— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 10, 2013
As the fantasy football regular season sadly approaches its end, I start looking for players that might be useful next year. On my dynasty teams, I try to add these guys to the end of my bench now, particularly if I’ve done a two for one trade that leaves me with an empty roster spot. Earlier I wrote about Jermaine Kearse, whom I think is worthy of stashing away. Today’s piece is about Texans’ Tight End Ryan Griffin.
I wanted to take a look at him because (a) TEs sometimes take longer to develop than other players, so I like to strike early, and (b) a lot of my leagues allow me to start multiple TEs, so I like to have some depth. To date, Griffin’s NFL rookie season consists of 3 receptions for 20 yards and a TD. His targets are few (5) and dispersed (1 in week 4, 3 in week 6, 1 in week 9). In short, he’s seldom used, although his number of offensive snaps has risen since Owen Daniels went out with injury (2.8/game with Daniels, 16.25/game since). Still not much usage, but let’s see what the comps have to say.
College Production in Context
Here’s how Griffin compares to other similarly sized (6’5″ or taller) TEs from recent drafts. I split the comps into two heatmaps for better clarity.
Griffin’s collegiate numbers are competitive with this cohort. His ridiculous market share of TDs is a bit misleading: Griffin did have 60% of the team’s receiving TDs, but UConn only threw for 10 TDs. Griffin was not targeted that much, although neither was Coby Fleener or Jordan Cameron. Here’s a different look at collegiate production, from Football Study Hall.
|2011||San Diego State||Gavin Escobar||85||51||780||0.60||9.18||0.20||15.29|
|2012||Michigan State||Dion Sims||70||36||475||0.51||6.79||0.16||13.19|
|2011||Notre Dame||Tyler Eifert||95||63||803||0.66||8.45||0.21||12.75|
As you can see, Griffin has respectable yards/catch and yards/target rates. His target percentage (percent of team’s targets) is rather low- but then again, it’s low for Jordan Cameron and Coby Fleener too.
|Name||[Hght]||Wght||40 yd||Bnch||Vert||Broad||3Cone||20 ss|
|Joseph Fauria||6′ 7″||259||4.72||17||35½”||120″||7.49||4.53|
|Ryan Griffin||6′ 6″||261||4.87||21||34.5″||113″||7.01||4.43|
|Gavin Escobar||6′ 6″||254||4.84||12||32″||114″||7.07||4.31|
|Coby Fleener||6′ 6″||247||4.51||27||37″||116″||7.02||4.3|
|Ladarius Green||6′ 6″||238||4.53||16||34″||124″||7.12||4.47|
|Dion Sims||6′ 5″||262||4.75||22||35″||112″||7.36||4.52|
|Jordan Cameron||6′ 5″||254||4.53||23||37½”||119″||6.82||4.03|
|Michael Egnew||6′ 5″||252||4.62||21||36″||131″||7.03||4.32|
|Tyler Eifert||6′ 5″||250||4.68||22||35½”||119″||6.92||4.32|
|Zach Ertz||6′ 5″||249||4.76||24||30½”||111″||7.08||4.47|
|Julius Thomas||6′ 5″||246||4.64||16||35½”||111″||4.31|
Griffin has a very good 3-cone time, but otherwise falls in the middle to lower range of this cohort. The other thing to think about is the overall success of this cohort. Julius Thomas is having a great season, but how much of that is him vs. Peyton Manning? Jordan Cameron has also had a very good season. We like Fauria and Green, but so far they’re both more potential than production. The rest haven’t done much of anything yet (still early in their careers, I know).
Similarly Sized NFL TEs
Here’s a look at how similarly sized and drafted TEs have performed in their second season. This might give us an idea of what to expect from Griffin going forward. This table shows all TEs, 6’5″ or taller, 250 pounds or heavier, drafted in round five or later since 1993, with at least 10 catches in their second season.
Oh. Well, that’s underwhelming. To be fair, the passing game in the NFL has been changing a lot, and there aren’t that many TEs of Griffin’s size to compare him to. So, there could be more upside than we’re aware of, especially if the Texans part ways with Owen Daniels, and Griffin proves adept enough in all game phases to stay on the field for a full complement of snaps. But, that’s more hopeful than anything I think, based on these comps.
What Does it All Mean?
He’s worth monitoring, but it doesn’t seem like there’s enough potential to make him a strong candidate for addition to your roster, unless you have a very deep bench or play in a TE premium league of some sort. If either Daniels or Garrett Graham were to leave the Texans, however, I’d be more inclined to pick him up.