Buy Charles Clay – One player who is still flying under the radar is Charles Clay. The AYA App showed that Ryan Tannehill has had the most success when throwing to Clay, posting an AYA of 8.34. That number could be on the rise with the addition of Bill Lazor and his fast paced offense. Tight Ends under in the PHI offense had an AYA of 12.16 last year. While Mike Wallace worked most of the deep routes last year, Clay became Tannehill’s safety blanket. His consistent performance was also a welcome addition for Clay owners last year as he put up over 70 yards or a touchdown 7 times. An added bonus is that Clay also gets carries out of the backfield from time to time. While it may not be consistent enough to make a huge difference, his week 2 rushing touchdowns against Indy were an added surprise. Clay’s 1.62 Yards Per Route Run placed him 6th among TEs last year. Clay’s 12.12 current ADP makes him a great late round/streaming option for those who don’t want to spend mid round picks on the position. You could do much worse than a player who saw 100 targets and finished as the 7th TE last year. The value is certainly there in 2014.
Sell Vernon Davis – Davis is a bit of an enigma. While he is the second most athletic TE I have ever measured due to his 4.38 40 and 42″ vertical, his production is maddening. You never know which Vernon Davis you are going to get from year to year. The main reason Davis is a sell here is because I think his 2013 pace is unsustainable. Davis caught touchdowns on 25% of his receptions…that is ridiculous. Three of his touchdowns also went for over 50 yards. Another concern is that there will be many more mouths to feed this year. The addition of Stevie Johnson working out of the slot along with a healthy Michael Crabtree will give Kaepernick other options at a minimum. Using the Game Splits App, you can see the difference in Davis’ production over the last 3 years when Crabtree plays.
As you can see Davis lost about 30% of his fantasy output when Crabtree was on the field. While Davis certainly has the talent, he also has the name recognition to go with it. Those two factors along with his 2013 performance have his current ADP sitting at 5.05. At that price I don’t feel like any of the risks or past performance volatility is built in. History and an unsustainable touchdown pace may leave owners disappointed in 2014. How would you feel if you lost 30% on an investment?
Hold Jordan Cameron – Both myself and Jacob Rickrode pointed out that Greg Olsen could be the man this year here and here. Well Cameron is in the same position and no one is talking about it. Cameron broke on the scene last year with over 200 yards and a TD in weeks 1 and 2. Those who had him were smiling and those who didn’t were scrambling to get him. Then Josh Gordon came back from suspension and overshadowed the talented TE. As I pointed out above with Davis, Cameron is also a different player when his number one receiver is on the field. Using the Game Split App again take a look Jordan Cameron without Josh Gordon.
While 2 games is a very small sample size, there really isn’t much competition for targets in Cleveland this year. Also, if you just restricted the sample to 2013, the gap would still be significant. Cameron is in the same position that Vernon Davis was in last year with Miles Austin playing the part of Anquan Boldin. While Johnny Manziel may or may not be the “Best QB Prospect Ever” it shouldn’t hamper Cameron’s 2014 outlook as rookie QBs have a high tendency to look for their TEs. Cameron’s 917 receiving yards ranked second for TEs last year behind only Jimmy Graham. While Cleveland may not run Kyle Shanahan’s Zone Read as much as Washington did, it should certainly give Cameron the opportunity to work the seams a bit more. If you are lucky enough to own Cameron in dynasty I would suggest a strong hold. If you are interested in re-draft, his ADP of 6.1 seems like a fair investment to me with some upside still built in. The TE Sim Score App, tweaked in an attempt to try to estimate the loss of Gordon, places Cameron at a ceiling of 19.3 ppg and a floor of 13.4 ppg in PPR leagues.
Which TEs are you interested in this year? Let me know in the comments section below or carry over to the RotoViz Message Boards where I asked “Graham, Gronk or the rest of the field?”