TE Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
HT: 6-6, WT: 260, Born: 11-23-1986, College: Miami (Fla.), Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: D Bryant (16), C Johnson (17), Jimmy Graham (18), J Jones (19), S Jackson (20)
Position: Jimmy Graham (18 - TE1), R Gronkowski (25-TE2), A Hernandez (43-TE3)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: M Lynch (11), B Marshall (12), Jimmy Graham (13), J Jones (14), M Forte (15)
Position: Jimmy Graham (13 - TE1), R Gronkowski (19-TE2), A Hernandez (39-TE3)
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Jimmy Graham is an exceptional athlete who only played one year of college football for the University of Miami, and that after he had played basketball for four years and graduated with a double major. He caught only 17 passes in his one season in college and started slowly in his rookie NFL season after being drafted in the third round. He had only 3 targets and 1 catch for 11 yards in his five games. He then closed out his rookie year well, catching 30 passes on 41 targets for 345 yards and 5 TDs, giving a hint of production to come. In his second season, he was phenomenal catching 99 passes for 1,310 yards and 11 TDs. There are only three seasons where a tight end had more receptions, Jason Witten with 110 in 2012, Tony Gonzalez with 102 in 2004, and Dallas Clark with 100 in 2009. Similarly, there have been only two seasons where tight ends had more receiving yards and that was Rob Gronkowski with 1,327 yards that same year and Dave Parks with 1,344 yards in 1965. Graham fell back somewhat last season as he missed one game and was slowed by injury in a few others. He managed only 85 receptions for 982 yards and 9 TDs. Graham remains one of the top tight ends in the league and is a definite threat to have a record breaking season in 2013.
|2||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|5||at Chicago Bears|
|6||at New England Patriots|
|9||at New York Jets|
|11||San Francisco 49ers|
|12||at Atlanta Falcons|
|13||at Seattle Seahawks|
|15||at St. Louis Rams|
|16||at Carolina Panthers|
|17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Graham got off to an electric start in 2012, seemingly eager to repeat his 2011 Pro Bowl season. Towards the end of the first quarter, Graham beat double coverage on an inside seam route to snag a degree-of-difficulty catch for the gameís first touchdown. The All-Pro made a similarly otherworldly grab in the second quarter in traffic. Finishing the day with six catches for eighty-five yards, Graham also planted an old-school stiff-arm on a Washington defensive back to follow up his in-traffic catch. Graham did leave the game for a few snaps after what appeared to be a left wrist injury, but he seemed to be fine for the rest of the game.
Week 2 - If there is any player on the Saints offense on whom you can rely, it is Jimmy Graham. He looked dominant the entire game and would have had a bigger statistical day had the Saintsí passing attack been able to click more than it did. Graham reeled in a touchdown on an option route in the red zone, Brees finding him with ease when he spotted that Graham was getting a free release. Graham dominated the Panthersí linebackers, none of whom could keep up with his quick breaks and sheer strength. Graham was targeted on a crossing route in the red zone and it would have been a walk-in touchdown, but he dropped it as a pair of Panthers delivered a blow. Later, Graham was matched up with CB Chris Gamble on a nine route, and Brees went right to him. Gamble made an excellent play to break it up, however. Graham and Brees have an outstanding connection on the field and it should continue to get better.
Week 3 - Other than Grahamís one yard touchdown it was a very mediocre day for the tight end. He had two dropped passes including one down the seam that would have been a 20+ yard gain and ten yard out where he was wide open in overtime. Both throws were right on the money and just looked like concentration lapses. Chiefs
Week 4 - Jimmy Graham is obviously the star of the show in tight end world in the Bayou, and though he didn't have a touchdown against the Packers, he put up another solid night with 7 catches for 76 yards. By my count, all 8 of Graham's targets were shorter routes, which is a slight break from the norm, as he does run deeper routes here and there. If not for his athletic ability after the catch, it could have easily been a 50 yard performance instead of a 76 yard one. Graham's long gain was a solid YAC display on a 1st and 20 early in the first quarter. Keep him rolling as a stud tight end in fantasy lineups.
