Fantasy football: Five tight ends to keep a close eye on in 2020

Noah Fant can be a weapon for Drew Lock. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Noah Fant can be a weapon for Drew Lock. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 29: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Oakland Raiders runs onto the field before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 16-15. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders

I’m sure a lot of us were surprised by the emergence of Darren Waller last year. He burst onto the scene with 90 receptions on 117 targets for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. As a result, his numbers placed him towards the top of the food chain as he was TE3.

Waller wasn’t much of a fantasy name before last season as he spent his first four seasons of his career as a blocker for the Baltimore Ravens. Nevertheless, this season wasn’t a fluke as the loss of stud receiver Antonio Brown right before the start of the 2019 season forced the Raiders to find other receivers to rely on. He led the team in both receptions and receiving yards despite sub-par quarterback play from Derek Carr.

Tyrell Williams was second in yards (651) and Hunter Renfrow was the runner-up in catches (71). The stark contrast between Waller’s production and his teammates’ states that when given the opportunity, he is just as good as the likes of the big tight ends such as Travis Kelce, George Kittle, or Zach Ertz.

Even though the Raiders went out and selected receiver Henry Ruggs, his presence shouldn’t have too much of a significant impact on Waller’s production for 2020. Considering that Waller is a big target and was the best receiver on the squad last season, I’m sure Jon Gruden and the Raiders will figure out schemes to feed him and Ruggs a healthy number of targets in 2020.

It’s not often to see talent as special as Waller in this league and he should be taken seriously and not treated as a one-hit-wonder track in fantasy.

And with that, this concludes my segment involving five tight ends who should be considered by fantasy managers in 2020.

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The tight end position is a difficult one to successfully fill in fantasy every year by many. We tend to devote more of our attention to the running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks. That often leads to us viewing tight ends as an afterthought due to the position having a more shallow selection pool. On the contrary, they are just as important and can play a major role in your fantasy team’s success if you go about it correctly.

Hopefully this can shed some light on other options not initially thought of. It’s good to have a wide array of choices so the selection process for all of us fantasy managers can go smoothly on draft day.