Fantasy Football: Tight End Production Under Aaron Rodgers

It may seem that a tight end catching passes from Aaron Rodgers would be a hot commodity in fantasy football, but does the perception match the reality?

Rookie tight end Richard Rodgers has reportedly looked like a super star at OTAs, and it appears that he has a strong chance of locking up a starting role. At 6-foot-4, 257 pounds, the rookie’s size makes him an instant threat in the endzone, which is obviously appealing in a high-powered offense.

I broke down the numbers of tight ends that scored at least one touchdown from 2010-2012 to see what kind of numbers Jermichael Finley‘s replacement could produce.


2014 Fantasy Football

Finley only played in five games in 2010 which alters the data, but the numbers look more consistent from the 2011 and 2012 seasons. From those seasons, tight ends averaged 16% of targets, 16.5% of receptions and 14.5% of receiving touchdowns for Green Bay. Depending on your league, Finley was generally a top-five tight end in 2011, and he finished near the end of the top 20 in 2012.

Backup tight ends generally did not cut into the production of a starter, but it was interesting to note that at least two tight ends have caught touchdowns from 2010-2012. Green Bay found great consistency with running back Eddie Lacy in 2013, and a healthy quarterback will yield some high production for the Packer’s offense and fantasy football players.

Before Rodgers was hurt, he was averaging 2 touchdown passes per games, and there is no reason he can not repeat or improve on those numbers in 2014. Wide receiver James Jones is gone, but Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin will return as the main targets in the passing game.

A tight end can see a good chunk of yardage in the passing game for Green Bay, but his fantasy production will rely on his touchdowns. Rookie tight ends aren’t known for making a huge impact for fantasy football owners, and fantasy players should be cautious if the stock of 22-year old Rodgers starts to rise when training camp starts.

He could become a serviceable option from week to week, but when you see his name start to pop up on sleeper lists in August, don’t overspend on Richard Rodgers.


Categories: Fantasy Football

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2 replies

  1. You make a good point here, despite Aaron Rodgers prolific passing, the Green Bay tight end spot is not annually a premium position to draft. It is worth noting that Jermichael Finley had the same type of hype around him as Richard Rodgers does now due to his athleticism and potential. They hype proved to be just that as 2011 was the only season where he put up numbers worthy of a fantasy starter. Rookie receivers/tight ends are a risky proposition.

    • I think the appeal of finding a rookie stud combined with Aaron Rodgers’ abilities makes Rich Rodgers appear to be an appealing option, but hopefully fantasy players don’t buy into too much hype on him. He will have his moments, but for the most part I expect a 500 yards, 4-5 touchdown type of season from him. Thanks for the comments!

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