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2016 Tight End Busts (Fantasy Football)

by Anthony Sciarratta
Aug 25, 2016

Gary Barnidge

Changes in Cleveland could mean regression for Gary Barnidge

The 2016 fantasy football season is here, and it’s time to start discussing which players can help win a championship. Tight end is a position that is undervalued in drafts across the country. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t make or break a fantasy team. Here are the top five tight ends who may turn out to be busts.

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Gary Barnidge (CLE): ADP TE8
Barnidge had a very convincing campaign last season. He was one of the few bright spots on the Cleveland Browns’ entire offense. With two very shaky quarterbacks on the roster, Barnidge managed to catch 79 receptions for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. Unfortunately, Barnidge has a few things going against him.

Even though Hue Jackson may be an offensive-minded coach, that doesn’t mean quarterback Robert Griffin III is going to return to his rookie form. Griffin is going to have to go through a transitional period that may result in an offense that relies more heavily on the running game. Griffin also has wide receiver Josh Gordon back on the roster, who is a sure-fire playmaker, along with rookie Corey Coleman. In turn, Barnidge’s production will decline.

Dwayne Allen (IND): ADP TE16
While his ADP is in TE2 range, Allen is a popular sleeper entering the season. Allen has missed a total of 21 games in his career. Health is clearly a concern for the young tight end. The Indianapolis Colts also happen to have a number of offensive weapons. This is bound to lead to reduced production for Allen despite the fact that he’s the team’s No. 1 TE following the departure of Coby Fleener. Andrew Luck loves to spread the ball around. Even though Allen will be a red-zone option, that doesn’t mean he’ always going to produce.

Jordan Reed (WAS): ADP TE2
Reed is currently ranked among the top five fantasy football tight ends. However, this doesn’t mean that he can’t end up being a bust. Reed is one of the more consistent options on the Washington Redskins’ offense. Kirk Cousins is finally coming into his own as a quarterback. Reed will benefit from more consistent quarterback play.

Reed has the talent to be a major asset to any fantasy football team, but injuries have largely kept him from taking that next step. Last season, Reed suffered a concussion, an injury which he has sustained for a number of years. Concussions shouldn’t be taken lightly and the amount of times Reed has been diagnosed with one shouldn’t either.

Eric Ebron (DET): ADP TE18
Like Allen, many like Ebron to break out this season and finally reach TE1 status. Ebron was supposed to be the Rob Gronkowski of his draft class, and he obviously didn’t turn out that way. Ebron put up 537 yards and scored five touchdowns last season.

Ebron should see more looks now that Calvin Johnson retired and Matthew Stafford has fewer options. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ebron will miss the rest of the preseason from an ankle injury he suffered two weeks ago. Starting the season off with an injury makes no fantasy football player sleep easy. Even if Ebron does have the talent to succeed, the Detroit Lions’ offense is an area of concern. They will have issues driving down the field and putting Ebron in the red zone.

Delanie Walker (TEN): ADP TE5
Walker turned 32 this month. That could be enough to put him in the bust category. At 32 years old, Waker is a member of a team that has problems producing offensively. Yes, Marcus Mariota brought the team’s offense to life last season and, Walker reaped the benefits. He totaled a career-best 1,088 yards last season. Walker will have a hard time repeating the same performance this year with a more crowded offense and getting another year older.

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Anthony Sciarratta is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Anthony follow him on Twitter @ant_sciarratta.

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