Fantasy football rookie preview: Tight ends

Fantasy football rookie preview: Tight ends

Rookie Analysis

Fantasy football rookie preview: Tight ends

Now that we have had some time to digest the NFL draft and its aftermath, us fantasy footballers are excitedly waiting to add some of the rookies to our fake teams. Deciding which players have fantasy worth in 2018 comes down to assessing the likelihood of playing time. The following players are ranked in order of anticipated opportunity and corresponding value.

Rookie previews: QB | RB | WR

(Jeff Blake, USA TODAY Sports)

Hayden Hurst | Baltimore Ravens | 6-5, 250 | South Carolina

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2015
SC
8
106
13.3
47
0
2016
SC
48
616
12.8
47
1
2017
SC
41
518
12.6
62
2

The 25th overall pick, Hurst brings athleticism and downfield ability to the Ravens. A former baseball prospect, in fact a 17th-round choice by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hurst has room to grow as a tight end and is entering a franchise with a tradition of utilizing the position.

Rookies at this position rarely contribute meaningfully in fantasy. There are, of course, recent exceptions in Evan Engram and Hunter Henry, providing fantasy owners hope for Hurst. Draft him as a TE2 with cautious optimistic.

Mike Gesicki | Miami Dolphins | 6-6, 247 | Penn State

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
PSU
11
114
10.4
30
0
2015
PSU
13
125
9.6
33
1
2016
PSU
48
679
14.1
53
5
2017
PSU
51
501
9.8
35
9

Miami could throw this rookie into the fire on Day 1 as a pass-catching option. There is little chance Gesicki is utilized much, if at all, as an inline blocker. The offense needs to replace Jarvis Landry’s 161 targets, many of which came on underneath routes.

The learning curve will be steep, so any consistency in fantasy gains are likely to come in the second half of the 2018 season. Gesicki has a brilliant future and is no more promising than a risk-reward TE2.

(Sergio Estrada, USA TODAY Sports)

Dalton Schultz | Dallas Cowboys | 6-6, 244 | Stanford

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2015
STAN
10
121
12.1
22
1
2016
STAN
23
222
9.7
30
1
2017
STAN
20
204
10.2
36
3

Dummies don’t get into Stanford, which bodes well for Schultz’s ability to pick up the offense in Year 1. The retirement of Jason Witten paves the way for this rookie to have immediate fantasy value. Dallas has a young tight end named Rico Gathers, a big-bodied talent coming off of a promising 2017 preseason. He is also coming back from a concussion serious enough to place him on IR. A 2017 seventh-round pick in Geoff Swaim remains on the roster, as well. Blake Jarwin also will compete.

Look for a committee approach at the position for at least the short term, unless someone stands out in the offseason. Schultz is the most intriguing of this group, but he is not a complete player. In best-case scenario, he is a late-round TE2 gamble.

Chris Herndon | New York Jets | 6-4, 253 | Miami (Fla.)

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2015
MIAMI
18
237
13.2
46
1
2016
MIAMI
28
334
11.9
48
2
2017
MIAMI
40
477
11.9
51
4

Among the most complete tight ends in this draft class, Herndon enters an interesting situation with a Jets offense seeking a viable starter at the position. Jordan Leggett and Clive Walford are mostly unproven, but being veterans, they may have an instant leg up on the incoming Herndon. Monitor the situation throughout the summer and consider Herndon as a potential TE2.

Will Dissly | Seattle Seahawks | 6-4, 262 | Washington

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2016
WASH
4
47
11.8
27
1
2017
WASH
19
230
12.1
29
2

A better blocker than receiver, Dissly will need time to feel his way through the learning curve of the NFL. Seattle is weak at the position and could opt to cast him into the flames from the onset of his career, which would provide gamers another body to consider but not much else. Watch his offseason and toss him into the column of players with fringe appeal should he land the job.

(Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports)

Dallas Goedert | Philadelphia Eagles | 6-5, 256 | South Dakota State

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
SDAKST
8
100
12.5
21
0
2015
SDAKST
26
484
18.6
77
3
2016
SDAKST
92
1293
14.1
70
11
2017
SDAKST
72
1111
15.4
57
7

Size, speed, athleticism and a pair of monster mitts (10 1/4 inches) helped create a pair of fine seasons, albeit against lesser competition. He will be worked into the game plan in Philly behind Zach Ertz, likely filling the change-up role vacated by Trey Burton.

A creative offensive staff will find ways to get Goedert the ball in space and limit his need to process what is going on around him. He is likely the future of the position for the Eagles, although not until probably 2020 ish. For now, his short-term draft worth is merely as a late-round flier.

Mark Andrews | Baltimore Ravens | 6-5, 256 | Oklahoma

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2015
OKLA
19
318
16.7
61
7
2016
OKLA
31
489
15.8
64
7
2017
OKLA
58
906
15.6
59
8

Remember former Ravens tight end Todd Heap? He is an apt comparison for Andrews, the second tight end added in this draft by Baltimore. Given the lack of proven talent at the position on this roster, it isn’t crazy to think two rookies could contribution for fantasy purposes. That said, spending anything earlier than a late-rounder on a backup rookie TE is burning a pick.

(Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports)

Jordan Akins | Houston Texans | 6-3, 249 | Central Florida

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
UCF
12
135
11.3
22
0
2015
UCF
14
152
10.9
33
2
2016
UCF
23
347
15.1
71
2
2017
UCF
30
459
15.3
48
4

Stephen Anderson and Ryan Griffin will vie for the starting job, but Akins, a 26-year-old rookie and a third-rounder, doesn’t have too far of a climb if he impresses. The former two tight ends are hardly elite talents. Keep tabs on Akins’ growth this summer.

Ryan Izzo | New England Patriots | 6-5, 256 | Florida State

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
FSU
1
7
7.0
7
0
2015
FSU
14
210
15.0
37
2
2016
FSU
19
227
11.9
39
1
2017
FSU
14
258
18.4
60
3

Not a dynamic athlete, Izzo is a well-rounded player whose brightest days are several seasons from now. As a seventh-round pick, he will fight for a roster spot and belongs nowhere near a fantasy lineup as long as Rob Gronkowski is upright.

Troy Fumagalli | Denver Broncos | 6-5, 247 | Wisconsin

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
WIS
14
187
13.4
28
0
2015
WIS
28
313
11.2
31
1
2016
WIS
47
580
12.3
30
2
2017
WIS
43
516
12.0
44
4

The former Badger is a respectable athlete and an effort blocker, though he is raw. Denver continues to throw darts at the wall to see which one sticks at the tight end position. Barring a miraculous ascension during the summer, Fumagalli figures to be undraftable in 2018.

(Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports)

Tyler Conklin | Minnesota Vikings | 6-3, 254 | Central Michigan

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2015
CMU
6
95
15.8
25
0
2016
CMU
42
560
13.3
35
6
2017
CMU
28
406
14.5
42
5

Injuries could be a concern in the long haul. As long as Kyle Rudolph is healthy, Conklin will be slowly worked into the system and may not even touch the ball in 2018.

Jordan Thomas | Houston Texans | 6-6, 265 | Mississippi State

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2016
MSST
9
48
5.3
13
1
2017
MSST
20
227
11.4
24
3

Extremely raw, Thomas was an upside pick in the sixth round for what he could become with proper grooming. It is entirely likely he doesn’t touch the ball in 2018, provided he makes the final roster.

Durham Smythe | Miami Dolphins | 6-5, 253 | Notre Dame

YEAR
TEAM
REC
YDS
AVG
LNG
TD
2014
ND
1
7
7.0
7
0
2015
ND
3
18
6.0
7
1
2016
ND
9
112
12.4
31
4
2017
ND
13
234
18.0
33
1

Mike Gesicki was Miami’s earlier tight end selection as a receiving type, and Smythe is purely a blocker. He has no fantasy value.

THE LATEST

More Huddle
Home