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San Francisco 49ers Fantasy Football Player Projections, Rankings and Commentary

Frank Gore (21) of the 49ers runs the ball during the NFL regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. December 15, 2013; Photographer: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore is Mr. Consistency, and although you’ve heard this before, we expect this is the year the team starts limiting his carries. Photo: Icon Sportswire

Player Tier · Rank Passing Rushing Receiving FPts
QB C. Kaepernick
4 · 14th
300-490-3,650 23 TD 11 INT
80-480 4 TD
RB F. Gore
5 · 28th
210-900 7 TD
20-155 0 TD
RB C. Hyde
7 · 43rd
150-625 4 TD
5-30 0 TD
RB K. Hunter
8 · 58th
80-320 2 TD
9-55 0 TD
RB M. Lattimore
WR M. Crabtree
4 · 20th
80-950 7 TD
WR A. Boldin
7 · 39th
60-765 5 TD
WR S. Johnson
10 · 70th
45-630 4 TD
WR Q. Patton
5-50 0 TD
TE V. Davis
2 · 7th
60-800 7 TD
TE V. McDonald
10-135 0 TD

QB Colin Kaepernick

Predicted to achieve fantasy stardom during his third year in the league, Kaepernick was somewhat of a disappointment in 2013 as he finished the season as the 12th ranked fantasy quarterback with 3,197 passing yards, 21 touchdown passes, 521 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. His owners suffered through a few horrendous weeks as he had games with nine, 11 and six fantasy points. While Kaepernick failed to top 200 passing yards an astounding ten times, he still managed to average 20.0 PPG based on his ability to run the ball. The issue in 2014 is how much stock do we place in the fact that Kaepernick topped 19 fantasy points in seven of the eight games after Michael Crabtree returned to the line up while averaging 22.5 PPG in those games? While we like his production during that stretch as well as the team’s decision to trade for Steve Johnson, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the 49ers have been a run first team and we don’t expect that to change in 2014. That limits Kaepernick’s upside and, once again, makes him no better than a low end QB1 in 2014, albeit one who has major upside based on his abilities and the team’s solid group of receivers.

RB Frank Gore

At 31 years of age, Gore has become Mr. Consistency for fantasy purposes. Not sexy, not expected to break out. Just good, old fashioned solid and consistent. He topped 1,000 rushing yards for the 3rd consecutive season, giving him that honor in seven of the last eight seasons. He has finished the last three seasons as the 13th, 11th and 13th ranked running back with between 1,128 and 1,211 rushing yards and between 180.5 and 198.8 fantasy points. At 31, you know you’re going to spend another summer reading about how THIS is the year that he finally hits the wall. While we won’t go so far as to predict a crash landing for the 49er legend, we do think this is the year the team scales back his touches as it looks ahead to 2015 when Gore is scheduled for free agency. Given that, we rate Gore as a mid to lower tier RB3 in 2014.

RB Carlos Hyde

Looking ahead to the days when Frank Gore will no longer be their bell cow runner, the 49ers couldn’t resist the temptation to grab Hyde in the 2nd round of this year’s NFL Draft. The 5’11”, 230 pound Hyde enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Ohio State and is built to handle a workhorse role as a pro. Although the 49ers have a quality stable of running backs that includes Marcus Lattimore, a 4th round selection in the 2013 draft who had 1st round talent before suffering a gruesome knee injury, we expect that Hyde will emerge as Gore’s top backup this season and will earn the mantel as his heir apparent. That makes Hyde a must have handcuff for Gore owners and an outstanding prospect in dynasty formats.

RB Kendall Hunter

Hunter has done pretty much all he could do to convince the 49ers that he deserves a crack at being the heir apparent to Frank Gore as the team’s starting running back. However, the team has used 2nd (LaMichael James), 4th (Marcus Lattimore) and 2nd (Carlos Hyde) round draft picks on the running back position since Hunter was taken in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. We can safely assume the team does not view him as a potential starting running back and since he is entering the final year of his rookie contract, there is a chance that Hunter won’t be back with the team in 2015. While he won’t be Gore’s eventual replacement, Hunter could very well be his main backup once again in 2014. Having averaged 4.6 yards per carry over his career, it’s not like he has done anything to lose the job. That being said, we expect that either Hyde (most likely) or Lattimore will be Gore’s main backup with Hunter assuming a pass catching role out of the backfield. Even if Gore were to go down, we don’t think the team would insert Hunter into the starting line up. Dynasty leaguers may want to stash this productive back at the back end of their roster in hopes he finds a better situation in 2015.

