As we inch closer to the start of the fantasy season, this is the time where we dig deep to find those potential diamonds in the rough. Here are a few reasons Jermaine Gresham could be a fantasy asset nobody sees coming.
ARIANS ACTUALLY LIKES TIGHT ENDS
That may you throw you off since the TE position has been non-existent over the last few seasons, but it wasn’t that way when Bruce Arians coached other teams. Perhaps because he had Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and what he used to think was a strong group behind them, the team was never forced to include the TE as an essential part of the passing game.
However, after Floyd suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7 against the Seahawks, Gresham’s usage ramped up.
While those extrapolated numbers don’t jump off the page, they were roughly the equivalent of trendy sleepers like Jack Doyle and C.J. Fiedorowicz.
They also resemble what Heath Miller averaged over Arians’ time in Pittsburgh.
Miller’s fantasy performances were like a rollercoaster over that time, but it’s worth mentioning he had multiple top-10 finishes, according to fantasydata.com .
Opportunity Is There For The Taking
Here’s what Coach Arians had to say about his receiving corps this week.
“I must’ve been seeing things back in the spring when I said we had had 12 guys who could play in the NFL,” Arians said, via the team’s official website. “We might have two.”
He also added:
“Assignments, catching the ball, the main things the receivers have to do, they are not doing.”
When your star player has a camp to train other WRs and the guys on his own team aren’t developing, you have to question how much talent is there. Nonetheless, somebody is going to benefit from the available targets on one of the better offenses in the league.
My bet would be on the players that have done the most with those targets. Using information from AirYards.com here’s how Gresham has compared to the Cardinals’ top pass catcher over the last two seasons (keep in mind Gresham’s data is a much smaller sample).
|Larry Fitzgerald (2015)||146||8.8||0.95|
|Jermaine Gresham (2015)||32||7.8||0.89|
|Larry Fitzgerald (2016)||151||7.7||0.88|
|Jermaine Gresham (2016)||61||7.6||0.84|
To be clear, I’m not presenting the idea that Gresham is a great player. However, I am presenting the reasons why the Cardinals might see him as the second- or third-best option in the passing game this season. Because the coaching staff appears to have zero faith in the group of guys behind Fitzgerald, Coach Arians could very well resort back to his old ways and lean on the TE position.
Currently he isn’t even being drafted, so even if you don’t agree with my thinking, taking a flier would cost absolutely nothing. Gresham has a top-10 PPR season on his resume and history with starting quarterback Carson Palmer. More opportunity could translate into him becoming a valuable asset for your fantasy team.