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2013 Catch Rate & Yards Per Target Analysis: TEs

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by Joe Dolan, Managing Editor

Published, 4/2/14 

This is an article we’ve published for a few years now, and it often serves as a basis for our late spring/summer analysis that will shape our receiver rankings for the upcoming fantasy football season. Why’s that? While we never want to take just one or two stats and base a ranking on that, we do want our receivers, tight ends, and PPR running backs to be both consistent and efficient. We feel that catch rate and yards per target analysis is a very good place to start on that.
 
In 2013, NFL QBs continued to be more accurate and efficient. Overall, NFL receivers caught 63.0% of the passes thrown their way, a half a percentage point increase over 2012 and about a percentage and a half over 2011. And we have some good news in the other department as well – after a fall to 7.28 YPT in 2012, down from 7.39 in 2011, NFL receivers gained about 7.33 yards per pass thrown their way in 2013, meaning an increase in completion percentage didn’t necessarily mean that teams were taking shorter gains in general, the way they did in 2012.
 
Obviously, as with any stat or scouting report, this is only one way to look at a receiver, and it should not be taken as gospel one way or the other. The system a receiver plays in, the quarterback he plays with, and his role in the offense are all going to affect his overall numbers.
 
But being the first to notice an emerging stud at any of these positions, or to pass up a guy who could fall off a cliff, could be keys for success in 2014. What we’re doing here is trying to notice trends, red flags, or signals for potential breakout players. We’re also going to try to explain what might have gone well or wrong for a player in targets. It’s up to you to decide how to look at the data, but there are a lot of interesting tidbits one can find.
 
You’ll notice we have each player broken down by multiple categories, including the standard catches, targets, yards, TDs, etc. But we’ve also included “first-half catch rate” (meaning his first eight games) and “second half-catch rate” (meaning his final eight games), and we’ve broken that down even further into “quarters” of the season if you prefer to download our master TE file in excel, so we can see which players were the most or least consistent. We’ve done the same with the “yards-per-target” stat.
 
After presenting the charts, we’ll look at some players whose performances were noteworthy – either good or bad. Obviously, there is much more you could glean from these charts, but we looked at some players in each category whom we thought were particularly interesting.
 
Tight Ends Catch Rate
 
The chart below details each of the NFL TEs who saw at least 20 targets in 2013, sorted by total targets. In 2013, NFL TEs caught 2377 of the 3643 targets thrown their way, meaning a league average of 65.2% catch rate for TEs, up from 65.0% in 2012. “65.2%” will be the benchmark in this article when “league-average” is discussed.
 
NoteYou can also download our master TE file in excel to see all categories and positions in one file.

