The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Fantasy Football: How much does speed matter for tight ends?

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At RotoWire, I posted another look at how we can predict NFL success for rookies, this time analyzing the tight end position.

In my analysis on running back speed and wide receiver speed, I noted that for both positions, there’s a cutoff point after which players probably won’t succeed in the NFL (around 4.55 for both positions). There are exceptions, but for the most part you won’t see too many successful running backs or wide receivers running 4.65 40-yard dashes.

For tight ends, however, there doesn’t seem to be such a distinct cutoff. Looking at the graph below, you can see many of the league’s “slow” tight ends have still produced.

The total production for tight ends drafted from 2005 to 2009 who ranked in the bottom third in 40 time is greater than that for running backs or wide receivers. Actually, slower tight ends (4.80-plus) have posted superior numbers than tight ends with moderate speed (4.72 to 4.79). That’s probably due to randomness or a small sample size—I used 79 total tight ends—but it’s still evidence that slower players can succeed at tight end more so than at other positions.

Check out the whole article at RotoWire.

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One Response to Fantasy Football: How much does speed matter for tight ends?

  1. trent says:

    “Actually, slower tight ends (4.80-plus) have posted superior numbers than tight ends with moderate speed (4.72 to 4.79). That’s probably due to randomness or a small sample size”

    It could also be that, in order for slower players to be drafted, they have to show elite skills elsewhere (routes or hands, likely), whereas the mid-speed guys can get drafted based largely on their 40-times without actually being any good.

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