Last week in NFL Fantasy Football coverage, the Green and White Report explored the possible late round draft steal that is Jets all-purpose quarterback, Tim Tebow. This week, we dive into the fantasy value of Gang Green's veteran tight end, Dustin Keller.
The tight end position is one that is often brushed aside in most fantasy football drafts. Many inexperienced fantasy owners place all of their stock in the running game and at the arms of their quarterback. However, the tight end's size and ability to haul in touchdowns in the red zone is one of the most valuable weapons both on the football field and in the fantasy realm. Last year, owners were treated to astronomical numbers courtesy of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. These two athletes proved how tight ends are becoming more of a focal point on offense in today's NFL.
Last year, Keller finished just outside the top five in receiving yards by a tight end. His production as a tight end has steadily increased since he first entered the league. Keller has never finished a season with less than 500 receiving yards and is often considered to be a top receiving option for Mark Sanchez. In addition to his yardage total, Keller reached the end zone five times in 2011, matching his career high. Outside of Gronkowski and Graham, the highest total for touchdowns by a tight end was seven last season.
Keller should be able to continue his upswing in production this season assuming Sanchez remains at the helm in New York. Sanchez relies on Keller's athletic ability to move the chains and continues to be one of his favorite targets no matter regardless of the team's field position.
If Sanchez were to lose his starting job and Tim Tebow take over the reins, Keller's fantasy value will likely plummet. Tebow is a run-first quarterback and his two-year stint in Denver saw a decrease in receiving totals from his wideouts across the board.
If there were ever a time to take a chance on Keller it is this year. The Jets have stated that they are going to wait to extend a contract offer to Keller until after this upcoming season. Keller will be trying to impress the Jets organization and earn the multi-million dollar paycheck in a contract year, which is great news for fantasy owners across the country.