Jimmy Graham Officially Ruled A Tight End, Fantasy World Resumes As Normal

  • David Gonos

Jimmy Graham Listed as Tight End

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ian Rapoport tweeted out Tuesday afternoon that arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled that Jimmy Graham is, in fact, a tight end for the New Orleans Saints. While this has a ring of, “In other news, the sun rose and my Dad still thinks I’m lazy,” it actually is a big deal for Fantasy Football owners.

Before we get into the Fantasy discussion, understand what was taking place. If Graham was ruled as a wide receiver, like he wants to be listed, then the one-year tender the Saints would have had to pay him would have been over $12 million, which is the average annual salary of the top-five highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL:

  1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit — $16,207.143
  2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona — $16,142,857
  3. Percy Harvin, Seattle — $12,849,000
  4. Mike Wallace, Miami — $12,000,000
  5. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City — $11,200,00

(Come on, Bowe. Time to refund some of that dough.)

Graham’s argument was that he lined up in the slot or on the outside for 67-percent of his 2013 snaps. The problem is that he was drafted as a tight end and listed himself as a tight end on Twitter.

We didn’t really hear Graham complaining about being listed as a tight end in 2011 and 2013, when he made the Pro Bowl as a tight end in both years, and likely cashed in on incentive bonuses. If he was just a wide receiver, where would his stats have landed him in this seasons?

  • 2011: 99 rec, 1,310 rec yds, 11 TD catches
    • Third in receptions in NFL, seventh in rec yds and fourth in TD catches = Definite Pro Bowler, even at WR
    • 2013: 86 rec, 1,215 rec yds, 16 TD catches
      • 13th in rec, 15th in rec yds, Led NFL in TD catches = Definite Pro Bowler at WR

OK, well, so much for that argument.

So just for fun, let’s see where he would’ve landed among wide receivers last season, had he been listed there all year:

  1. Josh Gordon, CLE: 227 pts
  2. Demaryius Thomas, DEN: 227 pts
  3. Calvin Johnson, DET: 220 pts
  4. Jimmy Graham, NO: 217 pts

Had Graham gotten a WR-designation, he would’ve still likely been available to draft as a tight end, but just with dual position eligibility, like a 1B/OF in Fantasy Baseball.

It’s doubtful he would’ve been used as a WR in most leagues, but if you were able to pair him with a slipping Vernon Davis or Jason Witten, then why not?

Ahhh, hypothetical Fantasy fever … Catch it!