Fan­tasy own­ers: Tar­get th­ese TEs

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - FANCY STATS BY NEIL GREEN­BERG neil.green­berg@wash­post.com

There might not be a tougher po­si­tion to get a read on in fan­tasy foot­ball than tight end. Ev­ery year, there is a player who seem­ingly comes out of nowhere to rocket up the leader board for fan­tasy points scored. Se­lect him on draft day and you are one step closer to win­ning your league’s cham­pi­onship.

Eas­ier said than done? Per­haps, but suc­cess leaves clues, and like the wide re­ceiver po­si­tion, vol­ume is key to dis­cov­er­ing up-and-com­ing stal­warts such as th­ese three tight ends:

Coby Fleener, Saints, 13.09 Av­er­age Draft Po­si­tion

Fleener caught 50 passes for 631 yards and three touch­downs last year, his first with New Or­leans. Don’t de­spair — he re­mains in a tar­get-rich en­vi­ron­ment that could bear fruit now that he is more fa­mil­iar with the of­fense.

One of quar­ter­back Drew Brees’s main tar­gets last sea­son, Brandin Cooks (117 tar­gets), is with the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots. So Fleener has an op­por­tu­nity to see an uptick in vol­ume in 2017.

Austin Hooper, Fal­cons, 14.03 ADP

Hooper, a Stan­ford alum, rose to No. 1 on At­lanta’s depth chart fol­low­ing Ja­cob Tamme’s re­lease. In 14 games last sea­son, Hooper caught 19 of 27 tar­gets for 271 yards and three touch­downs. It’s pos­si­ble Hooper, who got just 5 per­cent of the team’s tar­gets last sea­son, will in­herit all of Tamme’s work­load (31 tar­gets), which would in­clude 11 red-zone tar­gets, the fourth most on the team in 2016.

Dwayne Allen, Pa­tri­ots, 14.05 ADP

When it comes to tight ends, New Eng­land’s Rob Gronkowski is at the top of ev­ery­one’s list, in­clud­ing quar­ter­back Tom Brady’s. How­ever, the Bos­ton Globe re­ports that Brady has thrown Allen a “ton of tar­gets in the red zone” dur­ing train­ing camp, per­haps sig­nal­ing im­proved pro­duc­tion ahead.

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