Dustin Keller Fantasy News

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 11:19am

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

Though the Lions spent the bulk of Monday’s practice on the running game, TE Eric Ebron looked crisp in his route-running in snippets of position drills and for the second straight practice caught everything thrown his way.

Fantasy Impact:

Ebron has been struggling with drops, so it's good to hear that he had a good day catching the ball on Monday. The Lions want him to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to catch the ball.

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Lions TE Eric Ebron continues to struggle with drops

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 12:15pm

Detroit Free Press - [Full Article]

The biggest knock on Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron through off-season workouts and the first two days of training camp has been an inordinate number of dropped passes that have negated his big-play ability.

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to catch the ball.

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 12:30pm

Detroit Lions - [Full Article]

Expect to see a lot of two tight end sets by the Lions, which will give them an opportunity to mix things up pre-snap and move pieces around. Ebron can play in-line, in the slot and outside, which will give offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback Matthew Stafford a lot of options after reading defenses.

Ebron gives Stafford something he hasn’t had from that position in his five years in Detroit. In Ebron, Stafford has a tight end that can take a five-yard pass and turn it into an 80-yard touchdown. He also has a player who can run by defenders down the seam and create mismatches from the tight end position.

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense, which was the case in OTAs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:13pm

Masslive.com - [Full Article]

After Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, depth gets hazy, which is surprising, since the Patriots were expected to go hard after a tight end in the NFL Draft or in free agency. So far, though, the Patriots have come up with only the rookies, Justin Jones and Asa Watson.

Michael Hoomanawanui is a serviceable tight end and is likely to make the roster, save for an unforeseen development from the rookie tight ends or a free agent signing. The only reason he's not a lock is because the Patriots' options remain so open, especially with Jermichael Finley and Dustin Keller still available in free agency.

Fantasy Impact:

In terms of fantasy, no one after Gronk will likely make an impact. In fact, you can probably expect the Pats to use more WRs in their formations, since they are pretty deep at that position, but especially if Gronk isn't ready to go.

Beat: Lions TE Eric Ebron 'far more comfortable' in offense

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:57am

MLive.com - [Full Article]

TE Eric Ebron wasn't always sharp during the Detroit Lions' offseason program. He struggled with drops early in OTAs. But by send-off day, he flashed the possibility of what could be.

Ebron appeared to be far more comfortable in the offense during last week's minicamp, and capped it off on the final day by hauling in one remarkable sliding catch with safety Isa Abdul-Quddus draped all over him. It was one of the finest catches of the offseason.

"It's lovely now," Ebron said. "Figuring out the offense. It'll never be 100 percent, but at least knowing what to do, where to lineup, where to be. Now I can do the things that got me here.

"I'm starting to earn a lot more respect. I'm starting to produce a lot more, and I'm starting to get a lot more reps."

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense.

Eric Ebron has 'rough indoctrination' to the NFL

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 5:12pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The player of the final day of Lions minicamp might have been TE Joseph Fauria. The tight end caught multiple touchdown passes in team drills and used his size well in the red zone. Some of the touchdowns were over undrafted free agents, but he needed to have a good camp and he did that.

Conversely, Eric Ebron had what seemed to be a rough indoctrination to the NFL. He struggled with dropped passes throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp, including two drops on the final day of practice. Drops were an issue for him at North Carolina, so to see him continue this trend during his first few weeks as a professional should be at least a little bit concerning to the Lions. That said, it is still early and he is clearly still learning everything, so it could be an issue of just overthinking on routes and not letting instincts take over. This will be a situation worth monitoring during training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense.

Eric Ebron has had 'some terrible days' learning offense

Monday, June 9, 2014, 11:00am

MLive.com - [Full Article]

During multiple interviews, Eric Ebron has joked about needing the headache medication while studying the Lions' playbook. The learning process has proved challenging.

"It was rough," Ebron said about his first month of practices with his new team. "I've had some terrible days. I've had some great days."

Detroit's offense, under new coordinator Joe Lombardi, isn't anything like the spread attack Ebron played in during his days at the University of North Carolina. The most difficult aspect of the transition has been understanding where he needs to be every snap.

"It's just remembering concepts, remembering where to be, remembering how deep to be," Ebron said. "It's all concepts. Just remembering is the hardest part."

Fantasy Impact:

The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense.

Lions want Eric Ebron to fill Jimmy Graham role in offense

Friday, May 9, 2014, 10:25am

Detroit Lions - [Full Article]

Lions GM Martin Mayhew and Co. hope they have the next Jimmy Graham. At least that’s how they’ve explained the job to draft pick Eric Ebron.

