Sunday, August 17, 2014

Take Jimmy Graham with Your First Pick?

For the past few seasons, I have been all in on Saints TE Jimmy Graham.

He has been a touchdown machine and worthy of a high fantasy draft pick.

And he should flourish in getting off the ball better with the new stricter enforcement about defensive contact--the rule that tries to keep defensive backs from touching receivers outside of the designated zones.

But still this year, I am worried.

The going rate for him is late first round or #8 overall at

Which means by selecting Graham, I'd likely be passing up elite running backs like Ball, Foster, and Murray. And depending on the draft order, I'd also risk missing out on the top WRs and perhaps QBs as well.

It just seems like that there is a model now to neutralize him, and defensive coordinators have had all of the off-season to study it.

The Patriots put Talib on him all game and Jimmy totaled zero catches.

Graham did have a touchdown against Seattle in the regular season game last year, but he was limited to 3 catches for 40 or so yards and was not a key contributor.

The playoff game against the Seahawks featured a Seattle defense that completely prevented Graham from helping his team.

It is tough for me to block the memory of those performances.

Now, Graham should be the #1 TE considered in fantasy drafts and everyone expects him to grab balls and cross the goal line regularly, but I struggle with the price: that late first round pick.

I will be comfortable letting someone else select him at #8, and then waiting until the mid-rounds or later for a TE.

I'll have to wait and see if my concern over Graham was accurate or misguided.

Such is the life of a fantasy owner.

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