Over the last several years, the New England Patriots have generated more production on offense from their tight end position than any other team in football. But with Rob Gronkowski injured and Aaron Hernandez released, there are many questions as to whom Tom Brady will be throwing the ball to this season and whether or not the tight ends will be as involved in the offense this year as they were over the last few.
If Bill Belichick does use his tight end position just as generously, then undrafted free agent Zach Sudfeld might be the breakout player of the year.
The 6'7 Sudfeld played college football at Nevada but had only two career catches going into his senior year. He broke out for 45 catches for 598 yards and eight touchdowns with the Wolfpack in 2012, but he fell out of the draft after missing one season due to injury and not having much experience as a passer at the college level. Now some people are saying that he's the best pass-catching tight end on the team, with Gronkowski on the sidelines.
Sudfeld has been getting praise all during training camp, and that continued on Monday with Christopher Price noting on Twitter that is was "another big day for Sudfeld" even with Jake Ballard back at practice.
Fantasy Impact: If he has a couple of big games in the preseason, Sudfeld will officially move from "sleeper" to possibly being overrated. This is still a rookie undrafted free agent with an injury history and really we aren't sure yet how much time Gronkowski will miss.
Don't overvalue the rookie but if you can get him late, it's certainly worth a flier. In this offense with this coaching staff and quarterback, he could outperform his draft status by miles. Right now he looks like he's taken the training camp lead.