“The same way Jimmy Graham was (used) when (new OC Joe Lombardi) was coaching Jimmy Graham,” Ebron told reporters in a conference call after the pick about the role coaches have told him he'll have.

Ebron explained that he and Graham are very different players, but the role still fits.

Lombardi spent the last five years as the quarterback coach in New Orleans and watched Graham become one of the best matchup weapons in the NFL. He’s bringing over a lot of those elements from the Saints offense to Detroit and needed to fill a role for an athletic tight end, one that could stretch the field vertically.

“They are not exactly the same players but they are both very athletic guys,” Lombardi said of the comparisons to Graham. “Jimmy has a little bit more length while Eric has a little more quickness.

“There are some things that we did with Jimmy in New Orleans that we will be able to do with Eric and maybe some things we can do with Eric that we didn’t do with Jimmy. They are both unique but (Ebron) is going to have a pretty big role in what we plan on doing.”

“The guy’s a very special offensive weapon,” Mayhew said. “I talked earlier (this offseason) at the league meetings about there being a certain number of elite, I thought, athletes and prospects in the top 10. He’s one of those guys I was talking about.

Fantasy Impact:

Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season.

Friday, March 7, 2014, 4:09pm

Tom Pelissero, Twitter - [Full Article]

A 1-year deal that didn't work out: Dustin Keller. Was tearing it up in camp before tearing ACL, though. Have heard he's on track to return.

Dustin Keller out for the season

Sunday, August 18, 2013, 9:03am

FOX Sports - [Full Article]

Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller suffered a season-ending knee injury in Saturday night's preseason game against the Houston Texans, a source told FOX Sports.

The good news for Keller is the source said the injury is not believed to be career-threatening and that he could be back to work next spring. Keller will undergo an MRI on Sunday to confirm all of these initial fears.

Fantasy Impact:

This is obviously a big loss for the 'Fins and QB Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins will ask Charles Clay, Michael Egnew and rookie Dion Sims to step up. What's even sadder for Keller is he turned down a four-year deal, instead signing a one-year contract in hopes of a bigger pay day after 2013. There was serious concern that it was a potential career-threatening injury, but that no longer looks to be the case.

Thursday, August 15, 2013, 11:21pm

Palm Beach Post - [Full Article]

Michael Egnew was supposed to be the Dolphins’ future at tight end when he was drafted in the third round last year. But he didn’t catch a pass in 2012, was criticized by coaches on Hard Knocks last year and seemed like a candidate to be cut this offseason. The Dolphins have a new rookie tight end they really like in Dion Sims, along with Dustin Keller and h-back Charles Clay.

But on the final day of training camp today, when asked which players have really stood out to him, Coach Joe Philbin went to Egnew first.

“Mike Egnew really improved an awful lot,” Philbin said. “He’s a guy we’re excited about.”

Sunday, July 14, 2013, 1:54pm

Miami Herald - [Full Article]

Dolphins TE rookie Dion Sims closed the offseason program with momentum and has a good chance to win the job to backup starter TE Dustin Keller.

Tight end/H-back Charles Clay will factor in, unless he continues his penchant for drops.

Michael Egnew has improved, but his blocking remains questionable and he faded late in the offseason program.

Friday, June 14, 2013, 8:04pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

Indications were the New York Jets would sign Kellen Winslow II if he made it through minicamp healthy.

The veteran tight end did just that, and the team -- which could use a playmaker to replace Dustin Keller, who was lost to the Miami Dolphins via free agency -- announced Friday it has signed Winslow to a one-year deal.

Fantasy Impact:

Winslow could make some noise in PPR formats as the Jets constantly play catch up, but his best days are well behind him.

Friday, March 15, 2013, 7:56pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Former Rams WR Brandon Gibson agreed to terms with Dolphins.

Fantasy Impact:

Gibson gives the Dolphins a deeper WR corps that now includes Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess and Dustin Keller.

Dolphins sign Dustin Keller to one-year deal

Friday, March 15, 2013, 1:49pm

Yahoo Sports - [Full Article]

Free agent tight end Dustin Keller has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Fantasy Impact:

Keller is a capable receiving tight end. He has averaged 3.9-47-.29 over the last two seasons (24 games). Those are #13 TE averages in 2012. The Dolphins' passing game is shaping up to be much more potent with Mike Wallace and Keller on board.