Fantasy Football 2018 Tight Ends

9 Aug 2018 - 12:41am | DFS_Tom | Updated: 9 Aug 2018 - 12:41am | Likes: 13

We are back with another fantasy football article to get you prepared for the upcoming season. Today, we will be looking at one of the most inconsistent and stress-filled positions, tight ends. There are clearly three options at the top of the list, Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz. In terms of ADP, fantasy production, and real-life production, those three are a tier above the rest of the pack. But, if you unable to get one of those three, where do you go? There are plenty of other options, who you can get lower in your drafts, so let’s take a look at a handful of tight ends.

-          Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers

Graham comes in with an ADP sitting at 56, with him being the fourth tight end being taken off the board. The tight end ahead of him is Ertz, with an ADP of 37. A nearly 20 player difference between drafting one tight end to the next. That should tell you enough about how people value tight ends, if you can’t get up to the top, just drop down to the next level. Personally, I’m not too high on Graham this year, despite him playing with Aaron Rodgers. Last season Graham finished with 57 receptions and only 520 yards. Those 57 receptions where tied for ninth in the league and now he is being drafted as the fourth best tight end? That doesn’t add up to me and I don’t think the Aaron Rodgers factor can change his value that drastically. He may have more yards this season, but he won’t have 10 touchdowns like he did last year.

-          Evan Engram, New York Giants

Engram was a nice surprise last season, which was his rookie year, but is now likely to take a step back in terms of production. Engram is a bit interesting as a tight end due to the fact he basically doesn’t block at all. He’s on the field for almost only passing downs and runs out of the slot, not off the line, as he did at Ole Miss. Last season he had six or more targets in seven of his last eight games with three touchdowns and 50 yards or more in four of those games. The reason why I’m so low on Engram this season is that his numbers from last season are inflated and he was a product of his environment. The Giants had nearly no running game, Odell Beckham was injured and Sterling Shepard eventually got hurt. This season, Beckham will be back and they have Saquon Barkley, who will see a large part of the offensive timeshare. There are just too many mouths to feed for Engram to be the sixth tight end taken off the board. This is a hill I’m willing to die on, no Engram for me this season.

-          Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

I touched on Olsen last week when I mentioned him in the injuries article, so I’ll be a bit brief here. He makes one of the “safer” options in the second tier of tight ends…if he is healthy. All reports are pointing to him being a very viable fantasy option this season, in what should be a powerful offense. If he’s available, you should be taking him, but no need to “reach” for a player who is a bit older.

-          Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Rudolph has never made a great value in terms of PPR for fantasy, but has high touchdown upside, especially in the red zone. Last year he had eight total touchdown, seven of which came in the red zone. Rudolph had 24% of the targets in the Vikings red zone opportunities. That is a solid portion of the touchdown equity and while it might not be that high this season, he will continue to be a threat. He played all 16 games last season and had four or fewer receptions in 10 of those games, with a high of 63 yards. So that is where he is lacking the PPR value, as he provides little to the offense in between the 20’s. Not really exciting, but likely won’t burn you this year with his ADP sitting at 74.

-          Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

Will Jordan Reed be healthy this year? That is the question everyone wants to know and if you have the answer, you could retire on an island. Reed has never played a full season in his five years in the league. But, we have seen him finish with 50 or more receptions in three of those season, with six touchdowns in two of those season. The talent is there, the targets are there, the red zone work is there, the health IS NOT there. This is truly one of the tougher calls at tight end every year. If others in your league are overlooking him and don’t draft him, he can make a nice value as the 9th or 10th tight end off the board. If he slips more than that, I would grab him since the upside is worth the risk at that point.

-          Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

Last season Doyle had the second most receptions for all tight ends. Yes. He had more receptions than Zach Ertz, Rob Gronkowski, Delanie Walker and Evan Engram. Even with the second most receptions, he had the sixth most yards, and the 13th most touchdowns. As you can see, there are some inconsistencies here. He gets the targets, but they were never for a ton of yards, and they weren’t in the red zone. BUT, he played all of last season without Andrew Luck and had to deal with the backup quarterbacks. So, if we know he has solid targets and PPR value, with Luck coming back, will his yards and touchdowns rise due to the better QB play? Doyle has an ADP of 130 right now, which is the 12th tight end off the board. Really, really like him in this spot, since you won’t be reaching for him and you can fill in the rest of your lineup before him.  

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