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Joseph Fauria is a Six Foot Seven, Touchdown Catching Machine

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As I write this, I’m waiting for my next rookie pick in the RotoViz Dynasty League (thanks to Fleaflicker for hosting it; check ‘em out!). I’m mashing the refresh key, waiting for the dudes in front of me to pick, hoping my guy is still there when I’m on the clock. Who’s my guy you ask? Why, Joseph Fauria, that’s who. Read on to see why I think he’s a worthy late round Dynasty “sleeper” pick.

First, let me just say that there are a few, several, many better rookie TE prospects. But at this point (round 29 of 30 overall; round 3 of 4 in our rookie draft), they’re not available. Rather than select a RB, WR, or QB with little to no upside or opportunity to play soon, I’m rolling the dice with Fauria. This late in our draft, I’m going all Rob Deer and swinging for the fences. All the options at this point are just lottery tickets, so I may as well go for broke. Get the point? Late in your draft is the time to gamble on promise, potential, and upside.

So why is Fauria worth a late round Dynasty pick?

Interesting Reasons

  1. It’s in his blood. He’s the nephew of Christian Fauria.
  2. He’s from the Pac-12. They produce some good TEs: Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Zach Miller, Marcedes Lewis, Dante Rosario, Ed Dickson, Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz, Logan Paulsen, Jordan Cameron, and Fred Davis for example.

Important Reasons

  1. Opportunity. Signed by the Lions as an UDFA, Fauria has a good opportunity to make the final roster. The Lions’ current TEs are Brandon Pettigrew (old, not particularly great) and Tony Scheffler (even older, not particularly great). Both Pettigrew and Scheffler are in contract years. In other words, the Lions have two so-so TEs who may not be on the team next year. Oh, and the Lions like to pass a lot.  The Lions led the league in TE targets last year with 207, or about 12 per game.
  2. College production. Here’s Fauria’s college production.

 

Year Rec Yds Avg TD
2010 3 21 7.0 2
2011* 39 481 12.3 6
2012* 46 637 13.8 12
Career 88 1139 12.9 20

Via Pro Football Reference

Note that his production increased every year; it’s possible he hasn’t reached his peak yet. He also led his team in receiving TDs, was second in total TDs, receptions, and yards, and was second in the PAC-12 in receiving TDs.    

UCLA Rank Player Rec  Yds Avg TD
1 Shaquelle Evans 60 877 14.6 3
2 Joseph Fauria 46 637 13.8 12
3 Johnathan Franklin 33 323 9.8 2
4 Jerry Johnson 31 428 13.8 1

Via Pro Football Reference

The Really Interesting AND Important Reasons

  1. Big. Joseph Fauria is big. He stands 6’7”, and has 10.75” hands. Those measurements put him in the 94th and 99th percentile of all TEs, respectively. This probably explains his 41% market share of UCLA’s receiving TDs last year.
  2. Athletic. Despite being so, well, big, he’s a good athlete. His vertical leap (77th percentile) and broad jump (85th percentile) are well above average. Even his 40 time (4.72) is above average for a TE (67th percentile).
  3. Unique Measurables. As FantasyDouche explained here, this excellent Mock Draftable widget lets you compare how unique a given player’s physical attributes are. Here’s Joseph Fauria’s page.

 

Two things to notice:

  • His tenth-closest comparable is only 68.7% similar: Fauria is very unique physically.
  • His comparables include Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Dion Sims, Kevin Boss and Martellus Bennett. That’s a good group.

What It All Means

Fauria is definitely not a slam dunk. He’s 23, and left college after his senior season. He’s old for a prospect. He’ll probably never be a really great blocker at his height. But his combination of physical attributes and opportunity suggest that, if he hits, he’ll hit…big. Go ahead, take a late (late) round flyer on him.

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