RB Marcus Lattimore

San Francisco took a flier on Lattimore in the 4th round of the 2013 draft knowing he had little chance of playing as a rookie due to the horrific knee injury that ended his collegiate career. Now it looks like the South Carolina product, who would have been a 1st round selection given his solid size, speed and athletic ability, may spend a second consecutive season on the sideline. He opened camp on the non-football injury list and even if he returns at some point during the preseason, he figures to rate no higher than 4th on the depth chart at running back behind Frank Gore, incumbent backup Kendall Hunter and rookie 2nd round pick Carlos Hyde. While Lattimore’s comeback story has been a compelling one (hey, if you aren’t rooting for him, it says a lot), it looks like it may have hit a roadblock. Monitor his progress in the preseason given there is a chance that he could be worth a late round pick. Dynasty leaguers should no longer consider him a prime prospect.

RB LaMichael James

After two short years, the 49ers 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has had his 49ers career short circuited. James will enter training camp no better than 5th on the depth chart and knowing the team spent the offseason attempting to trade him. The Oregon product possesses blazing speed but earned just 39 carries during his first two years in the league. Since James will almost certainly be released or traded prior to opening day, he may end up having some value with his new team.

WR Michael Crabtree

After suffering a torn Achilles tendon in the spring (a major injury for a wide receiver), Crabtree returned to the line up in Week 13 and played reasonably well, totaling 34 receptions for 487 yards and a touchdown over eight games including the playoffs. In 2014, he will look to regain the form that he displayed in 2012 when he posted career-highs across the board with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. As quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s obvious go to receiver, we expect that Crabtree will approach that production this season but with Crabtree fighting for targets with Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Steve Johnson in the 49ers heavily run based offense, we aren’t expecting him to approach his career highs. There are just too many games where the 49ers get ahead of a team early and are content to just pound away at the running game. That makes Crabtree a mid to lower tier WR2 with decent upside.

WR Anquan Boldin

First off, let’s hand out some kudos to Boldin for his career resurgence in his first season as a 49er last year. He topped 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since the 2009 season, finishing the year with 1,179 yards to go along with seven touchdowns. At the ripe old age of 33, he also hauled in a very respectable 65.4% of his passes, not bad for a player who was never known as a speedster. His solid production propelled him to a 15th place fantasy ranking at wide receiver, a great reward for his fantasy owners. Unfortunately, the fun should come to a halt in 2014. After missing 11 games last season, Michael Crabtree is expected to be fully healthy for the upcoming season and the 49ers also added Steve Johnson in the offseason, a player who has three 1,000 yard seasons to his credit. In a run heavy offense, there are only so many balls to go around and we don’t expect that Boldin will see enough of them to come close to matching his production last season. In fact, we don’t even project Boldin to finish as a decent WR3 in 12 team leagues.

WR Steve Johnson

You would be hard pressed to find a 28 year old wide receiver whose stock (both fantasy wise and in the real world) fell more than Steve Johnson over the course of a year. After becoming the first Buffalo Bills wide receiver to post three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, Johnson put together a solid start to the 2013 season, gaining 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns during his first three games. The wheels came off after that as he missed four games due to injury and totaled just 361 yards and a touchdown in the final eight games that he appeared in. His decline in production (and let’s face it, maturity issues) caused the Bills to trade up in the draft to acquire Sammy Watkins, hastening Johnson’s departure via a trade to the 49ers. In 2014, Johnson will almost certainly come off the bench behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin playing in a run first offense that also features one of the league’s elite receiving tight ends in Vernon Davis. While all of that pretty much sounds the death knell for his fantasy prospects this season, Johnson is an oddly intriguing dynasty option given that Crabtree is scheduled for free agency at the end of the season and Boldin is hardly a sure bet to return in 2015 given his scheduled $5.5-million base salary and advancing age (he will be 34 on opening day 2015).

