5 – Tyler Eifert
Taken in the first round (21st overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft, Tyler Eifert, the tight end out of Notre Dame, was thought to be a very special talent.
His rookie year was good, but nothing spectacular, catching 39 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns. The following year Eifert was trying to break free of a tackle against the Ravens and landed awkwardly, dislocating his shoulder, thus ending his sophomore year way too early.
2015 was the season that the Bengals were expecting of Eifert when they took him in the first round. He broke out and became the clear favorite red zone target of Andy Dalton by catching an absurd 13 touchdowns on 52 catches.
It would be nice to see Eifert get a little more when it comes to yardage, but in fantasy football, you will trade a few yards for the number of touchdowns that he will bring in for you. It helps tremendously that four of the eight games that Eifert caught a touchdown were multiple TD catch games.
The Bengals offense lost two of its starting wide receivers in Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and may see a little bit of a dip in offensive production. That could mean bad luck for Eifert since it will be easier for defenses to zero in on him.
The plus side is that as long as the Dalton can get the team close enough to the end zone it doesn’t matter how much firepower they have, Eifert is a flat-out beast in that part of the field. His height and athletic ability make him one of the most dangerous threats when it comes to finishing off drives.
Prediction: 75 Receptions – 780 Yards – 12 Touchdowns