Fantasy Football Do Not Draft List: Tight Ends

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Jul 13, 2017

Zach Ertz scored 25 percent of his fantasy points in Week 17 last year.

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.

Mock draft vs. experts with our free fantasy football tools >>

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.

More Players to Avoid
Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Google Play | TuneIn | RSS

Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.


What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
Play for your share of $1m+
for FREE with first deposit
DRAFT photo
Play fantasy drafts for cash with a money back guarantee
CBS Sports photo
Serious Fantasy Football
Get our Mobile App!

Enter your phone number below, and we'll text you a link to download the app.

1Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
2Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
3Mark Ingram (NO)RB
4Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
5LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
6Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
7Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
8Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
9Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
10Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Julio Jones (ATL)WR
12Carlos Hyde (SF)RB
13A.J. Green (CIN)WR
14Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
15Travis Kelce (KC)TE
16Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
17DeMarco Murray (TEN)RB
18Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
19Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
20Zach Ertz (PHI)TE
21Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
22Mike Evans (TB)WR
23Jay Ajayi (PHI)RB
24Michael Thomas (NO)WR
25Lamar Miller (HOU)RB
26Tevin Coleman (ATL)RB
27DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
28Dion Lewis (NE)RB
29Samaje Perine (WAS)RB
30Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
1Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
4Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
5Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
6Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
7Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
8Joey Votto (CIN)1B
9Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
10Chris Sale (BOS)SP
 View All Rankings 
11Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
12Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
13Corey Seager (LAD)SS
14Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
15Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
16Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
17Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
18Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
19George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
20Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
21Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
22Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
23Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B,DH
24Yu Darvish (FA)SP
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
27Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B,DH
28J.D. Martinez (FA)RF
29Madison Bumgarner (SF)SP
30Jose Abreu (CWS)1B,DH
1Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
2Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
3James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
6Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
7Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
8Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
9LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
10Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11John Wall (WAS)PG
12DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
13Chris Paul (HOU)PG
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
16Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
19Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
20Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
21Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
22Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
23Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
24Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
25CJ McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26Mike Conley (MEM)PG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Marc Gasol (MEM)C
30Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C