Buccaneers beat writer Pat Yasinskas: Second-year tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had only 21 catches as a rookie, but that was largely because he was dealing with an assortment of injuries. Seferian-Jenkins is healthy now and the Bucs believe he can turn in 60 or more catches. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter likes to use the tight end in the passing game as evidenced by what he did with Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta.
We currently project ASJ for 48-572-3.8, which makes him our #14 tight end in standard formats. If he turns in 60 catches at last year's YPC (10.5), it translates to 631 receiving yards. Throw in five or six touchdowns and we're looking at fringe TE1 numbers.
Falcons TE Jacob Tamme, who spent his first seven NFL seasons primarily catching passes from Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and Denver, made an immediate impression with his pass-catching ability this offseason. He looks poised to come in and become a real threat in Kyle Shanahan's offense. It's hard to compare him to a guy such as future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, but Tamme can be the type of reliable pass-catcher the Falcons haven't had at the position since Gonzalez's retirement. The 6-foot-3-inch, 230-pound Tamme isn't going to overwhelm you with his size, but he finds a way to get open and is fluid with his routes.
Tamme is 30 years old and isn’t likely to be a fantasy factor in single-TE leagues, but he’s on the radar in two-TE or TE-premium (1.5 PPR) formats.
The Buccaneers’ tight ends, as a group, were highly productive during practice. But Austin Seferian-Jenkins may have been the most active. He worked with several different groups and came on strong for 11-on-11 drills during the final 30 minutes of practice.
New OC Dirk Koetter has a history of featuring the tight end, coaxing a 58-700-10 season out of Marcedes Lewis in 2010 to go along with the 176 catches for 1,965 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons with Tony Gonzalez in 2012-2013. Seferian-Jenkins had an injury-riddled rookie season, but is a breakout candidate in his second season with a new quarterback and offensive coordinator.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz describes his meeting with Tony Gonzalez:
One of the other things I did when I was in Southern California was meet Tony Gonzalez. I got his number from one of our tight end coaches — he played with Tony when they were in Atlanta together — and I just cold texted him. It was a no-lose situation for me. If he said “no,” then I would have respectfully understood.
He said yes. So I drove to see him.
We talked about a lot of things. When it came to football, we talked about the steps I needed to take to go from being good to great. We talked about little things — the nuances of how to run a certain route, what’s advantageous against certain coverages, that sort of thing. He also talked about the importance of having a routine. He had a routine of greatness that he would do every day. He felt it gave him the edge over the competition in the long run.
He also really focused on the mental side of the game. We put so much into our bodies physically and emotionally, he explained, that we kind of ignore training the brain, and learning new ways to train the brain. That’s kind of what we talked about. He reads a lot of books about mental training and successful CEOs to understand what makes them successful. That’s some of the knowledge that he imparted on me.
Ertz was the #13 TE in both standard and PPR formats despite only playing half of the Eagles’ snaps in his second year. Ertz played mostly (73%) on passing downs, so if his playing time is going to increase, a majority of the additional snaps are likely to come in run formations. Still, there’s upside with Ertz if he begins to see starter’s snaps. The Eagles have lost their leading receiver -- first DeSean Jackson and then Jeremy Maclin -- in back-to-back seasons, so there will be opportunity from a targets standpoint.