year in 2012. He was plagued by injury and the aforementioned Sanchez. His numbers – 28 receptions, 317 yards and two touchdowns – were career lows, so there is nowhere to go but up. Seemingly healthy, with only a one-year deal, Keller should be playing with something to prove. Especially with an in-division move, look for Keller to be an undervalued TE1.

Anthony Fasano, TE, KC

While Keller upgraded by going to Miami, Fasano downgraded by going to Kansas City. Between the West Coast style of offense and the fact that Tony Moeaki is still listed as the TE1 in Kansas City, Fasano has lost most, if not all, of his Fantasy value. Having Alex Smith at the helm does help his cause, but not enough. In Miami, Fasano was primarily a blocking tight end and a red zone threat. Sure, he’ll see some red zone opportunities in Kansas City, but don’t expect the four or five touchdowns a season that owners have come to expect over the past three years from Fasano.

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