Aug 21, 2011
Everybody knows who the top 10 or even 15 players are at each fantasy relevant position and that why it’s a no-brainer to target guys who consistently produce monster fantasy football numbers such as Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, and Antonio Gates. Often times what separates a good fantasy team from a great one is the owner who finds value in the second half of his or her fantasy draft. These later-round difference makers are referred to as fantasy football sleepers or undervalued players.
Sleepers are typically lesser known players or those with one or two NFL seasons under their belts, while undervalued players tend to be overlooked veterans, or guys who let down fantasy owners for one reason or another the previous season. Sometimes a player’s situation gives owners pause and his draft position takes a hit. Whether a player is a true sleeper or simply undervalued, he must meet the following criteria: (1) he’s likely to outperform his preseason ranking and projections; (2) he’ll deliver a much higher return on your investment (i.e., draft pick or auction price); and (3) he isn’t a rookie.
Now that you know how we determine who made the cut, check out our 2011 Fantasy Football Sleeper Tight Ends.
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Jared Cook, TE, Tennessee Titans
2010 Stats: 29 receptions, 369 receiving yards, 1 total touchdown
It’s not hard to see why Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook is one of the hottest young players at the tight end position. He has all of the physical tools to be a productive player in the NFL. At 6’ 5’’, 248 pounds, Cook has the size of a tight end, but the hands and speed (sub 4.5 forty) of a wide receiver. After being limited to backup duties early in his career, Cook was handed the keys to the car at the end of the 2010 season and he showed fantasy owners a glimpse of the future. Over the Titans final three games, Cook hauled in 15 receptions for 196 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee opted to let regular tight end Bo Scaife walk this offseason and this opens up the door for Cook to breakout as the Titans’ starting tight end. Already one to target before NFL free agency, Cook’s fantasy value got a boost when veteran signal caller Matt Hasselbeck signed with Tennessee to lead their offense in 2011. While Hasselbeck is just a stopgap before the Jake Locker era begins in Nashville, he does have a rich history of finding tight ends in the red zone. Remarkably, Cook is owned in just 15 percent of Flea Flicker leagues and he should be targeted toward the end of your draft in 12-team leagues. Don’t be surprised if he flirts with the team lead in receptions while working his way into your weekly lineup.
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