Patience will allow you to find the fantasy football sweet spot for drafting a tight end

In the second of a six-part fantasy draft series leading up to the NFL season, Fantasy Insanity discusses tight ends, defense/special teams and kickers. Next week: quarterbacks.

All fantasy positions are not created equal. Some give more points than others. Some are deeper. Some have a greater disparity between top scorers and potential replacements. And some, basically, just don’t matter.

For example, does your league still use a kicker? If so, may I ask why? The best of the bunch don’t get much more than the worst, production is nearly impossible to project from week to week, and there’s always a more useful guy at the primary position available during the last round of the draft. Ask your commissioner to eject players and add bench space.

Or defense/special teams. We don’t despise them as much as kickers, because there can be strategic advantages if you look closely enough at certain matchups — especially in DFS. But they aren’t so valuable that you should ever pick one before the last few rounds of your draft.

Which brings us to a tight spot. This position has a big jump in relevance, but still falls into the low impact category. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, wait until the end of the draft to pick one, but we prefer this route to using a high pick.

It would be great to have Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews or Darren Waller, of course. But we’d rather have an extra starting quarterback or wide receiver at a point in the draft that usually goes in the upper end — in the first six rounds.

Instead, Madman prefers to wait. We’d rather avoid this season’s Waller in 2021 and try to find this season’s Dalton Schultz. Some of our primary targets are Schultz, Dallas Goedert, Dawson Knox and Mike Gesicki. Schultz finished in the top three among teams last season but was drafted as a TE7 this season even though the Cowboys lost Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup’s return from an ACL injury is uncertain.

The problem with getting Schultz is the high volatility of his draft position. He averages in the middle fifth round, but can often go as high as fourth or even eighth. We don’t want him high and everything has to go really early for us to be comfortable in the middle of his range, but we like him on the back end.

Dalton Schultz
Dalton Schultz
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eagles’ addition of AJ Brown gives them a legitimate NFL pass-catching threat, which could draw coverage away from others, including Goedert. Gesicki is in a similar situation in Miami, and Tyreek Hill is the new defensive distraction.

We think Knox can make the top-10 THIS season. He made a good step forward last season, and he can build on that this year. You have to worry about QB Josh Allen robbing Knox of some red-zone catches by rushing for touchdowns, but in a high-powered offense like this, we’re going to take some chances.

Mike Gesicki
Mike Gesicki
Getty Images
Dawson Knox
Dawson Knox
Boston Globe via Getty Images

If we miss all of this, we don’t mind taking Cole Kmet pretty late.

Granted, when we wait as long as we often do for TE, we prefer to grab a second to get some flexibility. And we have some super-late guys who make us smile when we pick them: Tampa Bay’s Cameron Brate or Kyle Rudolph.

Tom Brady no longer has Rob Gronkowski. With Chris Godwin returning from an ACL injury, his health and production will be uncertain. But someone is going to catch passes in this offense. And we like any of the Buccaneers’ TE options to be touchdown producers, even if they don’t rack up a lot of yards.

So feel free to sit tight before you grab the hard side. But you don’t have to wait until the end.

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