One of the less glorious positions in fantasy football is Tight End. In most leagues, fantasy owners are required to start one Tight End and they are mostly TD-dependent players. There are exceptions to the rule with PPR-proficient players like Travis Kelce, but for the most part, sharp players are trying to find value late in drafts. There has been a counter-balance to boost TE values in some leagues recently with the implementation of “TE-Premium (TEP)” leagues. “TEP” is when you increase the importance of the position with scoring systems that give 1.5 points per reception, for example. Another way to increase the relevance of the position is to mandate each team has to start two Tight Ends. At RosterWatch we emphasize to our subscribers that Tight End can make a world of difference to your fantasy success no matter what your scoring system. Below are some thoughts on the Tight End market in early drafts.
Hunter Henry – Red Flags Being Ignored
Hunter Henry is a golden son of RosterWatch Nation but he has never played a full season, including missing all of 2018. Heading into 2020, Henry is attached to the arms of presumed starting QB Tyrod Taylor and possible eventual starter, rookie Justin Herbert. Yet drafters can’t quit Henry. He is currently coming off the board as the TE7. RosterWatch’s confidence level is shaky at best with Hunter Henry, at his current ADP of 107 (late 8th round.)
Tyler Higbee – The Market is Split
There is no denying the epic run Tyler Higbee had the final five weeks of 2019. In that span, he averaged over 12 targets per game and more than 20 PPR points per contest. We often say it is not just the size of the sample but the magnitude of the sample that counts. Those who are dubious of Higbee will point to the absence of the Rams “other” tight end Gerald Everett during that time. Gerald Everett himself was on a nice run prior to Higbee’s breakout. Higbee and Everett are currently going as the TE6 & TE28 respectively. RosterWatch is exploring a Higbee fade in favor of Everett as we continue to fine-tune the Ultimate Draft Cheat Sheet, but we are very nervous about it. If Higbee can be just 75% of what he was to end the 2020 season, he’ll pay off his current ADP in spades.
Mike Gesicki – Ready for a Breakout?
To win the TE game in your fantasy leagues, the obvious yet difficult task is to identify the player who is getting drafted in the double-digit rounds and can possibly finish in the top five. Two seasons ago it was George Kittle, last year it was Austin Hooper. A popular candidate for the breakout TE in 2020 is Miami Dolphins third-year player Mike Gesicki. A highly touted prospect who has shown growth each season on top of world-class athletic measurables, Gesicki finished the year strong, over the final six games, averaging about 7.5 targets per game that yielded over 15.5 PPR fantasy points per contest. Yet Gesicki is still being drafted as the TE13 in the late 11th round of early 12-team redraft leagues. RosterWatch is very interested in Gesicki, and he should be taken seriously as a prime candidate to break out in 2020.
Noah Fant: The competition for targets has grown in Denver. The addition of Melvin Gordon is another indicator The Broncos are going to lean on the run a bit more. Fant is shaping up as a waiver wire watch list player to start the season.
TJ Hockenson: A do-it-all player, who is the best TE prospect that RosterWatch has ever evaluated. Currently TE16 in drafts, he is a player we want to make sure we add to many of our teams (at ADP.)
Evan Engram: He keeps dropping in price during the off-season. Fantasy players have vivid memories of multiple injury-filled years. Engram runs like a WR and has a top 3 finish at the position easily within his range of outcomes. A very enticing option as the TE8.