Rank
Player
Team
Rec
Avg.
Tgt
RZT
GLT
2013 Season
 
1st Half
2nd Half
1
Jimmy Graham
NO
86
14.1
142
26
7
0.606
 
0.645
0.575
2
Tony Gonzalez
ATL
82
10.3
119
25
6
0.689
 
0.655
0.721
3
Jordan Cameron
CLE
80
11.5
115
19
5
0.696
 
0.742
0.633
4
Antonio Gates
SD
77
11.3
112
14
5
0.688
 
0.764
0.614
5
Jason Witten
DAL
73
11.7
110
17
4
0.664
 
0.673
0.655
6
Greg Olsen
CAR
73
11.2
110
18
5
0.664
 
0.682
0.652
7
Charles Clay
MIA
69
11
102
15
2
0.676
 
0.690
0.667
8
Martellus Bennett
CHI
65
11.7
94
16
4
0.691
 
0.681
0.702
9
Julius Thomas
DEN
65
12.1
90
18
3
0.722
 
0.750
0.684
10
Garrett Graham
HOU
49
11.1
88
13
3
0.557
 
0.606
0.527
11
Delanie Walker
TEN
60
9.5
86
17
6
0.698
 
0.676
0.712
12
Coby Fleener
IND
52
11.7
86
14
3
0.605
 
0.710
0.545
13
Jared Cook
STL
51
13.2
84
11
5
0.607
 
0.592
0.629
14
Scott Chandler
BUF
53
12.4
81
6
2
0.654
 
0.644
0.667
15
Vernon Davis
SF
52
16.3
80
21
6
0.650
 
0.630
0.676
16
Heath Miller
PIT
58
10.2
77
9
3
0.753
 
0.690
0.792
17
Tim Wright
TB
54
10.6
75
8
3
0.720
 
0.714
0.723
18
Brandon Myers
NYG
47
11.1
75
12
3
0.627
 
0.605
0.649
19
Jermaine Gresham
CIN
46
10
68
4
2
0.676
 
0.750
0.571
20
Rob Gronkowski
NE
39
15.2
66
8
1
0.591
 
0.455
0.659
21
Brandon Pettigrew
DET
41
10.1
63
7
1
0.651
 
0.634
0.682
22
Tyler Eifert
CIN
39
11.4
60
7
2
0.650
 
0.686
0.600
23
Jordan Reed
WAS
45
11.1
59
8
3
0.763
 
0.773
0.733
24
Mychal Rivera
OAK
38
10.7
59
8
1
0.644
 
0.571
0.684
25
Rob Housler
ARI
39
11.6
57
7
3
0.684
 
0.700
0.676
26
Zach Miller
SEA
33
11.7
56
10
4
0.589
 
0.625
0.563
27
Zach Ertz
PHI
36
13
56
6
1
0.643
 
0.560
0.710
28
Dallas Clark
BAL
31
11.1
52
10
4
0.596
 
0.590
0.615
29
Andrew Quarless
GB
32
9.8
52
7
4
0.615
 
0.545
0.634
30
Brent Celek
PHI
32
15.7
50
10
3
0.640
 
0.560
0.720
31
Logan Paulsen
WAS
28
9.5
50
9
4
0.560
 
0.615
0.541
32
John Carlson
MIN
32
10.8
48
3
0
0.667
 
0.538
0.714
33
Marcedes Lewis
JAC
25
14.4
47
10
5
0.532
 
0.333
0.561
34
Kellen Winslow
NYJ
31
12.5
47
7
1
0.660
 
0.708
0.609
35
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
30
10.4
45
5
2
0.667
 
