27-Year-Old Tight End – New Orleans Saints
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Graham is almost a tight end in name only. So much so, in fact, he asked an arbitrator to declare him a wide receiver for franchise-tag purposes. Graham lined up in the slot on 67 percent of his snaps...
Jimmy Graham Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the Saints in July of 2014.
Graham caught two passes on three targets for 49 yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Colts.
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|Receiving||Rec Distance||Big Rec Games||Rushing||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2014 Proj||27||NO||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Jimmy Graham|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs|
|2014 Proj||27||NO||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Jimmy Graham|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Receiving||Rec Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Targets||Red Zone Runs|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Jimmy Graham: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The deal includes $21 million in guarantees, but more importantly, Graham exceeded the franchise threshold ($7.035 million in 2014) for tight ends on a yearly basis. The 27-year-old can now focus the remainder of his prime stretching defenses and using his massive 6-7, 265 frame to outduel the opposition. Over the past three seasons, he's averaged 90 receptions (on 142.3 targets) for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns and has only missed one contest.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Graham and the Saints still have a deadline of Tuesday at 4 PM to reach an agreement, but the appeal is a procedural move to fall back on, if talks fail. After gathering in 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns last year, he's certainly worthy of a contract in excess of the $7.035 million that the franchise tag would provide a tight end.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Though it was long expected that the Saints and Graham would reach a settlement, it appears that a ruling will come down in the next few days following two days of testimony on June 17-18. His grievance almost exclusively revolves around money -- he stands to make significantly more if he's tagged as a wide receiver as opposed to a tight end -- but the arbitrator's ruling could have important repercussions for fantasy teams. Due to the scarcity at the position, Graham, who easily ranked first in the league at points by a tight end, is likely more valuable for owners if the arbitrator deems that he's still a tight end for positional purposes.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The setting of a hearing date is another step toward a final determination of Graham's positional status, though it remains a distinct possibility that he and the Saints could come to an agreement before the mid-June arbitration date. While he'll have top-flight value regardless of position, he's still likely more valuable to fantasy teams due to a scarcity of elite tight ends.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While Graham failed to live up to 2011's lofty expectations, he still had an impressive season. He nearly topped 1,000 yards receiving in 15 games, and his nine touchowns were only two off his previous season's pace. His 135 targets ranked second among tight ends, though his per-target average dipped 1.5 yards last season. While part of his regression from 2011 was probably due to missing coach and offensive mastermind Sean Payton, a bigger factor was a nagging wrist injury during the second half of the season; after scoring eight touchdowns in his first nine games, he scored only once more – in Week 17. The wrist also contributed to an NFL-high 14 dropped passes. Graham underwent wrist surgery in January and should be ready for the start of the season. An athletic player, Graham uses his 6-7 frame to go up and get the ball in traffic. He also has enough speed to outrun opposing defenses as evidenced by his 32 catches of 20-plus yards the last two seasons. It also helps to have an accurate passer in Drew Brees, who for the second consecutive season attempted more passes to Graham than anyone else on the team.
This space last season said Graham had the potential to be a top-five tight end, but even that underestimated his upside. Graham proved himself an elite tight end, rivaled only by New England’s all-world Rob Gronkowski, as Graham led the position with 99 receptions. His 1,310 receiving yards was, by 17 yards, second only to Gronkowski’s record-setting total, as were his 18 catches of 20-plus yards and his 11 touchdowns. A former college basketball player, Graham is virtually uncoverable. He can use his 6-7, 265-pound frame in traffic whether covered by a linebacker, defensive back or both. In the open field, he’s big enough to go through linebackers and fast enough with 4.5 speed to run away from defensive backs. His route running improved during the season, though his ability to read defenses and find the soft spots in the zone is still developing. Graham is obviously in a great situation as the top target in the prolific New Orleans offense. He never saw fewer than seven targets in a game last year, and his 149 targets ranked fifth among all receivers, 23 more than the next closest tight end. In the red zone, he led all tight ends with 28 targets, and his 13 targets inside the 10-yard line were second only to Aaron Hernandez’s 17.
A converted basketball player, Graham played one season of football at the University of Miami but showed enough potential that the Saints used a third-round pick on him in 2010. And he showed enough promise as a rookie last year that the Saints let starter Jeremy Shockey walk this offseason, setting up Graham for a potential breakout. A behemoth of tight end at 6-8, 260, Graham came on for the Saints over the second half of last season, posting 26 receptions, 307 yards and five touchdowns in his final eight games. In significantly fewer snaps, he racked up 43 targets to Shockey's 59 and saw nine red-zone targets to Shockey's 10. With the position all to himself this season in one of the NFL's most explosive offenses, Graham has the upside to be a top-5 tight end.
Graham was drafted by the Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. A physical specimen, Graham has all the tools to become an elite tight end in the NFL. The kicker: Graham only played one season of football at the University of Miami. While in college, Graham spent four years on the Hurricane's basketball team. Still, his raw talent was enough to earn him a spot in the NFL Draft and reminded many top executives of Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez, two similar basketball-turned-football players, even if Graham might be a year or two away from fantasy-relevance.