Fantasy Football Do Not Draft List: Tight Ends
To be a great player in fantasy football, you’re going to need to learn a few things. One being your fandom, put it aside. Just because I’m from Chicago and a Bears fan doesn’t mean that I can’t own any Packers players. In fact, I want a lot more of them than I do Bears players. Second, put your hatred for a player aside. Just because he’s hurt you in the past doesn’t mean he will in the future. We’re not talking about ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends here. So many people hang on to stuff like this and it’ll negatively affect your chances of winning that coveted fantasy football trophy.
You also need to know that just because you don’t love a player, it doesn’t mean you can’t draft him. There’ve been times where I’ve had someone say, “Uh, Mike, you said that you didn’t like that player on a podcast, so why did you just draft him?” This is when you know that you’ve become a good fantasy football player. Why? Because you’ve become smart enough to know that every player has value, regardless of whether or not you like him.
Earlier this week, we posted the Do Not Draft list for quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, so we’re moving on to the final position of the group, tight ends. This is essentially my fantasy football “black list” of players at the position. Again, does it mean that you absolutely do not draft them? No, but it means that you shouldn’t even consider them at their current price.
Delanie Walker (TEN) Current Positional ADP: 6
We’re now a few months removed from the draft and a few weeks removed from the Titans signing of Eric Decker, yet Walker hasn’t moved down in ADP. Just one year after he saw a career-high 133 targets in 2015, Walker was reduced to 102 targets in 2016 which ranked sixth at the position. In what was a great year for the Titans offense and a bad year for tight ends, you would’ve thought he’d finish higher than the No. 5 tight end. Walker is far from a bad draft pick, but with Corey Davis being selected at No. 5 overall, Taywan Taylor impressing in mini-camp, and now red-zone monster Decker signing a one-year contract, there’s no reason to select Walker essentially right where he finished last year. He’s still a TE1, just a low-end one with minimal upside.
Zach Ertz (PHI) Current Positional ADP: 11
Every year we hear the hype about Ertz, and every year we’re let down. Sure, he finished as the No. 8 tight end last year, but what about the fact that he scored 25 percent of his fantasy points in one game? Did I mention that that one game didn’t even matter to 95 percent of fantasy players, as it took place in Week 17? There were two games in 2016 where Jordan Matthews missed, and in those games Ertz averaged 15.5 targets, 11.0 receptions, 109.0 yards, and 1.5 touchdowns. Seriously, that’s ridiculous. Even more ridiculous are his numbers with Matthews in the lineup where he averaged 6.3 targets, 4.7 receptions, 49.8 yards, and 0.1 touchdowns. Do you think it’ll help that Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith signed? Or that Matthews will be on the field and healthy? We’ve seen his upside, sure, but we also know what it took for him to get there. He’s outside the TE1 range and is just a streamer at this point.
O.J. Howard (TB) Current Positional ADP: 12
As much hype as a rookie tight end can get, Howard got it. He was deemed the most pro-ready tight end to come out of college in a long time. While that may be true, he just went to one of the worst situations possible, as the Buccaneers not only signed DeSean Jackson in free agency, they also drafted possession-style receiver Chris Godwin. Not that Godwin will have a role right away, either, but it’s another piece of the puzzle. The Buccaneers have also come out after the draft stating that 2016-breakout Cameron Brate is still heavily involved in their plans going forward, and why shouldn’t he be after leading all tight ends in touchdowns last year? Howard is going to be a threat in this offense for a long time, but it’s going to take time for him to develop into a full-time player. He’s an easy pass at his current ADP.