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Tight End By Committee: PPR

Finding a Starting Tight End in PPR Leagues by Committee for 2016

Over the past few years, there have been two very popular articles written by our very own Chase Stuart that look at an interesting approach to building a fantasy team with late value picks. Based upon the theory of using both Strength of Schedule ("SOS") and taking two players as a combination to build one very good player, he has discussed both Team Defense by Committee ("TDBC") and Quarterback by Committee ("QBBC") as a general fantasy league strategy. In general I think that this is a wise move because very early on in fantasy drafts there are a ton of running back and wide receiver prospects to go after to build a great team. While there are a few studs at quarterback and also a few choice defenses, I do not see a huge need in leagues to pursue either too hard in the beginning stages of a fantasy draft.

So with this in mind, I started to think about what else can be done with the committee approach. Wide receiver? Perhaps, but not a WR1. Running back? Maybe. Tight end? Hmmm, that's really intriguing. What if you could grab tight ends later in the draft that could combine to perform on a TE1 level, based solely on their current projections and their schedule? Now we're talking. This really got my attention, so I went after this. Let's take a look at how I went about building this committee and then we can digest and discuss the results.

(TIGHT) END GAME

So how to begin? Defenses and quarterbacks are relatively easy to "committee" together. There's usually only one quarterback and certainly only one team defense per NFL club, so the approach is pretty simple as far as picking out which players / teams to try and pair up. When it comes to tight ends, the line is not quite so easy to draw, but I needed some basis to pick which players it made sense to try and combine for a decent committee. I decided that I would use the following criteria to decide which players to start with for evaluating:

CRITERIA #1 - TE13 AND BEYOND

This seems pretty simple. If we want to have a duo that puts up TE1 numbers, that means we want TE12 or better production - else we would just draft TE12 or higher and forget the whole idea. So here is the list of players with which I started, based on their Average Draft Position (ADP):

ADP Player ADP Player
TE13 Jimmy Graham TE22 Kyle Rudolph
TE14 Martellus Bennett TE23 Clive Walford
TE15 Eric Ebron TE24 Jordan Cameron
TE16 Dwayne Allen TE25 Will Tye
TE17 Jason Witten TE26 Vance McDonald
TE18 Zach Miller TE27 Cameron Brate
TE19 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE28 Hunter Henry
TE20 Charles Clay TE29 Ben Watson
TE21 Jared Cook TE30 Richard Rodgers

Table 1: Tight Ends TE13-TE30 Based on ADP

I went all the way to TE30 because a few tight ends are definitely worth consideration outside of the Top 24 tight ends, and also because there is a lot of churn and uncertainty in the TE2 category this year.  Green Bay (if Richard Rodgers outperforms Jared Cook) and Cameron Brate (if he continues to be ahead of Austin Seferian-Jenkins) are both worth a look late in drafts.  Even rookies Hunter Henry (TE28) or possibly Austin Hooper (TE33) or Tyler Higbee (outside of the Top 35 tight ends) could have value if they emerge - adding more weight to the tight end by committee approach.  So I took the Top 30 tight ends from the ADP list, removed the Top 12 and that left me with 18 guys to pair up and see how they do. That makes 153 potential committees, so there had better be a decent one (or several, we hope) out of all of those couplets. Now, before I go over the method of how to pair them up and the results, we need one more rule:

CRITERIA #2 - NO MORE THAN ONE TE FROM ROUND 10 AND ONE FROM ROUND 12