Fantasy Football: Tight ends should be higher or lower this draft season

ECR stands for “Expert Consensus Ranking”, which stands for Fantasy Football Industry Average Ranking and is usually similar to ADP (which varies from location to location). This will be an ongoing series of posts highlighting some major differences between ECR and my own ranks. We continue the series with a view of the narrow ends.

Players who should go higher/later: Quarterback

Tight Ends I like more than consensus

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (ECR = TE6 vs. DDD = TE4)

Schultz can’t match the athleticism of the other elite tight ends in the league, but his favorable situation makes him one of the most valuable fantasy players at his position. Schultz finished last season as the No. 3 tight end in fantasy and now there will be a big increase in objectives with Amari Cooper and Cedric Wilson left, Michael Gallup unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after knee surgery is James Washington and Blake Jarwin both seriously injured. Schultz ran routes at a higher percentage than Mark Andrews after Jarwin was kicked out of Week 9 last year.

The Cowboys led the NFL in scoring last season, and Schultz suddenly looks like one Dak PrescottSecond reading of most plays. With a very favorable schedule, Schultz is poised for a big fantasy season. I rank him ahead Darren Waller and George Kittlewhich both tour earlier.

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Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos (ECR = TE16 vs. DDD = TE11)

Albert O is a 24-year-old with truly elite training and basic statistical data metrics they will now catch passes from Russell Wilson (QB reportedly likes his new tight end). Okwuegbunam made a quiet profit fourth highest target by route rate among TEs over the last two seasons, when he also was one of just six averaging more than 2.0 yards per carry. With Noah Fant traded to Seattle, with Wilson replacing a terrible QB situation, Albert O will see a lot more targets with a lot more quality.

There was a buzz about the starters Greg Dulcichbut he’s nowhere near an athlete, and you get the point UCLA helped produce some big numbers from otherwise mediocre chances. Moreover, the loss at the end of the season Tim Patrick it opens up even more opportunities for Okwuegbunam, who will beat while being a big part of Denver’s offense this season.

Is this Albert Okwuegbunam’s breakout season for fantasy managers? (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans (ECR = TE24 vs. DDD = TE15)

Hooper is two seasons removed from recording 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns in just 13 games with the Falcons. His last two down years can easily be forgiven while playing in Cleveland, and now he joins a Tennessee offense that the most sacks and yards in the entire NFL. In the meantime, since Ryan Tannehill Beginning in 2019, 24% of his targets have gone short, including 25 of his 76 TD passes.

With Derrick Henry entering an uncertain phase of his career, with the Titans projected to be around .500, it all sets up for a really nice season from Hooper.

Tight Ends I like less than consensus

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (ECR = TE13 vs. DDD = TE19)

Gesicki is competing with two wide receivers in the rookie Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle who project to be among the league leaders in target rate. If that’s not troubling enough in an offense where questions remain at quarterback (Tu Tagovailoa’s durability if nothing else), Gesicki’s changing role under Miami’s new coaching staff perhaps even more worrying. Mike McDaniel he didn’t like using tight ends in San Francisco the way Gesicki was employed last year, and his role as a blocker is about to increase. Whatever the reason, Gesicki’s targets will drop soon, and yet it’s curious that he’s still being drafted as a top-15 fantasy tight end.

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Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (ECR = TE14 vs. DDD = TE18)

Henry left Justin Herbert, had 18 fewer targets despite playing three more games, but somehow finished as a top-10 fantasy tight end thanks to nine touchdowns last season. Put another way, Henry somehow captured 41%. Mac Jonestouchdown pass despite target share of 14.5%.. New England added DeVante Parker during the off-season, and Jonna Smith he reportedly looks much better during his 2nd year in New England. It’s all a recipe for a disappointing season from Henry, who was drafted as a top-15 fantasy tight end.

Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks (ECR = TE17 vs. DDD = TE25)

With Geno Smith a clear favorite to download for Russell Wilson in Seattle, Fant will have a hard time putting up big stats while also competing for targets with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Moreover, now he plays for an extremely slow Seahawks offense that played essentially two games worth of fewer plays than the NFL average last season. Draft Mo Alie-Cox instead even later.

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