0.651
1.000
36
Lance Kendricks
STL
32
8.1
45
9
3
0.711
 
0.714
0.706
37
Ed Dickson
BAL
25
10.9
42
3
1
0.595
 
0.538
0.621
38
Owen Daniels
HOU
24
10.5
41
5
1
0.585
 
0.585
0.000
39
Jeff Cumberland
NYJ
26
15.3
40
8
1
0.650
 
0.682
0.611
40
Sean McGrath
KC
26
11.6
40
4
2
0.650
 
0.692
0.571
41
Clay Harbor
JAC
24
12.2
35
6
1
0.686
 
0.667
0.706
42
Jermichael Finley
GB
25
12
34
5
1
0.735
 
0.735
0.000
43
Anthony Fasano
KC
23
8.7
34
11
3
0.676
 
0.667
0.684
44
Dennis Pitta
BAL
20
8.5
33
4
3
0.606
 
0.000
0.606
45
Jim Dray
ARI
26
8.3
32
8
2
0.813
 
0.750
0.875
46
Joseph Fauria
DET
18
11.5
29
14
6
0.621
 
0.615
0.625
47
Ladarius Green
SD
17
22.1
29
4
0
0.586
 
0.714
0.545
48
Benjamin Watson
NO
19
11.9
29
4
3
0.655
 
0.786
0.533
49
Luke Willson
SEA
20
13.6
28
0
0
0.714
 
0.667
0.769
50
Ryan Griffin
HOU
19
12.8
27
1
1
0.704
 
0.500
0.739
51
Jacob Tamme
DEN
20
9.2
25
2
0
0.800
 
1.000
0.773
52
Bear Pascoe
NYG
12
6.8
20
0
0
0.600
 
0.556
0.636

Tight Ends Yards Per Target
 
The chart below details each of the NFL TEs who saw at least 20 targets in 2013, sorted by total targets. In 2013, NFL TEs gained 27,258 yards on 3643 targets, of which they caught 2377 passes. They averaged 11.5 yards per reception and 7.48 yards per target in 2013, the latter of which was up from 7.05 YPT in 2012. “7.48 YPT” will be the benchmark in this article when “league-average” is discussed.

As a general observation, the massive increase in YPT for TEs this season is further evidence that the lines between “wide receiver” and “tight end” are blurring. For comparison’s sake, WRs averaged 7.80 YPT in 2013, which was a match from their 2012 average.