Quinton Patton

We keep hearing about how much the 49ers love Patton, their 4th round pick in the 2013 draft. Well, they love him so much they traded a conditional 2015 draft pick (a 4th round selection that could be upgraded to a 3rd) to acquire Steve Johnson and also used a 4th round selection in this year’s draft on Bruce Ellington. Oh, and they brought back Jonathan Baldwin and signed aging veteran Brandon Lloyd. As Jean-Paul Sartre, the famous French philosopher, notes, we define ourselves by our actions. Well, the 49ers actions tell you all you need to know about Patton’s fantasy prospects in 2014.

WR Bruce Ellington

A year after using a 4th round pick to acquire Quinton Patton, the 49ers were back at it this year, using another 4th rounder to acquire Ellington, a speedster out of South Carolina. Let’s be honest. San Francisco has been so overloaded with draft picks over the past two years that they can afford to stockpile players at an already overcrowded position like wide receiver. With a trio of proven veterans ahead of him in Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Steve Johnson, Ellington won’t even have a sniff of fantasy relevance for at least a couple of years, if at all.

TE Vernon Davis

Davis re-emerged as an upper tier fantasy weapon last season after a lackluster campaign in 2012 when he hauled in just 41 passes for 548 yards and five touchdowns. It seems it took a half a season for Davis to get on the same page with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. That happened early last season, as Davis totaled 404 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his first five games on his way to finishing the season with 52 receptions for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns (matching a career-high). Of course, it’s worth noting that Davis benefitted from Michael Crabtree missing 11 games with injury. In 2014, Crabtree is back to full health, Anquan Boldin also returns at wide receiver and the team added Steve Johnson in a trade with the Bills. That should add up to fewer targets for Davis. While we still like him as an upper tier TE1, we don’t expect that he will match his number two ranking from a year ago. Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron all rate higher than Davis and Rob Gronkowski gets the nod over him as well provided he can play in 12-14 games. Don’t reach for Davis in 2014 – you will be chasing last year’s fantasy production if you do.

Projections vs. Rankings Discussion, Plus an Update and Supporting Team Notes

In anticipation of this week’s projections and rankings update, Thursday I asked Dave for some bullet points suggesting necessary changes to ensure I didn’t miss anything. I was thinking recent news items when I asked him, while Dave took more of an overview approach.

A few of Dave’s points were, for example, “Tom Brady projected too low for his ranking,” or, “gap between Cordarrelle Patterson’s projection and his ranking is too much.” You see, we do have some differences between rankings and projections, and the reason for that is because, while the projections are a best approximation of what stats we think a player will produce, a ranking can sometimes better reflect risk and upside not easily captured in projections.

Take Bernard Pierce for example, prior to the Ray Rice news he is only suspended two games (we were expecting perhaps six to eight). While we had Pierce projected about 40th amongst RB with a 150-600, 3 TD rushing plus 25-190 receiving line, he was ranked a little higher – 32nd – to reflect the upside of him possibly stepping into the starter’s job for an extended time, and maybe even holding that role when Rice comes back. This will now change with recent news, but it provides a possible scenario where projections and rankings are justifiably not exactly in sync.

So, Dave’s comments got me to thinking about which players have the biggest difference between our cheatsheet rankings, and rankings based purely on the player projections. Perhaps each of these players requires a bit more investigation. Well, I plunked both our projections and rankings into Draft Buddy and figured out who these guys are at each position.


We are bullish on Griffin to rebound from his injury slowed 2013 season and thanks to the addition of Jay Gruden, but he is ranked lower than the projections because of risk since he can take a beating with his rushing, and due to learning a new offense.

As noted above, Dave mentioned Brady is projected too low and that looks like an accurate statement to the point an adjustment is necessary.

Need to review Tannehill’s projections, but if they seem reasonable and we can draft him outside the top 24 QB, then that is a value pick.


Similar to Griffin, Foster is a risk due to a lot of wear and tear, although he has a great opportunity to return to his former self if he can stay healthy. Hence the high projections, slightly more conservative ranking.

Ben Tate is slightly up from his projections given his upside in a new offense that appears committed to running the ball.

