When drafting a tight end for your fantasy football team, you can find value late in the draft and still be successful.
We’re already a couple of days into July. Teams are reporting to OTAs. Fantasy football rankings are being published. It’s time to prepare for your draft. One way to prepare is knowing what position to draft with what pick to get the most value for your team.
The tight end position is the most top-heavy position in fantasy football. If you don’t draft one of the top four or five options, depending on your personal rankings, you are better off waiting until late in the draft.
I look at drafting a tight end like drafting a catcher for fantasy baseball, and I take this from the great Ricky Bobby, “if you’re not first, you’re last.” This gives me more opportunities to stack up on running backs (another top-heavy position) and wide receivers.
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Here are my top-five tight ends with fantasy football value that could be drafted late.
Chris Herndon, NYJ
The Jets offense did not look that bad with rookie Sam Darnold under center. Now, with a full year under his belt and the addition of star running back Le’Veon Bell, Darnold and the passing game will be even better this season.
Herndon is going to be a crucial part to Darnold’s success. He started in 12 of the 16 games and racked up 39 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns. Herndon was second among all pass catchers in each category for the Jets.
Herndon ranks outside the top 15 on most platforms. The position isn’t as deep as others. If you miss out on one of the top options, Herndon is a solid backup.
Jack Doyle, IND
The Colts are one of the many teams to go with a two-tight end set. Eric Ebron had his career season with 66 catches, 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. Most of that came with Doyle on the IR.
Now that Doyle is back, the Colts will likely have both tight ends on the field. In 2017, Doyle had 80 catches for 690 yards and four touchdowns. I think both options meet in the middle by the end of the season.
Ebron isn’t the poster child for a healthy athlete so this year may be Doyle’s year to have a breakout season.
Mark Andrews, BAL
The Ravens offense is going to focus on the ground game. With Lamar Jackson’s legs and the running back corps of Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon and rookie Justice Hill. Though, they do have to throw the ball some time.
Andrews was the leading tight end for the Ravens. In 16 games (three starts), he had 34 receptions, 552 yards and three touchdowns, fifth, fourth and third among all Ravens pass catchers.
Greg Olsen, CAR
Having the veteran on this list may feel like cheating but after playing a combined 16 games over the last two seasons, Olsen is definitely a sleeper pick. From Week 5 to 12 of last season, he caught 25 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns.
The Panthers lost Devin Funchess this off-season, he had 44 catches, 549 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games last year. Someone has to pick up the slack and looking at the wide receiver depth chart, I think Cam Newton relies on Olsen more.
Olsen comes in at No. 15 on my top-30 tight end rankings but don’t be surprised if he gets close to 12 or even 10.
Dallas Goedert, PHI
The only way Goedert has any fantasy football value is if Zach Ertz missing significant time with an injury. Don’t worry, I didn’t jinx him. Unlike most teams, the Eagles don’t run a two-TE set. They have more skilled wide receivers than they know what to do with them. We’ll see plenty of three-WR sets from them.
As a rookie, Goedert caught 33 passes for 334 yards and a touchdown. He ranked 22nd, 23rd and ninth among all tight ends, respectively. The Eagles offense is going to move downfield through the arm of Carson Wentz as they have a committee in the backfield.
Goedert will get some fantasy points throughout the season but not enough to warrant a starting job. He’s a must-have in deep leagues and a handcuff for Ertz owners.
The tight end position is loaded at the top but there is an obvious drop off when looking at the rankings. Depending on your league settings, you may be able to wait a few extra rounds before selecting your starter.