Week 5 - Graham wasn't heavily involved in the first half, as he dropped his first target failing to adjust to a low ball on the outside before catching a shallow crossing route underneath. At the half he had an ankle issue and became a decoy from then on.
Week 7 - Graham did not play in this game and the Saints couldn't really replace his impact. However, Lance Moore did replace his production on the field with multiple big first down receptions in situations that Graham would normally see the ball coming his way.
Week 8 - Graham may have been active in this game, but he was notably not at his best returning from injury. Graham's first target came on the first drive of the game when the ball was thrown slightly behind him. If Graham had attacked the football and worked back to it, he likely would have had a reception. Instead he looked lethargic as he let the defender beat him to the ball. A fully healthy Graham likely works back to the football and catches the pass. Graham instantly rebounded with a 13 yard reception wide open off bootleg play-action. Graham obviously wasn't at his imposing best, but he converted a second and 13 running a crossing route as well as he can in the second quarter. However, things dropped off then. The Saints threw a screen pass to Graham that was blown up by Wesley Woodward as soon as he caught the ball. Graham wasn't targeted at all in the third quarter before he dropped an easy reception over the middle at the start of the fourth. That was followed up with an almost identical drop on the next drive. Graham finally caught a pass in the fourth quarter, but the game was well into garbage time at that point. Graham scored a touchdown in garbage time on a seam route. It really wasn't an impressive performance however.
Week 9 - After hobbling around Mile High Stadium last week, Graham looked rejuvenated and motivated this week. Graham is battling through a high ankle sprain, but his routes are crisp and his toughness is undeniable. Graham caught Drew Breesís first target of the game, working across the field for nine yards. During his next drive, Brees found Graham on a consecutive plays for gains of 9 and 7 yards, respectively. On both plays, Graham ran out-routes that required planting his outside foot while making sharp cuts to the outside. His ankle showed no ill effects. During his teamís third drive, Brees found Graham down the left sideline for a big 20-yard gain. Graham caught five of eight passes during the first half for 56 yards. After halftime, Graham found paydirt during his teamís sixth drive. On a 2nd-and-goal play from the six yard line, Brees dumped a pass off to Graham. Graham side-stepped a linebacker and waltzed into the end zone for the score. Graham delivered his patented goal post dunk after the score. After this performance, itís safe to say that Graham is back to his normal routine of outrunning linebackers and terrorizing safeties.
Week 10 - Hindered by an ankle injury the past several weeks, Graham exploded for one hundred and forty-six yards on seven catches, including two of his trademark dunk-over-the goalpost touchdowns. The six-foot-seven college basketball player dominated an Atlanta secondary that, because of physical mismatches, simply had no solution for him. The Saints used Graham out wide and in the slot, playing the best matchup. Three of Grahamís plays stand out among his seven catches on eight targets. On his first scoring play, just outside of the Falconsí red zone, Graham took a post route pass from Brees following a fake screen pass for nineteen yards. Graham then dragged members of the Atlanta secondary along with him into the end zone for a Saints touchdown Ė hardly the sort of action performed by a player with an ailing ankle. Grahamís second scoring play of the day was a bit more routine. Inside the Atlanta red zone, Graham snagged a ten yard pass from Brees on an out-and-up route, then added four more yards for a second touchdown dunk. The tight endís third highlight reel play of the afternoon was, as they say, YACtastic Ė running a sideline go route, Graham caught a twenty-three yard pass from Brees and took it downfield for an additional twenty-three yards into the Falconsí red zone, setting up a Garrett Hartley field goal that proved the cushion the Saints needed in their 31-27 victory over the Falcons. While Graham did post a series of clunker games in October and into November, it appears that he is over his ankle injury and prepared to compete with New Englandís Rob Gronkowski as the NFLís number one tight end.