We are not true believers in Rashad Jennings as the Giants starter, so while he is projected high based on positive recent reports he’ll receive a high number of touches, we offer a more skeptical ranking of his prospects.

Stevan Ridley probably shouldn’t be this different, other than it is tough predicting what the Patriots will do with their running backs from week to week.

Joique Bell is not a player we are very interested in adding to our fantasy squads this year, although many other experts are keen on his prospects.


The lack of depth amongst Falcons receivers kind of forced our hand to put more targets, catches and yards on a now healthy Roddy White, but in terms of ranking we’re not ready to put him into the Top 20.

Similarly with Torrey Smith, he is the top receiver on the Ravens, but seems to get over-drafted each year. We’d rather avoid drafting Smith altogether, so we pushed him down the rankings.

It is difficult to get a read on the split of targets amongst Colts receivers right now, so Hilton is projected 26th, but risky to draft there.

Dave and I disagreed on where to rank Patterson (and Wes Welker, for that matter) from Day 1 creating our projections and rankings. Patterson represents one of the biggest boom-bust picks on the board this season. He probably should be moved down a tad given uncertainty about his targets and potential rushing stats.

Austin is another big question mark about how much the Rams will use him. The talent is there to support the projections and quite possibly exceed them. The high expectations, low production last year still stings, resulting in the low ranking.


Cook is someone we expect to churn out okay stats over the course of a season based on volume, but not one to help win us many weeks.

For Chandler, see Cook, the only difference being Chandler is so off the radar I’m inclined to add him extremely late in best-ball format leagues.

That gives some more insight into our combined projections and rankings process, and highlights some players for us to review prior to the update. And now, the team notes to accompany the changes:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Andre Ellington‘s receptions appear low at 40 since he had 39 as a rookie and backup.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Very surprised Ray Rice only received a 2-game suspension, but that is what happened, earning him a bump in his projections and rankings, while anticipated replacement starter Bernard Pierce gets knocked down.

  • Hmm… it seems we were pretty low on the combined Ravens running game in the projections to begin with. Change is Rice up, and Pierce down but not by much.

Carolina Panthers

  • Are Cam Newton‘s receivers as bad as everyone is making them out to be, ourselves included, or are they really pretty similar to last season? We’ll keep Cam where he is ranked (as in, do not draft territory), but if we start to get wowed by rookie Kelvin Benjamin things could change.

  • Not at all surprised Jonathan Stewart is injured. He pulled him hamstring. They are saying he’s out 1-2 weeks, for now.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • One of Dave’s notes to me says he’s worried we haven’t reeled in Andy Dalton‘s numbers enough from last season based on the team’s increased emphasis on the running game.

  • Jermaine Gresham opens training camp on the PUP list, opening the door for Tyler Eifert to have a bigger impact.

Cleveland Browns

  • Update: Josh Gordon is planning to appeal his one-year suspension on August 1.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Reviewing Tony Romo‘s projections he might be a little low since we haven’t heard a negative report on his back in some time.

Denver Broncos

  • I mentioned above Dave and I disagree on Wes Welker. He thinks we have him too high; I think Welker is a relatively safe, high floor pick, as long as concussion issues to rear their ugly head again (admittedly, a sizeable concern). I passed on Welker at pick 4.09 as my WR2 in an ongoing best ball redraft in favor of Vincent Jackson, and would have loved Welker to come back to me as my WR3. Instead he got nabbed at 5.03 one pick before my next selection.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Ace Sanders faces a four-game suspension to start the season, and is missing training camp due to personal issues. It seems he is dealing with substance-abuse problems. More opportunity for the rookie receivers. Sanders is off the projections board with more going to Marqise Lee and Mike Brown.

New England Patriots

  • Rob Gronkowski not placed on PUP list to open training camp, which is great news. Although he is still limited in practice and this is no guarantee he is ready for Week 1, continued positive reports will motivate us to move him up into the top tier at TE from his current spot at start of Tier 2.

  • Aaron Dobson was placed on the PUP list, and I’m mentioning that here because he is a player I’m intrigued by given the sketchy receiving options on the Patriots and his extremely low draft cost right now. Would like to see him healthy and fully participating.

