Only the Tight End busts are left in our weekly sleepers and busts columns this preseason. The previous articles can be found here, along with other offseason content we have provided. The TE position as a whole does not lend itself many options for busts. A few names are there, but a lot of the guys are being fairly ranked and drafted, which makes finding those potential busts hard. Nevertheless though, we have found a few guys who will be busts this year, like the second best player at the position last year in Vernon Davis.
In 2013, Davis only had three games with more than four receptions. He only topped 50 yards eight times. He was only relevant last season because he scored 13 touchdowns on a run-first team, and it’s foolish to expect the same production again. Michael Crabtree will be back for the entire season (hopefully), and Steve Johnson will likely cut into some red zone targets. And still, this is a run-first team, and Frank Gore has traditionally been spoon-fed the ball near the goal-line, not Davis. He’s touchdown dependent, and figures to get fewer touchdown opportunities than he did last season. It’s as simple as that.
Almost everyone is high on Zach Ertz as a breakout candidate this year, but after taking a look at this offense, I am skeptical. There are far too many weapons that will be commanding targets for Ertz to put up enough consistent numbers on a weekly basis. Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, and Jordan Matthews will get plenty of receptions as the top receivers and LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles will both be used in the passing game as well. On top of that, Brent Celek is still there to compete with him for snaps at the tight end position. And this will still continue to be one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league.
A lot of buzz was surrounding Eric Ebron throughout the draft process as the undisputed top tight end in the draft class. Some believe that he has the skills to be the next Jimmy Graham. If that is the case, he has a long way to go. According to reports, Ebron has been having major struggles with drops ever since OTAs, and has not shown any improvement. Ebron should still be a target in dynasty leagues because of his immense potential, but should not be drafted in redraft leagues. He likely won't be much of a factor for the majority of this season as he continues to develop and mature.
Like I said before, it is hard to find guys who will be busts this year at the position, but a few names do stick out as being overdrafted, and they all come from what I think is the second tier of guys. This list consists of those that are ranked fairly within the position, but overall I feel should be drafted later. When all is said and done they won’t be complete busts, unless they get drafted as high as they are compared to others in the same tier as them. The list is as follows: Jordan Cameron, Jason Witten, and the aforementioned Vernon Davis. While these guys will provide some good seasons, it won’t be much better than the guys you can get four or five rounds later in the draft.
We have come to an end of our sleepers and busts columns here at Fake Teams for the season, but don’t worry, the analysis doesn’t stop now. Still to come this week is the consensus TE rankings and commentary from the writers. Next week look out for the D/ST rankings for those last minute drafts or pickups, as well as some bold predictions for the 2014 season. After that we will be getting into full swing with the start of the regular season, with weekly columns from the writers to help you win your leagues.