I Don’t Understand

I admit that there are lots of things I don’t understand. Things like why Wal-Mart has 20 plus check out lanes but only four cashiers. Why it is that when I’m running late going to work every stop light turns red right before I get there. How can Delanie Walker impact football so much yet not get any love?  The first two are hopeless so I’m digging into the third thing.

Consistently On The Field

The San Francisco 49er’s drafted Walker in the 6th round of the 2006 draft.  He played in 7 games his rookie year. He’s played in at least 14 games every year since. You can’t make plays if you’re not playing, Even I know that. Only two tight ends among the top fantasy point producers have played in more games than Walkers 61. Jason Witten played in 64 games and Travis Kelce has played in 63.

Late Bloomer

So We know that he’s on the field as much or more than anyone. What does he do while he’s there? The first seven years, not a lot. Fully buried on the depth chart behind Vernon Davis. He saw a high of 45 targets in 2010 hauling in 29 of them, also a career best to that point.

Tennessee though is not San Francisco. Walker’s first season as a Titan he was targeted 86 times. His entire 7-year tenure as a 49er he saw 214. Nothing like having 40% of your previous opportunities happen in a single year. With those chances came production. His 571 yards and six touchdown receptions smashed his career highs. Walker’s highs and averages have only gone up the four years since then. Averages like 113 targets and 74 catches per year. Add 5 touchdowns and 896 yards a season, you start to see Delanie Walkers impact.

I Don’t Think Of Walker As Elite

Most people don’t but ask yourself a question. If he isn’t among the elite at the position why has he been to the pro bowl three years in a row? Let’s compare some of the top tight end numbers over the past four years:

Name Games PPG PPS
Gronkowski 52 16.28 211.6
Reed 43 13.19 141.8
Kelce 63 13.16 207.3
Walker 61 12.84 195.8
Olsen 55 12.68 174.4
Graham 59 12.05 177.7
Ertz 59 11.9 175.1
Gates 57 10.5 149.9
Witten 64 9.8 157.0

Pretty good numbers for a guy no one talks about. Injuries are part of the game but it seems like some players just get hurt more than others.

Delanie Walker Impact

Delanie Walker is a tight end that needs to be targeted. There are two types of tight end drafters in fantasy. The “I gotta get my guy”, also known as the “I want a solid player so I don’t have to focus on the position much” type. These people are why Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz are all currently in the top 35 ADP.

The other is “I’m gonna draft value at the position.” These players wait until the later rounds to get a tight end which I think is smart. Walkers ADP on fantasy pros is 76th. He’s the 7th tight end off the board. That will change as more people do mock drafts closer to the start of the season. Walker is a great value. I will be getting all the Walker shares I can.

I want to hear from you! Catch me @badappleffb or @FPC_Titans on twitter.

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