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With both players continuing to generate strong buzz in training camp, I thought I’d update my earlier work on both TEs. Sudfeld has actually gotten a lot of attention lately, given the high profile nature of the Patriots in general, and their TE situation specifically. But Fauria has somewhat more quietly been having a very strong camp as well. You can check my previous articles for more specifics about these two.

I wrote about Sudfeld, the 6’7” bro with the 37” vertical here.

 

I wrote about Fauria, the TD catching machine here.

The Comps

In this article, I’m going to look for comparable players that might give us a glimpse of the type of production we might expect from them. I started with Pro Football Reference’s player query tool, and searched for all TEs in the past ten years who were at least 6’6” and 250 pounds, and caught at least one pass their rookie season. Then I added in as much physical measurable data as I could (from NFL Draft Scout). College production stats come from Football Study Hall. I threw out three of the comparables: Taylor Thompson, as he converted from DE after college; Nate Lawrie, as he was the oldest, least similar comparable, with the fewest available measurables and collegiate stats, and Hayden Smith, the converted rugby player.

Here are the ten remaining comparable players, along with Fauria and Sudfeld.

Player Year Age Ht Wt 40 20 10 Bench Vert. Broad 20 SS 3-Cone
Ben Utecht 2005 24 78 251 4.8  –  – 30  –  –  –
Marcedes Lewis 2006 22 78 255 4.80 2.81 1.66 23.00 37.00 118.00 4.84 7.24
Leonard Pope 2006 23 78 250 4.62 2.76 1.63 22.00 37.50 118.00 4.67 7.68
Quinn Sypniewski 2006 24 78 265 4.77 2.82 1.66 20.00 32.50 114.00 4.54 7.09
Greg Olsen 2007 22 78 254 4.51 2.59 1.59 23.00 35.50 114.00 4.48 7.04
Kevin Boss 2007 23 78 255 4.78 2.80 1.68 15 35 116 4.41 6.96
Dan Gronkowski 2009 24 78 255 4.79 2.65 1.53 26.00 33.00 124.00 4.26 6.92
Rob Gronkowski 2010 21 78 265 4.68 2.68 1.58 23.00 33.50 119.00 4.47 7.18
Jimmy Graham 2010 25 79 260 4.53 2.61 1.53 15 38.50 120.00 4.45 6.90
Kyle Rudolph 2011 22 78 259 4.83 2.80 1.67 19 34.50 113.00 4.37 7.24
Zach Sudfeld 2013 24 78 253 4.78 2.8 1.65 11 37 113 4.41 7.08
Joseph Fauria 2013 23 78 259 4.72 2.79 1.71 17 35.5 120 4.53 7.49

My first takeaway is that this is a pretty good set of comparables, and Sudfeld and Fauria certainly seem to belong. My second takeaway is that Fauria does better on the strength and explosion related measures and Sudfeld on the speed/agility measures. Here are the two most-similar players on each measure.

Measure Fauria Sudfeld
Weight Graham, Rudolph Olsen, Utecht
40 R.Gronkowski,  Sypniewski Boss, D.Gronkowski
20 Rudolph, Boss Rudolph, Boss
10 Rudolph, Boss Lewis, Sypniewski
Bench Rudolph, Boss Graham, Boss
Vert Boss, Olsen Lewis, Pope
Broad Graham, R.Gronkowski Rudolph, Olsen
20 Short Shuttle Olsen, Sypniewski Rudolph, Boss
3 Cone Lewis, Pope Olsen, Sypniewski

College Production

This table gives us a sense of the college production of these players. Stats are from Football Study Hall and our College Receiver App. Target Percentage is the percentage of team targets the player received. All stats are for the player’s final collegiate season. Fauria’s catch rate leads the pack, and his market share of TDs is second only to Gronk’s ridiculous 67% mark. As a Lions fan, his catch rate and TD rate intrigues me, since Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler both underperform in the red zone and don’t catch well. Conversely, the Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez did perform well in the red zone; Sudfeld might be able to help replace his production. Both Suds and Big Joe post respectable numbers in all categories, finishing in the top half for each measure (except for a near miss for Fauria in market share of yards).

