Calm Down With Sudfeld Projections

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Preseason can be one of the harsh gray areas for fantasy football participants to over predict. Just because someone has a stellar preseason does not mean it will carry over into the regular season. Actual sleepers tend to come during the season and are because of injury. With Rob Gronkowski’s rehabilitation dragging into the season, many are quick to wrap their sights and take Sudfeld as a sleeper now.

Before you pull that trigger on Sudfeld lets calm the storm before you get tossed into it. It’s evident that Sudfeld would step into a significant role with New England. As Tom Brady has been one of the better quarterbacks in the league at diagnosing mismatches with his tight ends. The skill set that Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez had over Sudfeld is obvious. They were more athletic and possessed the speed to whirl by their opposing defenders. Seam routes were fantasy havens for owners of Gronk and Hernandez especially when it came down to red zone opportunities.

Defensively teams had to pick their poison on who was at-risk in one on one coverage especially when both Gronkowski and Hernandez were on the field at the same time. Their ascent to the rise of tight ends in the NFL was largely due to their complementary abilities of each other, and the fact that they were deemed elite tight ends coming out of college.

Before Brady had the duo of Hernandez and Gronk, Brady never had even close to the success statistically over the first nine years of his career. In the pre-Gronk and pre-Hernandez era Brady had unreliable fantasy tight end targets. Remember the names of Kyle Brady, Ben Watson, and Christian Fauria? I’d guess maybe ten percent of you had Ben Watson as your fantasy tight end during those bottom tier years of tight end significancy out of New England.
Watson’s top year receiving yards wise was 643 yards and he also topped out another year with six touchdowns. Christian Fauria and Kyle Brady were did not even touch the blips of waiver wire consideration.

My point with New England is they’ll likely figure out a shuffle of guys not just Sudfeld to make due for however long Gronkowski is out. The Patriots will not let it be known just yet what the time table for Gronkowski return is. More than likely the team will keep him out as long as possible to ensure proper prevention is met this time, as he has been unstable with injuries over the past year.

Sudfeld sure had an great performance in the first game of the preseason. Teams have no true game plans going in and sure as heck did not have Sudfeld in mind for assignment attention. Regular season will be a different story. If he is going to see twenty plus plays on the field, the opposing defenses will be ready for him. He is a big target at 6’7 with soft hands but does not possess the physical or speed attributes that New England had with Gronk and Hernandez.

Sudfeld’s three touchdowns in the preseason are bound to cause some fantasy football owners to reach out for Sudfeld as a *sleeper*. Others can buy low on Sudfeld as I do believe his three touchdowns in two weeks of the preseason are an aberration. Come the regular season I’ll be shocked if he reaches that touchdown total for the entire season.


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