The Huddle’s rankings are based on our projections for the coming season, and those projections are largely the brainchild of my boss—who, all kissing up aside, is one of if not the best in the business when it comes to projections.
But hey, you’re here at The Huddle for a reason, you already knew that.
So if there’s a player who checks in somewhere other than where I’d rank them myself, if I want to affect change to the rankings I need to have some solid rationale—and then present it in a non-threatening way to the guy who labored over those projections. You know, make it seem like it was his idea to move the guy by ever-so-gently nudging him in the proper direction.
Case in point, his ranking of Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.
A quick buzz around the interwebs and printed publications already hitting newstands consistently place Eifert in the 20s—as high as 21 and as low as 29.
The Huddle’s rankings are a whole lot more bullish on Eifert; he checks in at number eight. And I am totally on board with the optimism.
Lately the tight end buzz has been about Zach Ertz (Huddle TE3) and Travis Kelce (Huddle TE5), and for good reason. Both guys are young, athletic tight ends in productive offenses where there’s no real WR2 to take a big bite out of the passing game numbers; as such, both are projected in the 70-900-6 category.
At a position where there is one clear alpha (Gronk) and a handful of definite helpers, those are clearly top-five numbers.
But word out of Bengals OTAs is that Eifert was running crips routes and catching everything in site. Moreover, he no longer has to contend with Jermaine Gresham for Andy Dalton’s attention. Plus, like Ertz and Kelce, he’s young and athletic and could very easily wind up the number two target to A.J. Green in a loaded offense.
After taking Gronk at 2.3 in the mock draft that appears in the USA Today Sports Fantasy Football 2015 magazine, I had Eifert all lined up as my “make me look like a genius” Round 15 selection. Unfortunately, another drafter snapped him up before the pick got back to me and I had to settle for an auto-picked Vernon Davis in Round 16.
So much for the genius thing.
But speaking of genius, Eifert’s Huddle projections—62-740-6—place him just off the pace of that second tier of tight ends. And even if he climbs from his current ranking in the 20s to something more in line to TE16, where he went in this draft—heck, even if he holds to his current MFL ADP of TE11—you’ll still be able to acquire him late in your draft or for minimum units in your auction.
So let the rest of your league chase the perennial untapped potential of Jordan Cameron or draft Julius Thomas based on last year’s numbers. Eifert’s upside will just be sitting there for you in a double-digit round.
And that’s a Huddle projection I have no cause to quibble with.