Rank
Player
Team
Rec
Avg.
Tgt
RZT
GLT
 
2013 Season
 
1st Half
2nd Half
1
Jimmy Graham
NO
86
14.1
142
26
7
 
8.56
 
10.16
7.31
2
Tony Gonzalez
ATL
82
10.3
119
25
6
 
7.12
 
6.81
7.41
3
Jordan Cameron
CLE
80
11.5
115
19
5
 
7.97
 
9.03
6.55
4
Antonio Gates
SD
77
11.3
112
14
5
 
7.79
 
9.04
6.58
5
Jason Witten
DAL
73
11.7
110
17
4
 
7.74
 
7.33
8.15
6
Greg Olsen
CAR
73
11.2
110
18
5
 
7.42
 
8.18
6.91
7
Charles Clay
MIA
69
11
102
15
2
 
7.44
 
8.12
6.97
8
Martellus Bennett
CHI
65
11.7
94
16
4
 
8.07
 
7.57
8.57
9
Julius Thomas
DEN
65
12.1
90
18
3
 
8.76
 
8.67
8.87
10
Garrett Graham
HOU
49
11.1
88
13
3
 
6.19
 
6.18
6.20
11
Delanie Walker
TEN
60
9.5
86
17
6
 
6.64
 
6.97
6.42
12
Coby Fleener
IND
52
11.7
86
14
3
 
7.07
 
7.58
6.78
13
Jared Cook
STL
51
13.2
84
11
5
 
7.99
 
7.65
8.46
14
Scott Chandler
BUF
53
12.4
81
6
2
 
8.09
 
7.58
8.72
15
Vernon Davis
SF
52
16.3
80
21
6
 
10.63
 
11.26
9.76
16
Heath Miller
PIT
58
10.2
77
9
3
 
7.70
 
7.76
7.67
17
Tim Wright
TB
54
10.6
75
8
3
 
7.61
 
7.18
7.87
18
Brandon Myers
NYG
47
11.1
75
12
3
 
6.96
 
6.97
6.95
19
Jermaine Gresham
CIN
46
10
68
4
2
 
6.78
 
7.20
6.18
20
Rob Gronkowski
NE
39
15.2
66
8
1
 
8.97
 
6.41
10.25
21
Brandon Pettigrew
DET
41
10.1
63
7
1
 
6.60
 
5.49
8.68
22
Tyler Eifert
CIN
39
11.4
60
7
2
 
7.42
 
8.37
6.08
23
Jordan Reed
WAS
45
11.1
59
8
3
 
8.46
 
8.82
7.40
24
Mychal Rivera
OAK
38
10.7
59
8
1
 
6.90
 
6.57
7.08
25
Rob Housler
ARI
39
11.6
57
7
3
 
7.96
 
6.75
8.62
26
Zach Miller
SEA
33
11.7
56
10
4
 
6.91
 
5.42
8.03
27
Zach Ertz
PHI
36
13
56
6
1
 
8.38
 
8.04
8.65
28
Dallas Clark
BAL
31
11.1
52
10
4
 
6.60
 
6.79
6.00
29
Andrew Quarless
GB
32
9.8
52
7
4
 
6.00
 
3.73
6.61
30
Brent Celek
PHI
32
15.7
50
10
3
 
10.04
 
8.56
11.52
31
Logan Paulsen
WAS
28
9.5
50
9
4
 
5.34
 
8.46
4.24
32
John Carlson
MIN
32
10.8
48
3
0
 
7.17
 
2.92
8.74
33
Marcedes Lewis
JAC
25
14.4
47
10
5
 
7.64
 
6.17
7.85
34
Kellen Winslow
NYJ
31
12.5
47
7
1
 
8.26
 
7.04
9.52
35
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
30
10.4
45
5
2
 
6.96
 
6.47
17.50
36
Lance Kendricks
STL
32
8.1
45
9
3
 
5.73
 
5.68
5.82
37
Ed Dickson
BAL
25
10.9
42
3
1
 
6.50
 
7.15
6.21
38
Owen Daniels
HOU
24
10.5
41
5
1
 
6.15
 
6.15
0.00
39
Jeff Cumberland
NYJ
26
15.3
40
8
1
 
9.95
 
11.27
8.33
40
Sean McGrath
KC
26
11.6
40
4
2
 
7.55
 
7.92
6.86
41
Clay Harbor
JAC
24
12.2
35
6
1
 
8.34
 
8.50
8.18
42
Jermichael Finley
GB
25
12
34
5
1
 
8.82
 
8.82
0.00
43
Anthony Fasano
KC
23
8.7
34
11
3
 
5.88
 
5.00
6.58
44
Dennis Pitta
BAL
20
8.5
33
4
3
 
5.12
 
0.00
5.12
45
Jim Dray
ARI
26
8.3
32
8
2
 
6.72
 
5.44
8.00
46
Joseph Fauria
DET
18
11.5
29
14
6
 
7.14
 
6.23
7.88
47
Ladarius Green
SD
17
22.1
29
4
0
 
12.97
 
16.14
11.95
48
Benjamin Watson
NO
19
11.9
29
4
3
 
7.79
 
11.07
4.73
49
Luke Willson
SEA
20
13.6
28
0
0
 
9.71
 
9.60
9.85
50
Ryan Griffin
HOU
19
12.8
27
1
1
 
9.04
 
4.50
9.83
51
Jacob Tamme
DEN
20
9.2
25
2
0
 
7.36
 
9.00
7.14
52
Bear Pascoe
NYG
12
6.8
20
0
0
 
4.05
 
3.56
4.45

Notable Performances
 
Jimmy Graham (NO, 60.6%/8.56) – Graham is clearly in a class of his own when it comes to fantasy TEs, so anything said here is going to look like nitpicking. But in the second half of the season, Graham (battling injuries and seeing more attention) posted a 57.5%/7.31 line, both below league averages. What’s more, over the final four games against some of the better defenses the Saints faced all year, he went for a putrid 46.7%/5.98. Perhaps the injuries were catching up with him right when the schedule got tougher, but defenses definitely paid more attention to him. He also posted 10.16 YPT in the first half of the season, which was reduced dramatically to 7.31 in the second half. That 7.3 number was almost exactly the same as 2012, showing that his first half production in 2013 will be hard to duplicate. His health is always something to monitor, but a repeat of last year’s ballistic first half seems unrealistic.
 
Julius Thomas (Den, 72.2%/8.76) – How many TEs in the league played 10 or more games, saw 30 or more targets, caught 70% or more of their targets, and averaged over 8.0 YPT? The answer is one, and it’s Orange Julius. Even if you remove the games played restriction, we add only Jordan Reed and Jermichael Finley to the mix. If you ask us, Julius should be the #2 TE off draft boards during the summer, following Jimmy Graham. The combination of talent and QB Peyton Manning here is just way too appealing, especially with WR Eric Decker (24 TDs from 2012-2013) gone. It was also encouraging to see his YPT so consistent over the four quarters of the season.
 
