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.

PlayerYearAgeHtWt402010BenchVert.Broad20 SS3-Cone
Ben Utecht200524782514.8 – –30 – – –
Marcedes Lewis200622782554.802.811.6623.0037.00118.004.847.24
Leonard Pope200623782504.622.761.6322.0037.50118.004.677.68
Quinn Sypniewski200624782654.772.821.6620.0032.50114.004.547.09
Greg Olsen200722782544.512.591.5923.0035.50114.004.487.04
Kevin Boss200723782554.782.801.6815351164.416.96
Dan Gronkowski200924782554.792.651.5326.0033.00124.004.266.92
Rob Gronkowski201021782654.682.681.5823.0033.50119.004.477.18
Jimmy Graham201025792604.532.611.531538.50120.004.456.90
Kyle Rudolph201122782594.832.801.671934.50113.004.377.24
Zach Sudfeld201324782534.782.81.6511371134.417.08
Joseph Fauria201323782594.722.791.711735.51204.537.49

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.

WeightGraham, RudolphOlsen, Utecht
40R.Gronkowski,  SypniewskiBoss, D.Gronkowski
20Rudolph, BossRudolph, Boss
10Rudolph, BossLewis, Sypniewski
BenchRudolph, BossGraham, Boss
VertBoss, OlsenLewis, Pope
BroadGraham, R.GronkowskiRudolph, Olsen
20 Short ShuttleOlsen, SypniewskiRudolph, Boss
3 ConeLewis, PopeOlsen, 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).

Ben Utecht—-—-—-1111
Dan Gronkowski0.646.000.031120
Greg Olsen0.657.890.18227
Jimmy Graham0.556.870.08620
Kevin Boss—-—-—-1724
Kyle Rudolph0.566.560.111927
Leonard Pope0.659.020.172016
Marcedes Lewis0.698.820.232329
Quinn Sypniewski0.6910.640.101533
Rob Gronkowski0.659.330.182967
Zach Sudfeld0.668.790.171933
Joseph Fauria0.719.840.141641

Rookie Production

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

Rob Gronkowski201021164254610156.69.79
Jimmy Graham2010251531356596.66.44
Greg Olsen2007221439391290.16.44
Kyle Rudolph2011221526249368.94.59
Kevin Boss200723139118232.82.52
Leonard Pope2006231616161032.12.01
Marcedes Lewis2006221513126131.62.11
Ben Utecht20052412359220.91.74
Quinn Sypniewski2006241621503.50.22
Dan Gronkowski20092421401.40.70

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 StudConsistently UsefulOccasionally UsefulFantasy Bust
Rob GronkowskiGreg OlsenMarcedes LewisBen Utecht
Jimmy GrahamKyle RudolphQuinn Sypniewski
Kevin BossDan Gronkowski
Leonard Pope


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

OverallPickPlayerAvg. Pick
81.08Eifert, Tyler CIN TE12.25
242.12Ertz, Zach PHI TE26.88
253.01Kelce, Travis KCC TE29.3
484.12Escobar, Gavin DAL TE44.59
515.03Reed, Jordan WAS TE48.07

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.

NameHghtWght40 yd10 ydBnchVertBroad3Cone20 ss
Tyler Eifert6′ 5″2504.681.662235½”119″6.924.32
Gavin Escobar6′ 6″2544.841.66—-32″114″7.074.31
Zach Ertz6′ 5″2494.761.622430½”111″7.084.47
Travis Kelce6’4″2554.611.61—-35”124″7.094.42
Jordan Reed6′ 2″2364.721.6316—-—-—-—-
Zach Sudfeld6’7″2534.781.651137″113″7.084.41
Joseph Fauria6′ 7″2594.721.711735½”120″7.494.53

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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