Tennessee Titans’ Delanie Walker considered a fantasy football sleeper

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Delanie Walker
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Delanie Walker /

In CBS Sports’ 2019 team previews for fantasy football, Delanie Walker was named as the biggest sleeper on the Tennessee Titans.

Tennessee Titans great Delanie Walker is now at the point where he’s being called a sleeper in fantasy football. My, how far we have come.

In CBS Sports’ 2019 fantasy football team preview for the Titans, Dave Richard lists Walker as Tennessee’s sleeper. That’s right, the same Walker who has been elite at his position for years now.

While it might seem crazy, Richard actually has good reasoning for making this claim. That’s because fantasy owners could end up avoiding Walker altogether in drafts.

"When’s the last time a tight end with four-straight 800-yard seasons went undrafted in Fantasy leagues? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that letting Walker go undrafted in your leagues is a mistake. Tight ends with his track record should be in lineups, even if it’s as an early-season stream-to-stud candidate. His first two matchups (at Cleveland, vs. Indy) aren’t bad, and he’s past his broken leg. Marcus Mariota is probably thrilled to have him back."

If not for the broken leg Walker suffered last season, combined with a little sprinkle of age concerns (35 in August), this wouldn’t even be a discussion. Walker has been an elite tight end in real and fantasy football for his entire tenure with the Titans.

The reality is that Walker looks to be on track to return fully healthy for this upcoming season and while he is going to be 35 when Week 1 rolls around, it would be foolish to automatically think he’s going to fall off because of that. His track record is just too good to even consider it.

Why you shouldn’t sleep on Delanie Walker

To give you a better idea of just how good Walker has been, he is the No. 2 tight end in fantasy over the last three years based on fantasy points per game in PPR, per CBS Sports. The player ahead of him, the oft-injured Tyler Eifert, has played in just 14 games total in that span, inflating his numbers. So, Walker is really No. 1.

Walker has also ranked fourth and sixth among tight ends in total fantasy points in each of the two years prior to his injury-shortened 2018.

And about that injury, which can be considered a freak one—Walker is about a tough as they come having not succumbed to injuries to the tune of 14 games played or more in every season of his career with the exception of his rookie campaign and 2018.

Is Delanie Walker really a fantasy football sleeper?
SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 17: Delanie Walker #82 of the Tennessee Titans catches a touchdown pass over Adrian Colbert #38 of the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL football game at Levi’s Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Bottom line: Walker is being criminally undervalued already and would be an absolute steal late in drafts, let alone if he goes undrafted altogether and can be picked up on waivers prior to Week 1. He will be Marcus Mariota’s safety valve and then some once again, almost assuredly making him a target monster.

Don’t be the guy or gal who facepalms themselves after Walker goes off early in the season knowing that he was there for the taking throughout the entirety of your draft. It’s just too hard to find great players at the tight end position in fantasy and Walker is a sure bet to be just that on a yearly basis until proven otherwise.