Week 11 - Graham was able to secure all six targets on Sunday, but only picked up 29 yards, including a one-yard TD. Given a free release on the goal line, Graham snuck into the back of the end zone for the TD. Graham did a nice job breaking off his route and coming back on his 2nd catch as Brees was scrambling to find an outlet, picking up nine yards on the play. Graham was give free release again on his next catch, running uncovered over the middle. Graham averted disaster on the play, as he fumbled when CB Joselio Hanson delivered a shot, but was saved by Pierre Thomas. Oakland did a nice job on Grahamís next three catches, making the immediate tackle and not allowing the TE to get up field for extra yardage. A fairly sub par day, Graham salvaged it with the short TD, but wasnít needed much as the rout was on early.
Week 12 - Half of Grahamís catches came on New Orleansí final drive, during which San Francisco played a deep prevent defense. For most of the game, Graham was shadowed by Patrick Willis wherever the young tight end lined up. This severely limited Grahamís production, as Willis had the power to jam Graham at the line, as well as the speed to keep up with Graham on his routes. Graham was able to jam Willis once, sprinting off the line and hitting the linebacker, then cutting inside to gain some good separation and make the catch. But more often than not, the San Francisco linebackers kept Graham covered, and Breesí first pick-six was the result of Ahmad Brooks sliding underneath Grahamís route and catching the forced throw.
Week 13 - Graham's first reception came in the second quarter as he caught a very quick pass behind a defender for a first down. Graham was barely involved in the game and was repeatedly rotating in and out of the lineup. His next target came in the third quarter when he failed to work back to the football and nearly saw the ball intercepted after a tip when a defender jumped in front of him. A few plays later, after a pump fake before play-action, Brees hit Graham in the hole between the linebackers and safeties for a first down near the goalline. Graham caught a crossing route for five yards to begin the fourth quarter. Graham had a second target at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when John Abraham was left in single coverage against the athletic tight end. He caught the ball for a big gain and a first down.
Week 14 - Jimmy Graham did not have quite the productive game you might expect as QB Brees threw for over 350 yards against the Giants. The Giants doubled Graham often and hit/redirected the big play tight end at the line of scrimmage to disrupt the timing with QB Brees. Grahamís biggest play was 27 yards as he had to run shorter routes for the most part in this game. Graham caught some slants/outs but could never shake the defense for long. On one occasion, Brees tried to fit a pass into Graham on a seam route but the ball was tipped and picked off by the defense. Graham showed nice athleticism and speed hauling in a big catch on a seam route but it was his biggest play of the game. Graham had a chance at a touchdown in the redzone but the pass was too far in front of him and was picked off by the lurking safety. Graham had a few catches in garbage time also as the team fell behind big in the fourth quarter. Graham is usually an excellent redzone threat with his speed but the Saints could not get the ball into the endzone and settled for field goals too often.
Week 15 - Graham was Breesí favorite target, picking up nine targets with five catches including a long of 24 yards. Graham opened the game with an easy 12-yard out, but his best play came just before halftime. After picking up eight yards and a body bruise after a brutal hit from Barron, Graham went right back into enemy territory down the seam on the very next play. Needing both a short memory and testicular fortitude, Graham high pointed the ball in heavy traffic and maintained control despite the rough landing pull down the 24-yard catch. Working mostly the shorter underneath routes, Graham received one more deep target late in the game. Again, running down the seam, the heavily covered Graham couldnít make the contested catch in the end zone. Graham did have one more drop, but news of an injured wrist surfaced earlier in the week, which certainly contributed.
Week 17 - Jimmy Graham looked to be back to near his best against Carolina, absorbing contact with thirst for more and catching almost everything (he had a poor drop in the first half). Graham ripped the seam to test the Panthersí discipline in the back end, and came up with a statement grab in traffic on third down early. In the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, Graham repeated the feat, securing a well-thrown Breesí pass down the seam. Graham got into the end zone as Brees found him for a straightforward touchdown when Graham crossed the face of his defender in the red zone. The athletic freak caught several passes towards the end of the game as the Saints clawed their way back in 2-minute mode. This performance was highly encouraging and serves as a reminder of what Brees and Graham can do as partnership after a Ďdowní year in 2012 compared to their incredible 2011 season.