One theme that has taken hold in the realm of fantasy football is the fact that the tight end position is no longer the “catcher” position of the game. In other words, no longer do you have to stream options at the position every week due to the fact that there are only 3 or 4 good players and the rest are all borderline fantasy football worthy. The fact of the matter is that the NFL has welcomed in an offensive era where game plans are being widely designed with a pass catching TE in mind. One such situation occurred in New York when the Jets selected TE Dustin Keller of Purdue in the first round of the 2008 draft. Keller was known as a pass catching dynamo while in college with poor blocking skills but the Jets were only interested in giving the offense a huge weapon that would be too big for safeties to cover and too fast for linebackers to cover. Keller fit the bill and averaged 46.5 catches a year his first two years in the league. His true breakout however could be occurring right before out eyes in 2010 as through three games, Keller already has 15 catches for 226 yards along with 3 touchdowns. No doubt with those numbers Keller has put out word in the fantasy football community that he is ready for a huge season. So this was being said what can we expect from Keller the rest of the season and is he worth a starting spot in fantasy leagues? Lets find out.
For starters, Keller has all the natural tools needed to be a top offensive weapon in fantasy football. He has above average speed for the position and also a great set of hands. His athleticism has proven to be a tough cover and thus Keller will continue doing his part by putting himself into position for making plays and catching passes. The other side of the equation obviously is whether his QB can get him the ball and to this point, QB Mark Sanchez has seemingly zoned in on Keller as his main target in the passing game. Sanchez has spoke glowingly about Keller and its only natural for a young QB to use the safety net of the tight end to get him out of trouble. Count on this continuing as Sanchez further learns the ropes.
Now there is very little doubt that the Jets pride themselves on being a running team with solid tandem LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene racing behind possibly the NFL’s best offensive line but the last two games have seen Sanchez throw for 3 TD’s in each contest as the coaching staff seemingly is giving him more rope in the passing game. This obviously will further help Keller get his numbers and have his shot at the end zone. As far as the TD’s are concerned, Keller scored only 3 and 2 TD’s his first two years but as mentioned, he already has 3 this season and he makes the perfect target close to the goal line. A run at 7-9 TD’s is entirely possible. He is that good of a weapon.
All in all Dustin Keller has earned his stripes and turned himself into a starting option in all fantasy football leagues. The catches will continue to pile up and the TD threat should be there most weeks. There is no reason to ignore him anymore and those who are suffering with the Owen Daniels’ of the world should waste no time scooping him up this week.