Third year tight end Eric Ebron tops my TE fantasy football sleeper list in 2016. Ebron was drafted as the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft and there's no doubt Detroit has a clear vision for him in 2016. They say the tight end position takes longer to develop however, Ebron has shown us enough in his 1st and 2nd years as a pro to make it clear that he's about to statistically explode. Look at the first few years of the great TE's and you'll see a similar progression to that of Ebron. Last season Ebron only posted 47 receptions for 537 yards and five touchdowns and his inconsistency made him hard to trust in your lineup. I attribute that to a mid-season switch of offensive coordinators and the up-down status of Calvin Johnson. With stability at OC and Johnson no longer a weekly question mark the Lions can come up with reliable game plans in 2016.
Ebron attended the University of North Carolina from 2011 to 2013. As a true freshman in 2011, Ebron played in 10 games, recording 10 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown. As a sophomore in 2012, he started all 11 games, recording 40 receptions for 625 yards and four touchdowns. The receptions and receiving yards were a North Carolina record for tight ends. As a junior in 2013, Ebron caught 62 passes for 973 yards and 3 TDs, and was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selection. He was also chosen as a finalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. Source Wikipedia
With Calvin Johnson no longer the focal point of the offense I expect Eric Ebron to fill that jump ball void in the red zone and garner at least 40 more targets in 2016. Golden Tate is the WR1 and Marvin Jones is WR2; both of these guys are solid wide receivers and make it hard for defenses to key on any one player the entire game. Ebron's average draft position is sitting around 115, the 12th tight end off the board. Tight ends being selected before Ebron are Ladarius Green, Zach Ertz, Julius Thomas, Gary Barnidge, and Delanie Walker. I believe there's more than a fighting chance that Ebron out produces all of these guys in 2016 and his value that late in the draft can't be passed up. During the draft, if you can't get Fleener or Gronkowski then I recommend you draft a mid to late round combo of Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Jordan Cameron. All three of these guys are poised to produce solid numbers and one (or more) of them should have a breakout season. As a matter of fact, if it wasn't for ASJ and Cameron's injury history I'd be writing more about those guys.