So far we’ve broken down the Texans' running backs and wide receivers for the 2014 fantasy football season. Today we examine perhaps the second most important position in Bill O’Brien’s offense – the tight end.
Graham enters his fifth NFL season as the Texans' number one tight end for the first time in his career. Graham’s "jack of all trades - master of none" skill set should lend itself well to an H-back role in Houston’s offense. He is not a dominant inline blocker, nor is he a dominant receiver, but he is just competent enough in both roles to be a moveable chess piece up and down the line of scrimmage like a less talented (and less insane) version of Aaron Hernandez. Considering that Graham’s main competition for the starting role is a rookie, he should have the inside track for great numbers in 2014. Graham’s ceiling is probably in the range of 70 catches, 800 yards, and seven or eight touchdowns. I think most fantasy owners would gladly take those numbers from a mid to late round pick.
If Garrett Graham is Aaron Hernandez, "The Polish Hat" is Rob Gronkowski. He’s smart, he’s strong, and he can block people into the bleachers. Perhaps the most important aspect to Fiedorowicz’s game, however, is his size. The former Iowa Hawkeye will likely become one of the team’s primary red zone threats with his combination of height, bulk, and physicality. I would not dare predict double-digit touchdowns for a second-string rookie, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that Fiedorowicz starts getting more end zone targets than Graham by the second half of the season. The Hat will see plenty of snaps just from his inline blocking ability alone, but if his potential as a possession receiver and touchdown machine is fully realized, he could turn into a monster. This would be a late round flyer well spent in re-draft leagues, and he should be a high priority target in dynasty leagues.
In the category of "waiver wire backups to keep an eye on", Ryan Griffin has a lot of potential as Bill O’Brien’s third tight end. Despite being a late round pick by the prior coaching regime, Griffin had some impressive moments in his rookie year as the Texans’ tight end depth chart was cut down by injuries. He really came on towards the end of the year, posting 14 receptions in his final three games. At 6’6" and 254 pounds, Griffin is a willing blocker, competent route runner, and potentially fruitful red zone target if pressed into service by injuries yet again. It is a big "if", but should either Graham or Fiedorowicz find themselves missing significant amounts of time, Griffin is a sneaky play for TE-deficient owners in need of quick points. At the end of the day, Griffin is a big dude in a very tight end friendly offense. That’s worth something to me.
What do you think, BRB? Are you buying or selling the Texans tight ends in 2014?