Trashman’s Favorite Tight End Deep Sleepers
From safe to shaky, these tight ends offer immense upside in exchange for a late or even last-round pick in fantasy drafts:
Jonnu Smith, Titans: It’s absurd to think that Delanie Walker‘s direct replacement is the 17th tight end being drafted right now, especially when he’s the athletic specimen that Smith is. Walker averaged over 100 targets and 800 yards in his last 4 healthy seasons as a Titan, and while Ryan Tannehill may not be quite as reliant on Smith as Marcus Mariota was on Walker, Smith could easily end up second on the team in targets behind A.J. Brown, if not first. His value is immense.
Jack Doyle, Colts: Doyle didn’t have quite the year one might expect in 2019 (43 rec, 448 yards, 4 TD), considering he played in all 16 games, but new QB Philip Rivers does love throwing to his tight ends, as we know from his time as a Charger. Doyle could see close to 100 targets this season as the Colts go-to tight end, now that Eric Ebron is no longer a threat. Yes, the Colts did add Trey Burton to the mix, but he projects to be a complement to Doyle, and Mo-Allie Cox will start the season on the PUP list.
Chris Herndon, Jets: Herndon should’ve had his breakout season last year, but injuries and an ill-timed suspension limited him to just one game. A league-leader in air yards in 2018, Herndon has tons of upside on an offense that has two new additions on the outside in Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims and a shortened off-season and non-existent pre-season. He and Jamison Crowder are the only two starters who have experience with QB Sam Darnold, so expect him to lean on them early and often.
Jace Sternberger, Packers: Sternberger is stepping in for Jimmy Graham, who ended up 3rd in targets (72) for the Packers in 2019. The Packers are projected to play a lot of 12-personnel this season, so that means Sternberger will be on the field for most offensive snaps. Devin Funchess was added this offseason but has since opted out, vacating at least a relatively substantial amount of projected targets. Sternberger’s upside in an Aaron Rodgers led offense is well worth a flyer.
Will Dissly, Seahawks: Yes, I’m well aware that Greg Olsen is now a Seahawk and that Dissly went down to an achilles injury and was questionable to start the season. I am also aware that Dissly is on track to be ready come Week 1, and that with the shortened off-season — and no pre-season — the guy who has been the go-to is likely to stay that way in most situations. Olsen is also 35 and has one foot in the commentator’s booth anyway. Let’s also not forget that Dissly was TE5 through 5 weeks last season. He may end up a wash, but Dissly’s upside and the fact that you can literally take him with your final pick in your draft make him deep sleeper material.