Finding a good Tight-End after all the obvious choices are gone can be a bit taxing. But that's what I'm here for. I've gone over the TE position and I've found some promising players that may put a spark in a rather lackluster fantasy spot for your fantasy team this season. While the beginning of the list is a bit Obvious to begin with, as we continue down the list, I’ll show you some under-appreciated gems that may be on a bit of an resurgence this season that you might want to look into, especially at the value they’ll have as later round fliers. As always, let me know what you think of the list and leave some feedback on the article.
1. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce was the man last season. Point, blank, period. In an offense that loves to air it out, Kelce was targeted 150 times last season, had the 2nd most yards per game (83.5), 2nd most touchdowns (10), and was on of the main focal points in the Chiefs offense. With Tyreek Hill looking down the barrel of a looming suspension and Sammy Watkins being…well… Sammy Watkins, Kelce could be in for even more work this season as the top option for the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes this coming season.
2. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
We all know that the Eagles have added more passing weapons this offseason and while this may make Ertz value take a hit, it shouldn’t scare fantasy owners away. He’s still the apple of Eagles QB Carson Wentz’ eye and he’ll still be targeted a bunch. He ranked 1st in targets last season with 156 and finished with 1,163 yards and 8 touchdowns to finish the season ranked 2nd among fantasy Tight-Ends last year. On top of his high snap share (95.4%) among the teams TE’s, Ertz is a safe pick for the position this year.
3. George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers
Some think that George Kittle’s breakout season last year, while great, was a bit of a fluke but that’s ok. While his 1,377 yards and 5 touchdowns where great, there’s no reason to believe that he still can’t be a good TE for your fantasy team this season. Aside from WR Dante Pettis, Kittle is the only other experienced pass catcher in the group. No one knows what Marquise Goodwin’s role will be right now and Deebo Samuels and Jalen Hurd are rookies so it won’t be fair to lean on them too much. The volume and snaps are there for Kittle to be great again this year as well as his high target share inside the end-zone (33.3% - ranked 2nd among TE’s).
4. Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers
Hunter Henry came back towards the end of the season after tearing his ACL in the very first team activity during the 2018 off-season. Now fully healthy and ready to go, with no Antonio Gates to get in the way this time and Tyrell Williams in Oakland, Henry should be on your rebound list and a target for your fantasy team. His snaps have increased over the last two seasons (65.9% to 67.9% from 2016-2017) before the injury and should go up again with less people in front of him. His targets should also get a jump from the 62 he saw in 2017. Hunter is a Tight End with upside and Chargers QB Phillip Rivers loves to use the TE.
5. O.J. Howard - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding Howard this offseason and rightfully so. He’s shown that he can be a viable pass catcher in the Bucs offense and was doing just that last year before he went down due to injury. Like Henry, Howard is looking to bounce back and have an even bigger role this season. Adam Humphries is in Tennessee with the Titans and Howard has seemingly leaped ahead of fellow TE Cameron Brate, with the potential boost in targets from Humphries and also Desean Jackson, Howard has the upside to make the most of his situation as a go-to passing option for Jameis Winston.
6. Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts
In contrast with the other TE’s on this list, Ebron has been seeing some shade this offseason. Yes, the Colts drafted Parris Campbell. Yes, the Colts added Devin Funchess during free agency. Yes, Jack Doyle is coming back from injury. But these aren’t real factors in my opinion. Even though Doyle played only 6 games last season, he wasn’t targeted as much as Ebron was in the red-zone, scoring only 2 touchdowns to Ebron’s 8 touchdowns over the same games played. Ebron may not hit double digit touchdowns like last year but he should still see plenty of targets for Luck and the Colts in the red-zone.
7. Jared Cook - New Orleans Saints
After being the only option in Oakland last season after Amari Cooper was traded to Dallas midseason and Jordy Nelson being cut before the season began, Jared Cook finished as the 5th ranked TE at the end of last season. Now he finds himself in a better offense with the Saints seemingly starving for another receiver after Michael Thomas. Cook finished with 896 yards and 6 touchdowns on 101 targets and should be used pretty well in the Saints offense. The one problem is the Saints haven't used a TE well but once after the Jimmy Graham Era ended when Benjamin Watson was there in 2015. If the Saints use Cook right, he can be a Top option for fantasy owners.
8. Greg Olsen - Carolina Panthers
Remember this guy? Olsen hasn't been the same the last couple of years because of a foot injury that he refused to have surgery on and because of that, he continued to re-injure the same foot. Now he's finally had surgery on that foot that's forced him to miss 19 games over the last two seasons. Before the injury, Olsen was a heavily targeted pass catcher in the Panthers offense, getting over 100 targets from 2012-2016. Olsen could return to being one of Cam Newton's favorite targets now that he's fully healthy. His ADP is currently 13.03 per Fantasy Football Calculator, making him a cheap low risk draft prospect with upside.
9. Jimmy Graham - Greenbay Packers
Jimmy Graham is in a similar boat like Greg Olsen. Between being nicked up and not used properly last year, Graham could find himself in the bounce back category this season as well. With new Head Coach Matt Lafleur calling the shots and seeing how he likes to use Tight Ends (remember Delanie Walker anyone?), Graham could find himself being used a lot better. Graham saw 89 targets last season and may have to compete with MVS and Allison for targets but he may see enough work to be a low-end Tight End at a value. Graham's ADP is in the back end of the 13th round so he's a low risk grab that's probably not being drafted. Take a shot on Graham if you decide to wait for a TE.
10. Vance McDonald - Pittsburgh Steelers
McDonald actually finished as a Top 10 TE last season and his workload could be growing this season as McDonald should also be a beneficiary to the target vacuum that was left when Antonio Brown was traded. McDonald saw 72 targets last season with Brown on the field and so it stands to reason that McDonald will get a piece of that Antonio Brown target pie. Hopefully that means a bit more targets for scores too.
I won't have any other guys that "Just missed the cut" this time around as the other TE's I have thought of could be viewed as sleepers. Guys like the Jets TE Chris Herndon, who was generating a bit of buzz himself before he killed it with a two game suspension or Ben Watson reuniting with New England but who is also serving a suspension to start the season. There are other guys out there being talked about like ATL's Austin Hooper and B-More's Mark Andrews but I'm not totally sold on those guys.
But this wraps up another big board! Stay tuned because Quarterback is coming soon....!