Player CatchRt YPT TgtPct MktYds MktTDs
Ben Utecht —- —- —- 11 11
Dan Gronkowski 0.64 6.00 0.03 11 20
Greg Olsen 0.65 7.89 0.18 22 7
Jimmy Graham 0.55 6.87 0.08 6 20
Kevin Boss —- —- —- 17 24
Kyle Rudolph 0.56 6.56 0.11 19 27
Leonard Pope 0.65 9.02 0.17 20 16
Marcedes Lewis 0.69 8.82 0.23 23 29
Quinn Sypniewski 0.69 10.64 0.10 15 33
Rob Gronkowski 0.65 9.33 0.18 29 67
Zach Sudfeld 0.66 8.79 0.17 19 33
Joseph Fauria 0.71 9.84 0.14 16 41

Rookie Production

So, how did this batch of comparable players perform in their rookie season? Take a look. Fantasy points are PPR.

Player Year Age Games Rec Yds TD FP FP/G
Rob Gronkowski 2010 21 16 42 546 10 156.6 9.79
Jimmy Graham 2010 25 15 31 356 5 96.6 6.44
Greg Olsen 2007 22 14 39 391 2 90.1 6.44
Kyle Rudolph 2011 22 15 26 249 3 68.9 4.59
Kevin Boss 2007 23 13 9 118 2 32.8 2.52
Leonard Pope 2006 23 16 16 161 0 32.1 2.01
Marcedes Lewis 2006 22 15 13 126 1 31.6 2.11
Ben Utecht 2005 24 12 3 59 2 20.9 1.74
Quinn Sypniewski 2006 24 16 2 15 0 3.5 0.22
Dan Gronkowski 2009 24 2 1 4 0 1.4 0.70

Hmm. Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham had the best rookie seasons, but only finished 10th and 22nd respectively in terms of TE fantasy points (PPR). So let this be a giant bucket of cold water on any redraft plans you might have for targeting Fauria or Sudfeld.

Dynasty Prospects

Dynasty however is a different situation. I’d caution that Sudfeld is 24, and with the exception of Graham, none of the other 24 year old rookies in this cohort had much of an NFL career. But overall, 6 of the 10 have had at least some fantasy utility.

Fantasy Stud Consistently Useful Occasionally Useful Fantasy Bust
Rob Gronkowski Greg Olsen Marcedes Lewis Ben Utecht
Jimmy Graham Kyle Rudolph Quinn Sypniewski
Kevin Boss Dan Gronkowski
Leonard Pope

 

Now consider this. Here’s the current ordering of rookie TEs in recent Dynasty drafts.

Overall Pick Player Avg. Pick
8 1.08 Eifert, Tyler CIN TE 12.25
24 2.12 Ertz, Zach PHI TE 26.88
25 3.01 Kelce, Travis KCC TE 29.3
48 4.12 Escobar, Gavin DAL TE 44.59
51 5.03 Reed, Jordan WAS TE 48.07

Sudfeld and Fauria are essentially undrafted.  And they certainly compare to these TEs physically. None are as tall, and only Eifert and Kelce come close on the Vertical jump.

Name Hght Wght 40 yd 10 yd Bnch Vert Broad 3Cone 20 ss
Tyler Eifert 6′ 5″ 250 4.68 1.66 22 35½” 119″ 6.92 4.32
Gavin Escobar 6′ 6″ 254 4.84 1.66 —- 32″ 114″ 7.07 4.31
Zach Ertz 6′ 5″ 249 4.76 1.62 24 30½” 111″ 7.08 4.47
Travis Kelce 6’4″ 255 4.61 1.61 —- 35” 124″ 7.09 4.42
Jordan Reed 6′ 2″ 236 4.72 1.63 16 —- —- —- —-
Zach Sudfeld 6’7″ 253 4.78 1.65 11 37″ 113″ 7.08 4.41
Joseph Fauria 6′ 7″ 259 4.72 1.71 17 35½” 120″ 7.49 4.53

This Heatmap compares the collegiate production of these rookie TEs. Fauria and Sudfeld hold their own. Neither does so well in market share of yards, but both perform very well in red zone TD rate and market share of TDs. 

What Does It All Mean

In Dynasty formats, Sudfeld and Fauria are definitely worth a late round or waiver addition. You might also consider grabbing a different position and forgoing one of the higher drafted TEs in favor of Sudfeld or Fauria, or “double dipping” by picking up one of these two to go along with one of the higher drafted TEs. They compare favorably to this year’s higher drafted rookies, and could offer future production ranging from Kyle Rudolph and Marcedes Lewis, to Greg Olsen, to Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. And they don’t cost a thing, so if they turn out to be the next Leonard Pope or Dan Gronkowski, no problem.

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