DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) So, how important are tight ends when you’re drafting a fantasy football team?

That question isn’t easy to answer, according to 97.1 The Ticket show host Mike Valenti, who tackled the topic at the Fantasy Football Convention last weekend in Royal Oak.

“I’m a big believer you want to get yourself a good tight end,” Valenti said. “A lot of people used to just punt the whole tight end position and go ‘The hell with it, I’ll just take the last guy and soup up everywhere else.’ Now there’s enough depth at that position.”

Valenti said Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski are the guys who get the most attention — but how much of a difference does a tight end make, really?

He said the keys to a successful draft are thinking about return on investment in the pool, and overall tangible gains vs. loss in the position scarcity battle.

“For me, it’s all about the value of where you take it,” Valenti said. “I’m more concerned about how do I get the greatest number of high-level players vs. getting bogged down in the specifics. It’s all about give me the most impactful guys, but it has to be in the right spots.”

Moving on to quarterback and running back, Valenti answer a question about whether, in a keeper league, it would be more valuable to keep LeSean “Shady” McCoy or Matthew Stafford.

“God, that’s tough, that’s really tough because the running back spot is brutal and there are more quarterback spots available,” Valenti said. “I still side with the running back on it. If you give up McCoy and get Stafford, that’s wonderful, but what’s your answer at running back?

“There are eight or nine guys I would have no problem starting at quarterback this year, they’re all going to put up really nice numbers … I’d still go McCoy.”

See Valenti’s complete list of fantasy football picks and pans HERE.

97.1 The Ticket will feature fantasy football video and stories from this weekend’s convention all this week on Get complete fantasy football coverage HERE.


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