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Trey Burton Is Having A Career Resurgence In Indianapolis (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Oct 20, 2020

Do you remember when Burton went to Chicago and was the next big thing? He had just finished a four-year stint behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia, and he scored five touchdowns in his last season there. Fantasy managers were excited. And in his first season, he showed up — Burton finished as the TE8 in PPR in 2018 on the back of six touchdowns.

Then Burton disappeared. In 2019, he played in nine games and caught just 14 passes. He failed to score a single touchdown and finished as the TE71.

But was his putrid 2019 just a fluke? We all know that Mitch Trubisky regressed severely, so maybe the off-year wasn’t his fault.

Through six games, it looks like Burton is back on track. Philip Rivers is definitely an upgrade at quarterback, too, so I’m excited about his fantasy outlook.

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Player Profile

Burton is a 28-year-old tight end in his seventh NFL season. He has 142 career receptions for 1,389 yards and 13 scores, but he’s only once played a full season as a team’s starting tight end. He signed with the Colts on a one-year deal to reunite with his old offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, who literally used Burton’s old tape to show the other tight ends how to run routes.

So what’s Burton’s appeal? Not only is he an experienced route-runner, but he’s also athletic for a tight end. He ran an 88th-percentile 40-yard dash and has 67th-percentile agility. That’s better than Mo Alie-Cox (45th, 34th) and Jack Doyle (17th, N/A).

He missed the first few games this year with a calf injury, but he’s totaled 16 targets, 11 catches, and 107 receiving yards since his return. He also added two yards and a touchdown on one rushing attempt.

State of the Offense

As much as I like Burton, the Colts aren’t an offense to target. They were attempting the fifth-fewest passes per game before Week 6 (Philip Rivers’ 44 attempts last week has since increased their ranking dramatically), and they will try to grind out wins against opposing teams unless they get behind early.

That said, Burton has earned a consistent role in this offense. He hasn’t seen fewer than five targets in a game since being activated, and that’s despite having to play alongside both Doyle and Alie-Cox at different points.

Burton is looking like the tight end to roster in this offense. Although he doesn’t enough targets to be a consistent TE1, he’s not a bad streaming option.

Burton’s Outlook

The Colts have a bye in Week 7, and they’ll play the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens after that. Although the Lions might be a team to fade Burton against (they rank second-best against the position in PPR), he should be fine against the Ravens (they rank 13th-worst against the position).

While I’m somewhat concerned about Alie-Cox’s impending return, I’m confident that the Colts will continue to feature Burton ahead of him.

So should you add Burton this week? Maybe, but you’ll need a backup plan for the next two weeks. Unless you play in a deeper league, you might be better off leaving him on waivers for two weeks before adding him. Just remember that there’s a chance that another manager will pick him up in the interim.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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