Dynasty Update: Joseph Fauria, TE, Lions
He scores touchdowns
Last year, if you read our rookie reports, you know we liked Joseph Fauria’s upside as a tight end with serious touchdown potential. As it turns out, Fauria played exactly as he was projected to play, though he scored more times than most (and we) expected him to. It needs to be noted that he did very little apart from score, which is why I asked Lions’ GM Martin Mayhew about Fauria’s projected role in the 2014 offense, and whether he can play an expanded role in the future rather than being a red zone specialist.
“It’s going to be ... for him, learning a new offense. It’s going to be his second offense in two years. Getting into a comfort level with Matthew (Stafford). I think Matthew had a comfort level with him in the red zone area more so than in the field. And then the offensive coordinator ... feeling comfortable to create opportunities for him to get him the ball. So, it’ll be a process. He certainly has the talent level to suggest he can be more productive in the field than he has been.”
I asked Mayhew if Fauria was more of a joker or move tight end versus the traditional in-line tight end. “I think he’s more of a move guy, I think he’s genetically predisposed to not be on the line of scrimmage as much as some other guys. He’s definitely a gifted athlete, he has great hands.’’
So, we got pretty much what we were looking to hear. With the potential departure of starter Brandon Pettigrew, Fauria could be in for an serious uptick in opportunities and snaps, which could lead to more production between the 20s or “in the field” as Mayhew said. If that happens, and Fauria can maintain his prowess near the goal line, he is a fantasy viable option at tight end in 12-team leagues. He’s also a nice dynasty asset in bigger formats.
The last point on Fauria is the Jimmy Graham comparison. Both are lengthy “move” tight ends and both have a basketball background, which shows up on film in terms of boxing out defenders and going after the football. Yes, Fauria is a ways off in terms of being comparable to Graham, but there are some material similarities. Perhaps more importantly, Fauria will get a taste of Graham’s scheme this season with Joe Lombardi leaving N.O. to become the new OC in Detroit.
Keep en eye on Fauria, whose value could explode with Pettigrew’s departure, if that happens, and if Detroit avoids drafting a top tight end prospect. He’s a nice add right now if he’s cheap.
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- The Waiver Wire 10/10