Exploring A Truer Measure Of Fantasy Football Tight End Efficiency June 12, 2013  |  C.D. Carter


Understanding which fantasy football commodities did the most with their opportunities is one of the ways we gauge value and project sleepers, though some measurements of a player’s efficiency leave a lot to be desired.

That’s why I’d like to take a quick look at how many fantasy points tight ends scored for every pass route they ran in 2012. I’ve included tight ends available late in 2013 fantasy drafts since the elite guys will go early no matter what, and whoever is drafting them won’t lose sleep over their fantasy points per route run (FPPRR).

We can never account for the myriad of factors that play a role in making a pass catcher’s numbers look especially good or particularly bad. Probably FPPRR is one of the better measures for determining tight end efficiency, however.

I’ve often referred to fantasy points per snap (FPPS) in determining fantasy efficiency, though with tight ends – unlike wide receivers – that number may be skewed. Tight ends are asked to block, as you may know, so FPPS would seem to penalize tight ends who get a fair amount of snaps, but aren’t running a whole lot of pass routes. Not everyone, after all, is Jared Cook, who was hardly ever asked to block during his limited playing time in 2012.

Some of these tight ends missed a bunch of games in 2012, were asked to block more than most tight ends, benefited from garbage time glory (Myers) or fell victim to breathtakingly awful quarterback play.

Tight Ends Fantasy Points Per Route Run (FPPRR)
Dennis Pitta, BAL .27
Greg Olsen, CAR .25
Kyle Rudolph, MIN .24
Owen Daniels, HOU .24
Martellus Bennett, CHI .22
Brandon Myers, NYG .22
Jared Cook, STL .21
Jermaine Gresham, CIN .21
Vernon Davis, SF .20
Antonio Gates, SD .18
Zach Miller, SEA .17
Jermichael Finley, GB .17
Coby Fleener, IND .15

 

I didn’t include fantasy degenerate favorite Rob Housler in the above table because his FPPRR – a horrid, hideous .11 – was certainly a product of the Cardinals’ historically bad quarterback play in 2012. I wouldn’t blame any fantasy owner for throwing out last year’s Arizona pass catcher production. It’s almost impossible to overstate just how much Cardinals’ receivers and tight ends suffered from the play of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley.

I mention Housler’s abysmal FPPRR because you’re missing out if you write off the second year tight end as a viable fantasy option, if only for streaming purposes.

Head coach Bruce Arians described the 6’5”, 250-pound Housler in a recent interview as a “wideout playing tight end” who will be a mismatch nightmare in a Cardinals’ offense that will chuck the ball all over the place in 2013.

 

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