Vernon Davis (65.0%/10.63) – Vernon was only 15th among TEs with 80 targets in 14 games, but he made them count, posting an above-average catch rate and a significantly above-average YPT. In fact, he and Brent Celek were the only TEs with 30 or more targets who averaged more than 10 YPT. Vernon should be one of the first TEs off the board in 2014.
 
Jordan Cameron (Cle, 69.6%/7.97) – Like teammate Josh Gordon, Cameron managed to battle through the muck of the QB position in Cleveland to post elite, above-average numbers. If you want to realize just how bad things were, go check out the numbers for Greg Little and Davone Bess. They were not pretty. Let’s hope Kyle Shanahan and any stability at QB can help Cameron maintain his numbers because he’s one of the most appealing TE options available. His catch rate and YPT numbers were way up from 2012, but they also dipped in the second half of the season (74.2 to 63.3 catch rate and 9.03 to 6.55 YPT). Clearly, all the issues at QB slowed him down in the second half.
 
Rob Gronkowski (NE, 59.1%/8.97) – Gronk, playing only seven games after returning from back and arm injuries, and before an ACL tear, saw his numbers fall from 69.6%/10.00 in 2012. But showing just how good he still is when he’s out there, his 8.97 YPT was third-best among TEs with 50 or more targets. The injuries are just starting to pile up, and that’s a major concern.
 
Antonio Gates (SD, 68.8%/7.79) – Why do we think Ladarius Green may be in for a bigger role in the very near future? Gates slowed down significantly in the second half of the season, falling from 76.4%/9.04 in the first half to 61.4%/6.58 in the second (both well below average). By contrast, Green averaged a ridiculous 12.97 YPT for the whole season, despite a low 58.6% catch rate. Green simply has more explosive ability right now. But Gates did improve his numbers in both categories from 2012, so he’s probably not completely washed up just yet.
 
Jason Witten (Dal, 66.4%/7.74) – Witten had another really good season in 2013, but it was a different type of year than he had in 2012. His catch rate was down from a ridiculous 74.8%, but his YPT was up from 7.07, so he was doing more with his average target than has been typical. It was less of a “PPR” type of season for Witten, who was really consistent in both categories throughout the season.
 
Greg Olsen (Car, 66.4%/7.42) – Is Olsen going to have to be the Panthers’ #1 receiver again? It’s certainly likely, with Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn replaced by Jerricho Cotchery and Tiquan Underwood thus far (as of 4/2). Fortunately for QB Cam Newton, Olsen had a career year in 2013, but his YPT did fall from 8.18 in the first half to 6.91 in the second. His catch rate was very consistent all four quarters of the season and compared to 2012, so he’s very stable there.
 
Martellus Bennett (Chi, 69.1%/8.07) – If you’re waiting on your TE in 2014, remember Bennett’s numbers on draft day. He isn’t likely to dominate, but he’ll be available later than some of the other top guys, and both his catch rate and YPT were well above the average for the position across the NFL. They were also major improvements over his previous career year in 2012, 61.8%/7.03 with the Giants. The Marc Trestman offense worked wonders for just about everyone last year. Bennett’s YPT was also up a full yard in the second half of the season.
 
Delanie Walker (Ten, 69.8%/6.64) – In Walker and WR Kendall Wright, the Titans had two leaders in both targets and catch rates among their respective positions. Unfortunately, neither was particularly effective in the YPT department, and Walker (a seam-stretcher with the 49ers in 2012, with 8.69 YPT) actually was well below average among TEs. Hopefully, new coach Ken Whisenhunt can install a little more verticality in this offense to help utilize Walker to his strengths, but TEs never really had much of a role under Whiz in Arizona. Walker told us late in the season that he started to get a lot more comfortable as a lead TE in the second half, and his catch rate improvement shows that.
 
