Is Dustin Keller a TE1?
I like Dustin Keller. He’s the kind of TE you end up with if you choose to focus on your QB, RB, and WR situations before turning to your tight end. He has an ADP of 151 (7th pick of 13th round) according to Mock Draft Central. He is the 15th TE coming off the board and 13th in my TE rankings (click to see 2010 Top 25 TE rankings) so he is right on the fringe.
Keller did little during the regular season to even merit TE1 consideration. He finished with 45 catches for 522 yards and two TDs. He started off with 116 yards and a TD in the first two weeks before going through a five game stretch which yielded just eight catches for 97 yards. He rebounded in Weeks 8-12 averaging 60 yards along with his other regular season TD. Then he hit another dry patch producing just nine catches for 69 yards in the final five games.
In the playoffs is where Keller stepped up his game, leading to optimism for the upcoming season. Keller scored in all three playoff games, totaling 12 catches for 181 yards for an average of 4 catches for 60.3 yards and a TD per playoff game.
He built a nice rapport with Mark Sanchez, who should have a little more freedom in his second season. The Jets are still a run-first team, but I expect them to open things up this year. With Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards stretching the field, Keller should be able to work the underneath routes and serve as a check down option.
The best way to use Keller is to pair him with another fringe TE1 like John Carlson, Visanthe Shiancoe, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen, etc. With two solid options at TE, you can play the match-up game. You’d also have a bargaining chip if one of your opponents were to lose their starting TE to injury.
Prediction: 55 catches, 650 yards, 6 TDs
What are your expectations for Dustin Keller?