Every year, we get a few tight ends that break out and come seemingly out of nowhere to provide teams with a big boost as they head for their championship. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like to take a tight end in the middle rounds — I figure I can play TE roulette until I hit the jackpot. Several TEs are garnering buzz around the league already, but perhaps none has been as impressive as Jermichael Finley.
Drafted by the Packers out of the University of Texas, Finley had a relatively quite 2008, catching six balls for 74 yards and a touchdown. He started just one game, and had only one game where he caught multiple passes. Incidentally, that was the last game of the season.
Finley has been a much bigger part of the offense during training camp and the preseason. In three preseason games, he has nine catches for 92 yards and two TDs. There’s even speculation that Finley will see equal time with Donald Lee, and with Finley being the superior pass-catcher, this could translate into some great fantasy lines.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Finley make 40-50 catches and haul in five or more TDs this season. If he dominates early, he could earn more playing time quickly and as a result, his upside could be even higher. Don’t hesitate to kick a slow-starting TE to the curb if you see Finley start to heat up in September. Odds are, if you snooze, you’ll lose.
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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