Fantasy Football Sleeper: Lance Kendricks

May 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm 3 comments

Many expected the Rams to draft a WR early, but they decided to upgrade their offense by selecting Kendricks, Pettis, and Salas in consecutive rounds.  By selecting Lance Kendricks in the second round the Rams drafted a tight end with great receiving skills.  He was picked higher than Da’Quan Bowers (#47 overall), which shows a significant amount of belief.  Sam Bradford had a prolific connection with Jermaine Gresham at Oklahoma. Like Gresham, Kendricks should allow the offense to stretch the field, and in Josh McDaniels’ offense the rookie should be a staple for years to come.

Don't Overlook Lance (linked to video)

Here is what I wrote about Kendricks before the draft, “First team All Big-Ten and Mackey finalist.  Moves and catches like a WR, even ran a few reverses. Improved his 40 at his pro day running 4.50 after a 4.65 at the combine. Going to be the fourth Wisconsin TE drafted in a row. Listed at 6’3 245”.  Translation, he has the pedigree and qualities to be a matchup nightmare for the opposition.

The New England Patriots used the two TE set last season with great success.  The NFL is a copycat league and I expect many teams to do the same, especially when weak at WR.  Kendricks’ speed should be highlighted inside the Dome, at home.  Like Aaron Hernandez, he has a versatile skill set that the Rams should utilize in a number of ways.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Kendricks lined up at receiver or split-out as well.  He can go deep, has the route running to be featured in play-action, and the size to beat the defender to the ball.

The Rams have a few other TEs … Michael Hoomanawanui or Illinois Mike, was a rookie who I really liked last year but he missed eight games. They also have Billy Bajema who is primarily a blocker. Also drafted Fendi Onobun last year.  Just letting you know he’ll have competition.

Josh McDaniels is the new offensive coordinator in Saint Louis and I can’t help but to think he was influential in the decision to draft Kendricks.  New England has always valued the position and coming from the school of Belichick he probably feels the same. Although his TEs weren’t widely successful in Denver, “The Schef” had a couple nice games when called upon.

While the Rams starting wide receivers are anything but certain right now, one thing is clear: Kendricks should be an integral part of the plan. He should be the top rookie and a solid long-term prospect.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kevin  |  May 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I didn’t like who i got at TE last year in my draft (Cooley), also grabbed Jermaine Gresham late because he was such a stud, but neither ware who you want really on your roster. I’m recently scorn at the position i’ll admit, but i think rookie TE is a hard position to come in and do good enough at fantasy wise, to be even be a back up on any winning squad. 12 man league, 16 round draft, and still Gresham should have stayed, as well as quite possibly Kendricks should also stay, on the wire come draft day.

    Reply
    • 2. NFL Football Now  |  May 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      After reading your comment I searched 2011 Rankings and saw that FoxSports.com has Kendricks listed as their #31 TE. I certainly disagree with this and would put him in the low 20s. But you do have a point, winning fantasy football teams should be able to rely one TE…especially with the depth that can typically be found on the waiver wire. Nevertheless, I think there’s a chance Sam develops a rapport with him like he did Gresham. As I noted he can stretch the field and be a redzone target. Also, he makes for an especially attractive play at home, on the turf. Gresham failed last season because Palmer and the Bengals were miserable, forcing the ball to TO and such. Expect a lot more out of Gresham this year and maybe that’s who I should’ve written about, although he is listed as a sleeper (along w/Graham who isn’t much of one but was interestingly #17 on FoxSports.com’s list, which was ridic). Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  • 3. kevin  |  May 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I (like a lot) could see Graham doing a lot better then 17th best TE by the end of the year. My reasoning is Colston’s knees. 5 surgeries in as many years has got him on my do not draft list. Less he really fell,.. but he never does because everyone knows he’s the teams WR1, and on a high powered offense.

    Give me Graham as the 17th TE off the board, and Meachem at a value pick late, and ill be talking smack early and often! 😛

    Reply

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