Tight Ends to Avoid at Current ADP (2019 Fantasy Football)
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Last week, we checked in on quarterbacks to avoid at their current average draft position (ADP). Next, we’ll turn to another position that tends to involve streaming, tight end. Like QB, there are top-tier players that owners can set and forget, but it’s likely that at least half of your league will be taking a later-round flier on a player and potentially working the waiver wire to piece together a TE1 performance.
Unlike previous years, there is some serious draft capital being throw at the tight end position. As such, let’s look and see who our writers are currently avoiding at their current ADP.
Which tight end are you avoiding at their current ADP?
Eric Ebron (IND): ADP TE7
Nothing screams regression quite like a player having scored more than half of his fantasy points from touchdowns. A whopping 54 percent of Eric Ebron’s points in standard leagues last season came from him reaching the end zone. Ebron’s chances of duplicating that would be slim-to-none even had the Colts not added a plethora of offensive weapons in the offseason. The addition of Devin Funchess puts a serious dent in his touchdown upside. Parris Campbell will further eat into Ebron’s targets. And last but not least, when both Jack Doyle and Ebron were both active last year, Doyle out-snapped Ebron 331 to 165(!). Do yourself a favor and don’t spent a top-70 pick on a tight end who might not even be on the field for half of his team’s snaps.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)
After underperforming throughout his career with the Detroit Lions, 2014 first-round pick Eric Ebron was one of the most surprising players in the 2018 season. Lining up at tight end for Andrew Luck, Ebron was an absolute machine in the red zone — something he had struggled to accomplish in Detroit. Hauling in 14 TDs, Ebron ended the season as the fourth-ranked TE in PPR leagues. With 110 targets overall, Ebron led the league in End Zone Target Share (according to PlayerProfiler.com) and was Luck’s go-to option any time Indianapolis got near the goal line. As Ebron enters this season ranked seventh among tight ends, there is some major cause for concern. It would be tough for Ebron to maintain his near touchdown per game rate from last year, especially now that Jack Doyle is set to rejoin the lineup on a consistent basis. Out for a majority of 2018, Doyle was still clearly above Ebron in the pecking order when he was in the lineup. In Doyle’s return from injury Week 8 through Week 11, Ebron’s snap counts were 22%, 38%, and 40% compared to Doyle’s 73%, 87%, and 82%. Along with that, Ebron’s production dropped with Doyle in the lineup. Averaging five catches for 53 yards without Doyle, Ebron’s stat line dropped to three catches for 45 yards with Doyle in the lineup. There will undoubtedly be opportunities for Ebron and Doyle to share the field this year, but turning to Ebron and his current ADP presents a risk that may not be offset by the reward. If forced to choose Ebron in the sixth round or Doyle in the last round, Doyle would easily be the preferred option.
– Brian Rzeppa (@brianrzeppa)
Ebron had a career year with the Colts last season, but it’s going to be tough for him to duplicate that absurd season. The thing that scares me most is the return of Jack Doyle. That guy is a personal favorite of Andrew Luck and it’s evident in the target share. In fact, Ebron averaged just 5.3 targets per game with Doyle on the field last year and 8.7 with him out. That doesnt even take into consideration the additions to the receiving core. It’s just going to be very difficult for Ebron to duplicate his 13 TDs from last season.
– Joel Bartilotta (@Bartilottajoel)
Jared Cook (NO): ADP TE8
Let’s face it, Cook had a career year in Oakland in 2018. He had 68 receptions, almost 900 yards, and scored six touchdowns. That was his best season ever after playing a decade in the NFL. His move to New Orleans seems like an upgrade for him, but don’t be fooled. He was the only real pass-catching option Carr had last year. He moves to a Saints’ team with an elite wide receiver (Michael Thomas), a wiley veteran (Ted Ginn), a potential breakout candidate (Tre’Quan Smith) and oh yeah, one of the best running back receivers to play the game today (Alvin Kamara). Before last year, Cook never had more than 759 yards in a season and he did that once. Other than that he’s been a collosal disappointment. Even with Aaron Rodgers he was a bust. Many will say Drew Brees loves targetting tight ends. However, this is not necessarily true. Apart from Jimmy Graham’s heyday, Ben Watson is the only other tight end to get over 631 yards in one season with Brees. And he did it once. Last year he managed only 400 yards in 16 games, less than half of what he got in his breakout year with Brees in 2015. Cook is probably the best tight end Brees has had since Graham, but don’t expect top-10 numbers. Even with Watson’s memorable 2015 season, he only managed to score six touchdowns. That is the most Brees has thrown to a tight end not named Jimmy Graham. And if you think Cook is as good as Jimmy Graham in his prime, then think again. Don’t be surprised if guys behind Cook like David Njoku, Vance McDonald, Austin Hooper, or even a rookie phenom like T.J. Hockenson beats out Cook in fantasy this year.
– Marc Mathyk (@masterjune70)
Evan Engram (NYG): ADP TE5
Engram had a great rookie season with 64 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns, but he regressed in 2019 with 45 receptions for 577 yards and just three touchdowns. Engram struggled on an offense that was hampered by the poor play of quarterback Eli Manning and a bad offensive line that handicapped the offense further. The Giants still have Manning on the roster and Daniel Jones waiting in the wings. This is hardly a stable quarterback situation. On a better offense, I would like Engram’s upside, but on this offense I feel like his ceiling would be needed to justify him being the 62nd overall pick. That is where RB3 and WR3 go in fantasy drafts, and I would much rather have another player at those positions than a tight end on a poor offense. Engram has the talent to be a great fantasy player but not the supporting cast.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)
O.J. Howard (TB): ADP TE4
I like Howard heading into 2019, but his ADP (55 overall as of this writing) has forced me to accept that I won’t have him on any of my teams in 2019. Simply put, he hasn’t done enough for me to trust him, and if I’m taking a TE around 55th overall — before guys like Tarik Cohen, Calvin Ridley, and Jarvis Landry — I better trust him. In the 23 games Howard has played in his career, he has never broken 100 yards or 10 targets in a single game, plus he’s missed nine games in that span. I’d rather wait a couple rounds and get a similarly-risky player while maximizing quality in the previous rounds.
– Donald Gibson (@DonaldGibsonFF)
TE5 through TE9
Over the last couple of years, the tight end position has been a wasteland if you don’t get one of the top guys. This year its no different. After Kelce (TE1), Ertz (TE2), Kittle (TE3), and Howard (TE4), the risk goes way up in my rankings. Evan Engram still has Eli Manning as his quarterback and not many other weapons around him other than Saquan Barkley to have defenses focus on. Henry does have good upside and is on a good offense but can you bank on him staying healthy for a full season? Ebron’s target share is likely to decrease with the additions of Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell, and a healthy Jack Doyle. Jared Cook does have Drew Brees, but we haven’t seen a tight end get a lot of work in that offense since Jimmy Graham left. He will also be the third option on that offense, at best, behind Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. David Njoku had a good opportunity last year but didn’t produce great numbers and now you add Odell Beckham in the mix. I don’t see his production exceeding what he did last year with the mouths to feed in the Brown’s offense this year. I would rather take a chance on a guy like Vance McDonald at his current ADP. With Antonio Brown’s 168 targets off to Oakland and no TE behind him, McDonald could see his role increase.
– Kevin O’Connor (@22koconnor)