Jan 1, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) lines up for a play against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. San Diego defeated Oakland 38-26. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Thought-Kellen Davis A Super Sleeper?

Jan 16, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis (87) dunks the ball over the goal post after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

When the Fantasy Football magazine rankings come out each year the projections generally mirror the past seasons  results with exceptions  like, Adrian Peterson coming off injury, or Matt Forte with possible lingering hold out ramifications.  It should not be a shocker then that Kellen Davis doesn’t appear in the Top 20 rankings for Tight Ends in any major issue or website so far.

From the beginning of time, or whenever Mike Martz became a genius and started calling offensive plays one thing was certain in the Martz playbook. The tight end position was non existent or not even on the playing field in his five wide receiver sets.  If it were up to Martz, the tight end position would be extinct like that of the T-Formation.  Granted the draft pick was used to get Brandon Marshall, but its because of the use of tight ends by Martz that a very good receiving tight end in Greg Olsen was sent packing to the Carolina Panthers before the start of the 2011 season.

Kellen Davis became the starter with the departure of Olsen, and even being held down by the Martz offense he still had 5 receiving touchdown to go along with 18 receptions and 206 receiving yards. In three years, Davis has 28 receptions and 9 touchdown  in  limited action for the Chicago Bears.

Welcome to the summer 2012 and the new offensive regime under Mike Tice.  Tice has a vastly different views on how to run an offense.  One of the biggest differences is the tight end position. Under the Tice offense while coaching the Minnesota Vikings, Jim Kleinsasser and Jermaine Wiggins averaged 53 receptions per season and 491 yards with 4 touchdowns as the starting tight ends from 2002-2007. With the offensive talent now assembled at Halas Hall,  the offensive of today should be able to mirror that of the Minnesota offense of nearly a decade ago.  Kellen Davis could and should be set up to have a mini breakout season within the Tice offensive package.

The tight end rankings have the usual suspects at the top of the rankings the Patriot tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, and the old stand bye Antonio Gates.

Once you get passed the upper echelon in the tight end position there are a lot of players to pick from where match ups could be the biggest difference in having  a huge fantasy day or  getting little to no production out of that position.  Davis could fit that bill nicely and with his value at an all-time low you won’t have to sacrifice even a middle round draft pick on him.  Davis should still be sitting there when the last few rounds of your draft roll through and everyone is picking kickers and defenses. Davis will be a steal late in the draft with the stats he can put up in this offense especially with his ability to score touchdowns 1 out of 3 times he catches the ball.  You won’t want Davis as your #1 TE, but he can be a good fill in and help you collect valuable points to win  in critical weeks such as bye weeks.

Grab Davis late, stash him, and when the Bears offense is putting up big numbers unleash him on your opponents when the matchup is right, which is the definition of a super sleeper.  Getting production from your #2 TE in bye week or injury weeks can separate you from your competition while  you collect wins when your team is not expecting it, and help you get into your playoffs where money is earned and not given!

Don’t let your opponents outwork you!



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Tags: Antonio Gates Chicago Bears Kellen Davis Mike Martz Mike Tice

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