Fantasy football managers love finding sleepers – players who are going toward the end of drafts despite having high upside for the upcoming season.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
Hill, a former quarterback, has been used as a Swiss Army Knife by the Saints before being converted to play “move” tight end this spring. He’s going undrafted in most leagues (224 overall ADP), but if you’re ever thin at the position, Hill could be an intriguing add off the waiver wire during the season. Hill has rushed for 13 touchdowns over the last two seasons and even a one-yard rushing TD could make him a candidate to rank among the top scoring “tight ends” on any given week.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
Higbee finished 14th in scoring among TEs last year, and he’s now being drafted 16th. That’s not a huge discrepancy, but Higbee probably deserves a little more love than he’s getting. Higbee has scored five touchdowns in each of the last two seasons and his targets improved from 60 in 2020 to 85 in 2021. There are a lot of weapons in Los Angeles, but Higbee’s worth a look in deep leagues, especially if No. 3 receiver Van Jefferson (knee) is sluggish in his recovery.
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Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings
Smith (TE19 ADP) could turn out to be a big steal in fantasy this year. After scoring five touchdowns in his second season in 2020, Smith then missed the entire 2021 campaign with a torn meniscus. There’s no question that the former second-round pick has talent, and he’s now healthy again in a fantasy-relevant offense. He’s a waiver wire prospect to watch in 10-team leagues and a sleeper to consider in deeper leagues.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
It seems strange to call Gesicki a sleeper, but he’s going 14th among tight ends this offseason after finishing eighth in scoring at the position last year. The Dolphins did bring in Tyreek Hill this offseason, but that might actually help Gesicki instead of hurt him. With Hill drawing extra attention on the outside and deep down field, there should be plenty of opportunities for Gesicki to make plays in the middle of the field. Despite unflattering reports surrounding his expected role, a tight end coming off a 112-target season shouldn’t be going as late as Gesicki has been.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos
After getting rotational snaps through his first two seasons, Okwuegbunam (TE20 ADP) is now the guy in Denver after the Broncos sent Noah Fant to the Seahawks as part of the Russell Wilson trade. After catching 33 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns last year, “Albert O” will now feature as a full-time starter in an offense that should get a big boost from Wilson’s arrival. He probably doesn’t need to be drafted in most leagues, but Okwuegbunam could end up being the top waiver wire TE of the season.