A Tale of Two Cities – the NFC TEs: Same Player, New Destination. Who stands to improve?
There were plenty of off season moves this year, but not all of them put players in better situations. Here, I take a look at the either improved or still stagnant chances of veteran fantasy options in their new homes.
Trey Burton, Philadelphia -> Chicago: Burton makes a move from one tight end happy offense in Philly to another in Chicago’s newly led Matt Nagy scheme. He’ll play the “U” position, a role formerly held by Travis Kelce in Nagy’s last offense. It’s a receiver/tight end hybrid, which means he’ll get plenty of action as a pass catcher, and he’s a prime candidate for a breakout season. He’s got a top 5 tight end ceiling and a top 10 floor, if Mitch Trubisky can keep his big boy pants up all season.
Luke Willson, Seattle -> Detroit: Willson to Detroit was about as unsexy a signing as you’ll see in the NFL, but none of that matters on the fantasy stat sheet. Willson will have his best opportunity to make an impact on an offense since he entered the league 5 seasons ago, as the no.1 tight end for the Lions. 500+ yards and a handful of TDs doesn’t seem like a stretch in Jim Bob Cooter’s now “untethered” offense. Just don’t expect him to usurp Marvin Jones or Kenny Golladay in the red-zone.
Ben Watson, Baltimore -> New Orleans: Watson spent 2013-2015 with the Saints, putting up a career best year his last season there(74-825-6), and he’s now returned after a productive year with the Ravens – he missed 2016 with a torn achilles. He’s 37, but he’s still got juice, and Drew Brees is more than willing to use his tight ends if they can actually get open. Watson is going to come cheap, but he won’t won’t stay that way. I expect him to pick up right where he left his in 2015.
Jimmy Graham, Seattle -> Green Bay: Graham may to be on the decline in his career, but he is still well within reach of a double-digit scoring season with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Behind Davante Adams, Graham is the next guy up when it comes to end-zone targets. It seems like Graham is always nicked up, but he hasn’t missed a game since the 2015 season. We might see his best season since his last year in New Orleans in 2018.
Ed Dickson, Carolina -> Seattle: Dickson finally gets a chance to come from under Greg Olsen‘s shadow in his new home in Seattle, and there’s no Jimmy Graham or Luke Willson for him to compete with. The Seahawks did draft a tight end in Will Dissly, but he profiles as a blocking tight end almost exclusively. Dickson has shown flashes of athleticism throughout his time in Carolina, and he could still have a few good years ahead of him.