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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 55: Avoid Jason Witten

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I did a guest post at FF Today that breaks down tight end production by age and why you should avoid Jason Witten in drafts.

It’s probably smart to target tight ends entering their mid-20s, whether you play in a re-draft or dynasty league. It’s in that range that most tight ends see a dramatic spike in play.

Age-Based Improvement
Likely Unlikely
Jimmy Graham (26) Jason Witten (31)
Rob Gronkowski (24) Tony Gonzalez (37)
Vernon Davis (29) Antonio Gates (33)
Dennis Pitta (28)
Kyle Rudolph (23)
Jared Cook (26)
Jermichael Finley (26)

Outside of the fact that Gonzalez is a freak and you can probably draft him until he’s 55 years old, you should really be avoiding those aging tight ends. Most fantasy owners aren’t too high on Gates, but Witten is the third tight end off of the board in most drafts. That’s a problem. Actually, Witten’s decline has been visible for a few years now, but not unless you know where to look. While his bulk stats have been impressive, they’ve coincided with an increase in workload in the Cowboys’ offense. Take a look at Witten on a per-route basis.

Jason Witten's Yards-Per_Route

Witten’s bulk stats are going to decline in the very near future, and my thinking is that it will be this year. I won’t own him in any leagues, and based on his ADP, you shouldn’t either.

Fantasy owners need to know a lot of information, but it’s the data they use that others aren’t that can lead to a competitive advantage. Age is the most overlooked trait when projecting players, so it isn’t much of a factor in ADP. Know the historic rates and ages of decline for each position, and you can exploit that inefficiency.

Take a look.

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