On Todd Heap's ability to stretch field

August, 19, 2011
8/19/11
10:32
AM ET
Regular ESPN.com contributor K.C. Joyner has shared a few NFC West notes from his 2011 fantasy football guide, including this one for the Arizona Cardinals:

Joyner: "Todd Heap may not be thought of as a dominant pass receiving tight end anymore, but check this out. Last year, he posted a 10.1 yards per attempt (YPA) mark on 60 targets. That was the fourth highest YPA among qualifying tight ends (minimum 32 targets to qualify). He also did quite well on vertical passes (those thrown 11 or more yards downfield) by posting a 14.1 YPA on 28 vertical targets. The 28 vertical targets ranked tied for 8th most in the league and the YPA ranked seventh-highest."

My thoughts: Heap averaged a career-high 15.0 yards per reception last season. His average had previously not exceeded 11.4 yards per reception since 2003. A career-long 65-yard touchdown reception against Tampa Bay boosted his average by 1.3 yards. Heap released from the line cleanly, caught the ball at the Tampa Bay 43 and outran linebacker Barrett Ruud. It was the sort of play even an accomplished tight end feels fortunate to pull off even once or twice in his career. Heap does project as a primary target for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, but the team has better overall depth at the position, and Larry Fitzgerald remains the focal point of the offense. Fellow tight ends Jeff King and Rob Housler will catch a few passes as well.

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