Joey’s Labor Day ADP Values, Sleepers, and Busts: Tight Endsby Joe Ricotta September 7, 2020 0 comments
Round three of my Labor Day special series! This time we’re taking a look at some values, sleepers, and busts at the tight end position for PPR redraft leagues. Tight end is a super volatile position that you should either spend up at for the top two guys like Travis Kelce or George Kittle or wait until the very end and grab a value guy or two. Outside of those two, here are some guys to consider and a couple to avoid.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans
The only other pass-catcher you want any part of in Tennessee is A.J. Brown. Expect them to lean heavily on Derrick Henry and their rushing attack again this season, continuing what helped them have so much success. They ran the ball 48.8 percent of the time, third-most in the NFL. However, if they stick to a conservative approach, Smith could have some value. He was the second-most targeted for them in the red zone (14.6 percent), only a notch below Brown’s team-leading 16.7 percent of red zone targets. Smith isn’t coming off the board until early in the 14th round of most 10-team PPR leagues.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Phillip Rivers loves throwing to tight ends. Eric Ebron is out of the picture, setting Doyle up for all of the work. Rivers struggled last year, but a lot of that can be attributed to lackluster line play from the Los Angeles Chargers. Head coach Frank Reich loves tight ends maybe even more than Rivers. They are a huge part of his offensive scheme in both the rushing and passing attack. As brutal as Rivers was last year, it’s an upgrade from Jacoby Brissett. Look for Doyle to improve on his career-low 2019 catch rate of 59.7 percent. Even with that catch rate, he still managed to finish with 43 catches and four touchdowns on 72 targets, which helped him finish as TE15 last year. Right now, at least 18 tight ends are being drafted ahead of him. He’s a steal at his ADP, late in drafts.
Chris Herndon, New York Jets
Oh, how quickly people turn their backs on a once lovable sleeper pick. Just a year ago, a lot of the fantasy community was all over this dude to have a breakout season. Herndon started out the season suspended for the first few weeks, then suffered a hamstring strain, finally made his debut in Week 10, but then missed the rest of the season due to a chest rib fracture. In 2018, Sam Darnold and Herndon had great chemistry and connected on many broken plays, where Herndon would free himself from coverage and work his way back. The New York Jets really only have Jamison Crowder to rely on so expect Herndon to cash in a little later than expected on his breakout.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team
Outside of really deep leagues with expanded benches or tight end premium leagues, I’m not sure you need to draft Thomas. However, he’s someone to keep an eye on and put on your watch list. Thomas has been named the starter for Washington. His blocking ability and strength will keep him on the field, while he has good enough hands and route running ability to emerge as one of Dwayne Haskins’ top weapons. The depth chart and options are slim pickings after Terry McLaurin. Monitor the situation closely and don’t be afraid to scoop him off waivers after the first week or two.
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Oh, the hype and excitement is real for many casual fantasy players. It’s fine to be excited, but what really excites me is winning. Gronk won’t play as much of a vital role in Tampa Bay’s offense as some others think he will, evidenced by his current seventh-round ADP. That’s about six rounds too early. Sure, comfortability means something, especially to Tom Brady. He’ll look Gronk’s way in the red zone, but how reliable is that when there are a lot of other tight end options who should receive a more steady volume, while also getting red zone looks? Additionally, he’s been out of football for a full season. He’s not going to be on the field every snap. Gronk needs to really fall down the board for me to take him in leagues without tight end premium scoring.
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
For the longest time, it’s been a one-man pass-catching show in New Orleans. It’s been Drew Brees to Michael Thomas and forget the rest. That’s why Cook was able to put up some decent numbers. He really was the second-best wide receiver. This offseason, the Saints added veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders. He steps in and takes away a lot of the volume Cook was getting. The absurd nine touchdowns from a year ago should also come down. He’s currently going as TE11, which is way too early. Pass on Cook.
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