Coby Fleener (Ind, 60.5%/7.07) – You wonder why we think Dwayne Allen could be due for a big role in 2014, coming off injury? Consider that Fleener was below average in both of these categories relative to other TEs, and his numbers were actually far better than they were in 2012 (54.2%/5.85). During the second half of 2013, Fleener’s numbers were poor – he posted a 54.5% catch rate and 6.78 YPT. If you’ve seen him play, the numbers seem to line up with his struggles. He had some solid moments, but he was inconsistent and continues to drop too many passes, plus he doesn’t seem as explosive as advertised when he came out of Stanford. It’s possible that there was simply too much pressure on him, since he was at a 71% catch rate the first half of the season with Reggie Wayne still around.
 
Heath Miller (Pit, 75.3%/7.70) – Miller likely won’t be drafted before the late rounds, if he’s even drafted at all (we think he definitely should be). But he’s someone PPR owners should consider adding for their bench if they’re going “cheap” on the TE position. Of the last three seasons, Miller’s lowest catch rate was 68.9% in 2011. This past year, his 75.3% catch rate was behind only Jordan Reed among TEs with 50 or more targets. When Ben Roethlisberger throws him the ball, Miller usually catches it. He’s always among the more effective fill-in guys available at the TE position, and he’s now another year removed from his devastating knee injury. That his catch rate improved 10 percentage points in the second half, and that he posted a season-best 9.17 YPT in the final quarter of the season is a sign that he was healthier down the stretch. They re-did his deal this off-season, and with little size at receiver, he should be a key red zone threat in 2014.
 
Tim Wright (TB, 72.0%/7.61) – The signing of Brandon Myers (a below-average 62.7%/6.96) put a little bit of a damper on Wright’s breakout chances in 2013, but if talent wins out, Wright is going to be the guy seeing the most targets in Tampa, even with Myers there and under the new coaching staff. Wright’s catch rate and YPT were both above league average in 2013, and new QB Josh McCown threw very efficiently to TE Martellus Bennett in Chicago last season.
 
Philadelphia Eagle TEs – While Brent Celek (64.0%/10.04) and Zach Ertz (64.3%/8.38) weren’t independently useful for fantasy, the Eagles really don’t care about that. Together, they caught 68 of their 106 targets (64.2%) and gained 971 yards (9.16 YPT). The catch rate for the TEs combined would have been above any TE with 60 or more catches outside of Jimmy Graham, but the 9.18 YPT among the both of them would have been the highest among any TEs with 60 or more catches. So, as is often the case with Chip Kelly, explosive plays are the goal. Of course, the ascending Ertz is the more appealing of the two in 2014.
 
Jordan Reed (Was, 76.3%/8.46) – It’s a shame concussions robbed Reed of a large part of his rookie year because he was on his way to a special one. His 76.3% catch rate was the highest among TEs with 40 or more targets, and his 8.46 YPT was nothing to sneeze at, either. He and Pierre Garcon seemed to be the only two players who could consistently get on the same page as Robert Griffin III. He was particularly dominant in games five through eight, when he caught 72.4% of his passes and averaged a whopping 9.72 YPT. 
 
Kyle Rudolph (Min, 66.7%/6.96) – Rudolph could be an excellent bounce-back candidate. While his YPT was below average in 2013, remember that he ended his season early with a foot injury, before he got to work with the Vikings’ most consistent QB, Matt Cassel, on a regular basis. And he still caught an above-average percentage of his targets. Rudolph did noticeably improve his catch rate and YPT in 2013. He was up to 68% from 57% in catch rate, and his YPT increased from a miserable 5.3, so there was the improvement that he seemed to be poised for in the preseason. With TE-friendly Norv Turner in Minnesota as the OC, Rudolph’s got a shot to produce a nice return on a late-round investment in 2014. Remember, Turner got great numbers out of Jordan Cameron last season, despite the Browns’ QB mess, and he has a great history with TEs.
 