New York Giants

  • David Wilson is cleared to practice, which could put more pressure on Rashad Jennings as the projected starter.

  • Odell Beckham Jr. is dealing with a pulled hamstring, so he’s not off to a good start, and this opens the door for Jerrell Jernigan.

New York Jets

  • Taking a cue from Jonathan Stewart, Chris Ivory injured his hamstring and is limited.

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

  • Marshawn Lynch is holding out of training camp desiring a pay increase. We aren’t suggesting a change to his projections and rankings right now, but definitely worth keeping an eye on. Good discussion about this during The Audible podcast last night.

  • Sidney Rice retires, not that we had much in the way of projections for him, anyway.

Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Football Player Projections, Rankings and Commentary

WR Larry Fitzgerald (11) and Michael Floyd (15) during during the Arizona Cardinals Training Camp at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. August 3, 2013; Photographer: Bruce Yeung/Icon Sportswire

Changing of the guard in the desert? With Larry Fitzgerald (11) turning 31 by opening day, there is a solid chance that Michael Floyd (15) will take over as the team’s leading threat at wide receiver during the 2014 season. Photo: Icon Sportswire

Player Tier · Rank Passing Rushing Receiving FPts
QB C. Palmer
4 · 16th
355-575-4,300 25 TD 18 INT
31-35 0 TD
QB D. Stanton
RB A. Ellington
4 · 21st
175-850 7 TD
40-425 1 TD
RB S. Taylor
7 · 49th
120-400 2 TD
0-00 0 TD
RB J. Dwyer
60-180 1 TD
0-00 0 TD
WR M. Floyd
2 · 11th
85-1,150 8 TD
WR L. Fitzgerald
4 · 18th
90-1,000 6 TD
WR Ja. Brown
10-110 1 TD
WR Jo. Brown
20-280 2 TD
WR T. Ginn Jr.
35-500 3 TD
TE R. Housler
TE J. Ballard
10-130 1 TD
TE J. Carlson
25-220 2 TD
TE T. Niklas
10-90 0 TD

QB Carson Palmer

It would be fair to say that Palmer enjoyed an up and down first year in the desert. While he passed for a career-high 4,274 yards and 24 touchdowns, that was largely offset by his propensity for throwing interceptions as he also reached a career high with 22 in nearly leading the Cardinals to a playoff berth with a solid 10-6 record. At 34 years of age, Palmer’s best days are clearly in the rearview mirror and his arm strength is beginning to wane. However, he still has some value as a fantasy backup, particularly if the matchup is right, given his solid group of receivers in Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and Ted Ginn Jr. as well as running back Andre Ellington, who caught a healthy 39 balls as a rookie. With an improved offensive line, Palmer should be able to stay upright for all 16 games once again this season and that fact should give you some comfort in grabbing him as a mid-tier QB2.

RB Andre Ellington

The Cardinals grabbed the 5’9” and 199 pound Ellington with a 6th round pick in last year’s NFL Draft and he promptly proved that was an absolute bargain, gaining 652 rushing yards and three touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry and adding another 371 yards and a score on 39 receptions. And that was despite the fact that head coach Bruce Arians stubbornly clung to the notion that Ellington should remain a part-time player behind the struggling Rashard Mendenhall. With Mendenhall out of the picture, Ellington is the starter but his fantasy value will hinge on how many touches Arians is willing to give him. There are conflicting reports on this but we are sold on the notion that Arians will limit him to 12-15 touches per game and hand over the short yardage role to Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer. While that limits Ellington’s upside, he still rates as a mid-tier RB2 with major upside given his big play ability and the fact that Taylor and Dwyer could easily bust as his backup.

RB Stepfan Taylor

Taken in the 5th round of the 2013 draft, Taylor failed to carve out a significant role as a rookie despite Rashard Mendenhall’s struggles and the team’s refusal to hand fellow rookie Andre Ellington a large role in the team’s offense. With Mendenhall deciding to retire and Ellington slated to take over in the starting line up, the 5’9”, 214 pound Taylor will battle former Steeler Jonathan Dwyer for the top backup spot on the depth chart in a role that will almost certainly include substantial short yardage work. While we like his chances of earning that role, there isn’t yet any evidence to suggest that he would be productive if given significant playing time and that renders him little more than a handcuff at best in 2014.

