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Ricky Seals-Jones poised to be starting fantasy tight end in 2018

Injuries and personnel changes have opened the door for Seals-Jones to take over as the starting tight end in the desert next season.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals got a pleasant surprise in November when undrafted tight end Ricky Seals-Jones emerged as a threat in the passing game. Seals-Jones grabbed 12 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns in the five games he played during his rookie season.

The former Texas A&M wide receiver surprised the league with a breakout game in Week 11 against the Houston Texans. He backed that performance up with a career-high four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the best defensive teams this season.

Seals-Jones backed up veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham most of the year. He conveniently stepped up when Gresham hit a lull in mid-November. Seals-Jones faded quickly by Week 15 and was shut out of the final two games of the season.

Looking ahead to 2018

Next season is up in the air for Seals-Jones. There are a lot of changes happening in the desert. The Cardinals lost Gresham in the final game of the season with an Achilles tear. He had been on the decline since leaving Cincinnati and he will be 30 next season. There will also be a new head coach and starting quarterback in Arizona next year. Seals-Jones could really challenge Gresham for the starting role in 2018.

Fantasy Slant

Seals-Jones will not be a hot fantasy prospect unless a lot of things change over the summer in Arizona. He is a player to watch with all the unknowns the Cardinals have in their offense right now. Seals-Jones is worth a late-round gamble in the draft next year. He could be a great sleeper tight end in 2018.