Elite Tight End Options
Will Kolodzie (of SOMWorld)
The tight end is always an important position for the Strat offense passing attack. Having elite options takes attention or pressure away from the other receiver cards. Letting the defense sit back and not having many challenges as to moving linebackers or the free safety or how to double-team takes the advantage and initiative away from you the offensive coach and that’s a good way of coming out on the losing side of the game.
Getting max results for the tight end position serves as one of the more important considerations for Strat draft league play. Any set where a Strat coach can have a tight end with max units represents a big weapon against opposing defenses.
Strat coaches will see a high number of potent TE cards this year.
The 2009 set has 3 TE cards with 58 GR (guessed right) chances and 6 other TE cards with 50+ GR chances. By columns, the set has 7 tight end cards with the max 27 guessed right chances in the flat pass column, 3 cards with the max 22 guessed right chances in the short pass column, and only 1 card with 12 guessed right chances for the long pass column.
Having TE cards with good LP chances also represents a huge bonus for flexibility in terms of play-calling tendencies and available options against the defense.
There are 28 TE cards with 30 or more receptions in the set. Only 8 of these cards have 9 or more LPR units. So when you think about it, there is a lot of depth at the TE position but only a few cards have the capacity for extending or troubling the defense.
Bo Scaife, for example, seems like a worthwhile TE contributor with 22 FPR and 16 SPR chances. With the positional comparison, he only has half the yardage on his card compared to the elite TE options in the set. That difference can have serious repercussions over the course of a draft league season.
To the highlights….
Antonio Gates has the number 1 TE card in the set. He has 58 GR chances and 2,623 receiving yards on his card. That’s almost 400 yards better than any other TE card. Gates has amazing 8.25 FPR and 13.44 FPW column averages. The 13.44 FPW column average is noticeably better than anyone at the position. Gates also dominates position with his short pass receiving skills. He has standout 10.28 SPR and 16.03 SPW column averages. Gates also ranks number two in the LPW column average.
Gates has a big TE card in this set. Draft league coaches have a premium weapon with the card as it will pressure opposing defenses and put them to a strenuous test in all of the defensive passing zones. His 2007 set card had 2,339 receiving yards so this is a solid upgrade and top card performance for him. The 2,623 yards is a little less than the Tony Scheffler card from last season, but all in all, Gates has the best TE card that Strat fans have seen in the past 4 years.
Vernon Davis is the number 2 player at the position. He has 58 GR chances and 2,237 yards on his card. The Davis card misses max chances in the SP column but he’s the only TE in the set with 12 LPR chances. It’s not a common occurrence to see the 12 LPR for the TE cards so this will have big repercussions in league play, especially the FTF or NetPlay environments. The 18.33 LPW column average is best in the set for the position. The Davis owner has a big weapon for going deep and extending the defense and it will impact on occasion how the defense thinks about using the free safety. This is the sixth biggest TE card in terms of receiving yards over the past 4 sets so the Davis owner can expect many positive returns over the course of a draft league season.
Dallas Clark represents the number 3 TE in the set. He has steadily improved over the past 4 season and finally reaches 58 GR chances. He has 2,125 yards on the card and that’s about 300 more than in the last set. Clark, along with Gates and Jason Witten, has 22 SP GR chances and that will prove a tremendous bonus for all passing situations.
Kellen Winslow, Jr. just misses top status in the set because of the 19 SP GR chances. He has 2,009 receiving yards on his card.
Brent Celek rounds out the top 5 TE cards this year. He has one of the better bargain or surprise TE cards in the set. The 11.61 FPW column average ranks number 2 for the position. Celek ranks number 8 overall with 1,883 yards on the card.
As such, Jason Witten is something of a disappointment. He has 54 GR units. The drop here is from the LPR column. The yardage is very good but it’s disappointing compared to his historical norms. Witten rocked the 2007 and 2008 sets with 2,000+ yards on his card but falls to 1,796 yards in this set. He’s still the number 6 TE card in the set. It’s just that the decline in the card receiving yards is somewhat frustrating if you are his owner. It’s a very good weapon, just not as elite or powerful as in the past two sets.
Greg Olsen and Tony Gonzalez round out the 50+ GR cards with 53 and 51 units respectively. Gonzalez loses about 500 receiving yards off his upcoming card compared to last season so the decline is more noticeable than that the Witten situation.
There are 3 lower GR cards with very strong receiving yards.
Marcedes Lewis has 47 GR chances but an amazing 2,249 receiving yards on the card. That tally actually places him second for the position in yardage category. The big yardage boost comes from the number 2 placement in the SPR and SPW categories.
Owen Daniels has 50 GR chances with 2,048 receiving yards. He has the number 4 FP columns for the position.
Tony Scheffler just misses out on the 2,000 yard mark in this set. He has 47 GR chances and 1,972 yards on his card.
Lewis and Daniels bring the total number of 2,000-yard cards to an amazing 6 in the set. That is the combined number of 2,000-yard cards found in the 2007 to 2008 sets. The 2006 set did not have a 2,000+ yard TE card.
All in all, Strat 2009 FB set has a number of amazing performances and the top TE cards will certainly contribute their share of great plays and fantastic memories.