This is the sixth installment of a 10 part series spotlighting players that will make a significant leap in the 2015 NFL season. If you haven’t checked out our feature on the 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, I suggest giving it a read. Each player featured in this series are prime prospects to target in season long formats, as well as early season DFS lineups before their prices rise. Let’s get into it!
Why We Believe
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Tyler Eifert heads into his third season in the NFL, but first as the number one tight end. Eifert was the backup to former first round pick Jermaine Gresham for two seasons, before getting the opportunity to start this coming season. Eifert proved as a rookie that he can produce big numbers in a limited basis, as the teams number two tight end. Eifert in a limited role as a rookie produced 39 receptions for 445 yards and 2 touchdowns. Looking to build off of a strong rookie season, Eifert was limited to one game last season before injuring his elbow. Now as the primary tight end in a high profile offense, Eifert gets the opportunity to produce big time stats.
Now let’s take a look at why Tyler Eifert’s numbers from 2013 in a limited role, should translate into big time fantasy numbers as the Bengals primary pass catching tight end. Since Eifert only played in the season opener last season before getting injured, we will look at his rookie season numbers as an indication. The first round tight end out of Notre Dame, followed in the footsteps of other big and athletic tight ends from South Bend. As a rookie, Eifert produced 39 receptions for 445 yards and 2 touchdowns for an 11.2 yard average. Those numbers as a rookie show that the 6’6” tight end can both stretch the field and be a primary pass catcher on a team that has All-Pro receiver AJ Green.
Now, heading into his first season as the Bengals top tight end, Eifert looks to build off of a solid rookie campaign. With; a $100 million dollar quarterback who needs to prove himself, an All-Pro receiver and a second year running back who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, Eifert brings a matchup problem to most defenses.
The numbers Eifert has the chance to produce as the number one tight end are unlimited with his combination of size and speed. This past spring, Eifert was medically cleared to participate in all team activities and looks to bounce back from his injury plagued sophomore season. As fantasy tight ends go, he should be able to produce as a solid number one tight end on someone’s team, or as a solid number one flex player on a roster.
The Bengals did not bring Jermaine Gresham back this offseason, which shows the amount of trust they have in Eifert. As most tight ends go, the top tiers fantasy tight ends are; Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, Greg Olson. For Eifert to get to the top tier of tight ends, he is going to have to stay healthy and roughly double his stats from his rookie season. As drafting goes, Eifert should be looked at near the back end of drafts, when looking for tight ends/ flex players on the rise.
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