Sit Tight: 7 Reasons to Wait for a Tight End
Here at RosterWatch, you’re not going to pay a lot for a tight end. There is too much value to be had in the latter half of your drafts to overpay at a position that rarely pays dividends for overreaching. Make things easier on yourself, and hang around for these late round warriors to fall in your lap…
Editor’s note: hold your nose, this is going to be trashy.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets: The only thing keeping ASJ from being a top 10 TE for me right now is his two-game suspension to start the season. The best offensive player from a potential-standpoint on a team that sorely needs them, he’ll be in position to lead the team in targets every week after. Keep in mind the Jets will undoubtedly be playing from behind on a very regular basis, and ASJ is the definition of a safety blanket for an overwhelmingly underwhelming QB corps. Currently going undrafted in most leagues, ASJ offers too much value to pass up.
Jack Doyle, Colts: How Doyle is has an ADP of the 13th round is beyond me. If you combine the 2016 stats from him and Dwayne Allen, who split duties with Doyle in Indy then, you get 11 TDS and close to 1,000 yards – Doyle gets that all to himself this season. I get that there’s concern for Andrew Luck‘s health, but we’re looking at a worse case scenario of a week 2 return — plus he’s Scott Tolzien‘s favorite target. Do not sleep on Doyle!
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers: Yes, the big talk in tight ends is O.J. Howard, who will in time ascend to great heights in the NFL barring a catastrophic setback, but last time I checked, Brate is still the pass-catching TE in Tampa – and he was doing a pretty good job at it. Tight end is a notoriously difficult position for a rookie to produce in offensively, and it’s proving to be no different for Howard in the preseason. QB Jameis Winston already has a strong rapport with Brate who is coming off of a 660 yard 8 TD 2016 season. It is more than likely that the veteran maintains top TE numbers in 2017.
Austin Hooper, Falcons: Hooper ended his rookie season leading the Falcons in targets during the Super Bowl, and he’s going into his second year as a primary target for Matt Ryan. Expect Hooper to do much of his damage in the red-zone where Julio Jones has been notoriously absent during his career.
Zach Miller, Bears: Miller has come a long way over the last couple months, from a possible PUP designation off a Lisfranc injury to running with the ones during the preseason over newly acquired Dion Sims and quickly rising rookie Adam Shaheen. Sims is an asset as a blocking TE, but Shaheen is cut from a similar cloth as Miller and should push him all season – this actually might serve as motivation for the aging Miller to stay sharp and in shape. He may have lost a step, but Miller’s TD grabs during camp drills and the preseason show that he’s still a force to be reckoned with on a team lacking red-zone threats. Don’t forget that Miller was a TE1 in PPR leagues when healthy last season.
Julius Thomas, Dolphins: There was a time when Julius Thomas was a man among boys at the tight end position, notching two double-digit TD seasons as a starter in Denver before dipping in production at the hands of the now fully exposed Blake Bortles. Can he reinvent himself with Jay Cutler under center? Maybe not to the extent we saw when he was a Bronco, but as one of only two offensive starters over 6’1″, he will serve as one of Cutler’s main end-zone targets and safety blankets. At an ADP of TE20, it’s a risk that’s easy to take.
Antonio Gates, Chargers: The old man still has it. At 37, Gates is old enough to be Joe Mixon‘s father, but he has not yet lost the ability to catch TDs in the NFL on a regular basis. If the preseason is any indication, he’ll be on the field inside the 20’s and on obvious passing downs, even if Hunter Henry out snaps him in most games. The 22nd TE on most boards, expect a top 10 TD finish for Gates.