Aug 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Tom Crabtree (84) runs for yardage after a reception during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Pewter Plank Mailbag: Is There a Tight End with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Good Enough for Your Fantasy Football Team?

It’s time for another question from the Pewter Plank mailbag, as we’ve got another question from one of the readers of The Pewrer Plank. This one comes from Chris:

Is there a TE worth drafting on the Bucs? There aren’t many elite ones in the league, and your going to have mostly guys you hope for a few points a week from. I live out in CA so I don’t get to see training camp and am hoping there is at least on guy on the team who is standing out.

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Earlier this offseason, I speculated that Luke Stocker might claim the tight end job in Tampa Bay, and thereby earn enough targets to merit deep sleeper consideration in fantasy leagues. Stocker seems to be the most well-rounded tight end in town, and the one who would be the biggest threat in the passing game on a consistent basis.

But Stocker has yet to practice for any prolonged period of time this summer, and has been dealing with nagging injuries. So he’s allowed other tight ends on the roster to enter a competition for a job that should have been his, and it’s created nothing but uncertainty at the position. The Buccaneers now have three realistic options at tight end heading into the season, and none of them stand out as fantasy options.

  • The oft-injured and perennially disappointing Luke Stocker, who has the best chance at being fantasy relevant, but doesn’t seem to be on the right track so far this offseason.
  • The inexperienced and inconsistent blocker Tom Crabtree, who doesn’t seem to be ready to play 800 or more snaps at tight end, as his career has mainly been spent on special teams and as a reserve.
  • The strong but lacking in athleticism Nate Byham, who is as good of a blocker as many backup tackles in the NFL, but can’t get open on his own due to a lack of agility and quick-burst speed.

If you’re looking for a fairly unrealistic glimmer of hope for putting a Buccaneer at tight end on your fantasy football roster at any point during the upcoming season, it will likely come in the form of either Danny Noble or Tim Wright. Neither is likely to make the roster in Tampa Bay, but if either one does, watch how he’s used early in the season. They both possess better receiving talents than the tight ends listed above, but they both lack the experience and pedigree for being an NFL tight end and holding up under the pressure of run and pass blocking duties. But if you see either of these players picking up playing time, and you want to be the Bucs’ homer in your league, they have a slight hope of being fantasy relevant if they get a big enough role.

But you’re better off grabbing Jimmy Graham early in your drafts, which I explained in detail for our friends at Fansided.com. Or taking any of the 30 fantasy relevant tight ends that you can select before finding a worthwhile Buccaneer player at the position.

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