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Value Tight Ends for 2022 Fantasy Leagues

Going Deep: Emerging Values at the Tight End Position
These tight ends aren’t being drafted commensurately to the value they’ll add on a weekly basis in fantasy leagues…

Cole Kmet, Bears
We tend to adhere to the third-year doctrine when it comes to TEs, the third-year doctrine in actuality being the theory that TEs generally don’t come into fantasy relevance until their third year in the league – Byron’s pulled all of the data on this, so get at him if you’re curious. Well it’s Kmet’s third year, and he’s primed to take a big step this season as QB Justin Fields‘ safety blanket in an emerging offense. Kmet finished the 2021 season as 12th in TE receptions(60) and 9th in TE targets(89), so even a moderate increase in those categories would bring him into every week fantasy starter territory.

Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
I’m not sure how long Brate will be a value in drafts, as Rob Gronkowski’s retirement will likely give him a boost in rankings worldwide, but from my experience in these matters, owners are more apt to pivoting to the next best TE option on another team rather than picking up the backup TE on the retiree’s squad – After all, Brate has been in the league for some time now. Also, the potential of Gronk making a mid-season comeback will loom in the minds of shrewd owners, so that will keep some hands off of Brate as well. In any case, if you can snag Brate as your second TE, there’s a solid chance he ends up performing well enough to become your first TE option in 12 team leagues. Brate was a top 8 TE in 2016 and 2017, so it’s in his wheelhouse.

Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos
With Noah Fant moving on to Seattle, Okwuegbunam slides permanently into the top TE slot in Denver that he occasionally found himself in last season. Albert O ended the year with 33 catches for 330 yards and 2 TDs with Teddy Bridgewater under center, but this time around he gets to be on the other end of Russell Wilson‘s passes. Yes, he’ll have a lot of competition for targets, but Okwuegbunam is a size/speed problem for defenses and he’ll be used as a hybrid WR/TE according to Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett. If you’re looking for upside at the TE position, there are few better bets than Albert O.

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