Jermichael Finley (GB, 73.5%/ 8.82) – We hopped on the Finley bandwagon when others gave up on him last preseason, and the numbers suggest we were correct to do so. He played only six games, but his numbers were excellent and both improvements over 2012. Obviously, he comes with even more risk now (if he even plays this year), but he was starting to mount a very strong season in 2013.
 
Garrett Graham (Hou, 55.7%/6.19) – Low catch rates were a theme for the Texans this year, especially in the second half of the season. With Case Keenum handling most of the work at QB for Houston, Graham’s catch rate dipped from 60.6% in the first half of the season (still sub-par) to a pathetic 52.7% in the second half. Graham re-signed in Houston under TE whisperer Bill O’Brien, which we hope results in more efficiency and effectiveness for him. If not, the intriguing Ryan Griffin will get more chances.
 
Ryan Griffin (Hou, 70.4%/9.4) – Given Graham’s poor numbers above, Griffin is someone to watch in 2014. His numbers came on only 27 targets compared to 88 for Graham, but both stats were very encouraging, and he was actually a top-12 TE in a PPR the final three games of last season.
 
Rob Housler (Ari, 68.4%/7.96) – The Cardinals and coach Bruce Arians preferred blocking from their TEs, but Housler’s rate stats actually help to put his year in better context, as both were above average for his position. He also improved per-target over the second half of the season, raising his YPT from 6.75 over the first half to 8.62 in the second half. It’s just unfortunate that he doesn’t see a ton of targets overall, something that won’t likely change with John Carlson in the mix for some targets now. Carlson isn’t great, but he did a nice job last year and he’s a better blocker than Housler, so he should get some snaps.
 
Jared Cook (Stl, 60.7%/7.99) – This isn’t exactly a great sign for QB Sam Bradford, but Cook actually improved in both categories in the second half of the season, once Bradford was gone. He went from 59.2% to 62.9% and from 7.65 to 8.46 YPT.
 
Jeff Cumberland (NYG, 65.0%/9.95) – Cumberland is a player to watch, now that he’s re-signed with the Jets on a bargain deal. Simply put, his 9.95 YPT is an elite number, and that was on a team with a rookie QB and no legitimate perimeter weapons. He’s got a shot to become a fringe fantasy contributor with Michael Vick in there or an improved Geno Smith. Check out Cumberland’s first half of the season, when he averaged 68.2%/11.27. Of course, they could still draft a TE of note, so we’ll see.
 
Tyler Eifert (Cin, 65%/7.42) – It’s not exactly an indicator of future success, but there was little about the numbers suggests Eifert got better as the year went on last year. He dropped from 68.6% catch rate to 60% in the second half and with his YPT saw a drop from 8.3 to 6.1.
 
Mychal Rivera (Oak, 64.4%/6.90) – We’re not so sure about Rivera because he’s more of a tweener in size and position than a player who should produce as a TE, but there’s no question that he’s athletic and there’s a decent chance the team will be looking at him as a key contributor in 2014, since they seem pretty high on him. That said it was good to see his catch rate jump from 57.1% in the first half of the season to 68.4% in the second half.
 
Brandon Pettigrew (Det, 65.1%/6.60) – How awful was Pettigrew’s 2012 season? He was completely useless for fantasy in 2013, and still improved over his abysmal catch rate and YPT from 2012 (57.8%/5.54). It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue to improve. New OC Joe Lombardi will be installing a version of the Saint offense, which consistently has players putting up great catch rate and YPT numbers, but new head coach Jim Caldwell wasn’t able to replicate that in Baltimore last season.
 
Luke Willson (Sea, 71.4%, 9.71) – It’s a small sample size with only 28 targets, but he hauled in 20 of them for a really good 9.7 yards per target. The team opted to keep veteran Zach Miller around for another year, but Willson is a viable sleeper in dynasty leagues.

FantasyGuru.com’s John Hansen assisted with the analysis in this article.

 

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