RB Jonathan Dwyer

After four lackluster years in Pittsburgh, Dwyer will join his former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in Arizona in 2014. While the 5’11”, 229 pound Dwyer has a reputation as a power back, he never really took to the role as a short yardage back during his stay in Pittsburgh, finding the end zone just twice. This season he will battle with Stepfan Taylor for the right to back up Andre Ellington and earn a role as a short yardage back since Ellington is ill-suited for that role. While it would seem that Taylor, the team’s 2013 5th round pick, should have the upper hand in that battle, he managed just 36 carries as a rookie, averaging just 3.2 yards a carry and failed to find the end zone. If Dwyer somehow manages to usurp Taylor, he would rate as a low end handcuff at best.

WR Michael Floyd

After struggling for much of his rookie season, Michael Floyd emerged as a solid, if not consistent weapon for the Cardinals in 2013. The 2012 1st round pick led the team with 1,041 receiving yards on his 65 receptions, finding the end zone six times while averaging a healthy 16.0 yards per catch. He also saved his best performances for the end of the season, gaining 577 yards and three touchdowns over the Cardinals final seven games. With Larry Fitzgerald turning 31 by opening day, there is a solid chance that Floyd will take over as the team’s leading threat at wide receiver at some point during the 2014 season. We’re banking on that happening. While the rest of the fantasy world grabs Fitzgerald too early based on his stellar production during a 10-year career, you can probably safely wait and grab Floyd as a high end WR2 with upside at a cheaper cost. Dynasty leaguers should grab Floyd before the secret is really out.

WR Larry Fitzgerald

There is a point in a man’s life where he realizes that he can do what he has always wanted and finally overpower his father and that is always a kind of sad day. And that is the feeling you get with Larry Fitzgerald in 2014 as his sidekick Michael Floyd seems poised to take over as the Cardinals leading wide receiver. As classy as Fitzgerald has been throughout a career that will surely result in his inclusion in the Hall of Fame, you can be sure that he is ready to handle that situation if it transpires this season. He will turn 31 prior to opening day and is coming off a pair of sub-1,000 receiving yard seasons for the first time in his 10-year career. While some of that can be attributable to spotty quarterback play, it is also worth noting that despite his solid size and massive wingspan Fitzgerald has caught just 52.1% of his targets over the past four seasons. His 10 touchdowns last season helped propel him to a respectable 16th ranking at wide receiver but it’s foolhardy to project double digit touchdowns for him at this stage of his career. While we aren’t about to predict a swift, steep decline for Fitzgerald in 2014, we can safely conclude that his days as a WR1 are behind him. Keeping in mind that 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns gets you low end WR2 status, that is where we place him for this coming season.

WR Ted Ginn Jr.

After generating some buzz in the Panthers training camp last season, Ginn did the unthinkable. He actually put together a solid season, catching 36 passes for 556 yards and five touchdowns, a career-high. That marked his finest season since 2008 and he parlayed that into a modest free agent deal with the Cardinals. In Arizona, Ginn replaces Andre Roberts and will backup Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd at wide receiver and contribute in the return game. Since Roberts amassed nearly 500 receiving yards last season, which wasn’t too far off Ginn’s production in Carolina, we expect him to produce another solid season for a backup wide receiver. Unfortunately, barring injury to Fitzgerald or Floyd, that won’t be enough to make Ginn fantasy relevant in 2014.

TE Robert Housler, TE Jake Ballard, TE John Carlson, TE Troy Niklas

Although Housler is coming off a career year during which he amassed a career-high 454 receiving yards, reports out of Arizona indicate that he may have fallen to 4th on the depth chart at tight end. The team re-signed Jake Ballard in the offseason as well as adding John Carlson in free agency and using a 2nd round pick on Troy Niklas. With Ballard and Carlson having proven to be injury prone options and the coaching staff apparently down on Housler, there is a chance that the rookie Niklas could emerge with the starting job at some point during the season. However this situation shakes out, it’s safe to conclude that you don’t want to have any part of it for fantasy purposes.