Over the past 15 years, only two rookie tight ends have produced more than 600 yards receiving. The Giants’ Evan Engram totaled 722 yards receiving last season, and John Carlson recorded 627 with the Seahawks in 2008.
The biggest reason, the story said, is that tight end is a position different than any other on offense. Like offensive linemen, tight ends have to learn the concepts of blocking schemes. Like wide receivers, tight ends have to understand the nuances of route-running. The story also noted Jason Witten, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates all totaled fewer than 45 catches and 550 yards receiving in their rookie seasons. Each one eclipsed 80 receptions and 950 yards the next.
ARI TE John Carlson - Week 18, 2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Wildcard Weekend – John Carlson vs. Carolina
John Carlson had only one target last week against the 49ers, a six yard reception. Meanwhile, Darren Fells was targeted three times, and one has to wonder if Carlson’s veteran security is giving way to Fells’ youthful upside.
Either way, the Cardinals are on their third quarterback, facing a resurgent Carolina defense, and they haven’t been using the tight end position much anyway. While the tight end spot isn’t deep in this wildcard round, pushing Carlson into the top ten in our rankings, he’s a very risky option and fantasy owners should try to stay in our top 4 or top 6 if at all possible.