Is Jermichael Finley Worth the Risk?

Jun 29, 2011


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Jermichael Finley is an enigma. When he is playing, there aren’t many tight ends with his skill set. He’s 6’5″”, 247 with great speed, hands, and the athleticism to make acrobatic catches. It’s almost unfair because he’s far too quick for linebackers and far too powerful for defensive backs.
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Yet, he has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. You would think that with just 82 catches for 1051 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons wouldn’t translate into a desirable fantasy tight end option. However, you’d be wrong. We’ve know the potential of a monster campaign is there. That’s why you see him high on most fantasy football tight end rankings lists.
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The risk isn’t in owning him. The tight end position has become deep enough where you could find a suitable replacement if he gets hurt again. The risk in who you pass up on to get him. You could be passing on Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, or Dallas Clark to take Finley. I have him ranked third behind Gates and Witten, but I appreciate why someone would take the safer route with Davis or Clark. I can also appreciate if someone wanted to wait even longer and go to the next tier of tight ends.
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There are a lot of factors to consider. What running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks are available. If you want an elite quarterback and the options are starting to get thin, you may want to hold off on drafting a tight end. If you already took some risks (Michael Vick, Brandon Lloyd, etc.), you may want a safer option.
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In Weeks 2-4 last year Finley had at least 100 yards or a touchdown. He closed out 2009 averaging 67.4 yards over his last five games with four touchdowns. Then he went off in the playoffs to the tune of six catches for 159 yards.
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I do believe that Finley could turn in a magical season if he stays healthy. If you’re a risk taker, Finley could be your guy. Just be prepared to strike early if you want him on  your squad.
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