Winning the Flex Position with Golden Tate

by Peter Lawrence ·

Right now, there is a significant value at wide receiver for fantasy footballers who is being drafted around rounds five and six of fantasy drafts. Golden Tate is a steal right now because owners are drafting him at his floor. You’ve all heard the information about how Tate is the yards after catch beast of the NFL in the WR group. It’s true. Tate is the player you can draft at his floor that will provide league winning upside.

Golden Tate is a smaller WR coming in at 5-10 and 202-pounds and only turns 29 years old during the season. He is lighting quick and ran a 4.42 (89th-percentile) 40-yard dash time and an ultra-fast 1.51 10-yard split (92nd-percentile). He utilizes his ability to get off the line quick and create separation early in his route. With his size and speed combination he posted a 101.5 (73rd-percentile) Speed Score, Tate is no an overall athletic specimen.

Over the course of his three seasons so far in Detroit, Golden Tate has maintained a WR2 production in PPR formats. Over these three seasons he’s averaged 135.7 targets, 93.3 receptions, 1073.7 receiving yards, and 4.7 receiving touchdowns. This has led to three straight seasons finishing as a WR2 where in his lowest season 2015 he was the WR24 and his stats followed his averages but his receiving yards dropped to 813 receiving yards. Yards after catch (from here on referred to as YAC) is where Tate makes his money. His ability to separate quick allows him to turn a short catch in to a long gain. In his three seasons in Detroit he has twice finished as the number one WR in YAC and in his 2015 down year he was still the WR5 in YAC. Another solid year following his averages as a member of the Detroit Lions, and Tate easily projects as a high WR2 in PPR formats.

Golden Tate Fantasy Football

Golden Tate Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Detroit Lions are best served employing Tate on the outside and working him in short to intermediate routes that best utilizes his abilities. During his down year in 2015 the coaching staff lined up Golden Tate in the slot nearly 51-percent of his passing down situations. With the addition of Anquan Boldin in 2016 that number dropped to 26-percent. Across his time in Detroit he has an 7.4-yard average target depth. In Tate’s poor 2015 performance that average target depth dropped to 6.1 yards. Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception work showed that Tate averaged 1.14 more yards of separation when working out of the slot compared to outside. Showing how Tate does his damage in 2016, he totaled 1077 Receiving Yards. However, when broken down he had 401 Air Yards but then made a huge jump with 676 yards after catch. He received nearly a fifth of the teams red zone target share 19.8-percent (17 targets) catching 9 of those targets. Tate only finished with 4 total touchdowns and has never posted more than eight in a season.

Right now on MyFantasyLeagueGolden Tate owns an 45.0 ADP, the No. 24 wide receiver off the board. Tate is currently being drafted behind Michael Crabtree, Davante Adams, Terrelle Pryor, and Tyreek Hill (!). Tate’s ceiling and floor are arguably higher than these options. At pick 45, Tate will allows Zero RB drafters to win the flex position, the key to victory in 2017.

Check out Golden Tate on the Updated PlayerProfiler Seasonal & Dynasty Rankings:

Golden Tate is currently being drafted at his floor, with no regard for his ceiling. With that value and his past production you are protected from any sunk capital. When drafting Tate at that slot at his worst you get what you drafted but with a return to his normal averages you are getting a high end WR2 a round or two later than what you normally would have to draft someone of his value at. Look for Tate to return to his solid contributing ways and for him to be a key part of your 2017 fantasy football rosters.