Which TE2s Could Finish in the Top 5? (2021 Fantasy Football)
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The tight end is the most top-heavy position in fantasy football. Outside of the top 2-to-3 tight ends every year, being a TE1 really isn’t that hard. Rob Gronkowski had only 45 catches in 2020, but he still finished as TE9 in PPR because he had seven touchdowns. While being a TE1 isn’t that hard, being top five is a different story. When I was asked to write about tight ends that are currently being drafted as a TE2 but have Top 5 potential, there were a few names that popped into my head right away…
Evan Engram (NYG) TE17
There were only five tight ends in 2020 that received at least 100 targets — and four of those five finished the season as a TE1. The one that didn’t? You guessed it, Evan Engram. Not only did those other four tight ends finish as TE1s, but they all also finished inside the top 5! T.J. Hockenson had the lowest finish at TE5, with Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and Logan Thomas finishing one, two, and three respectively. The biggest thing holding Engram back was the lack of touchdowns — he had one receiving and one rushing touchdown all season. That’s not going to cut it.
With the Giants improving their passing options by signing Kenny Golladay and drafting Kadarius Toney — and the return of Saquan Barkley — Engram could see fewer overall targets but could end up with more touchdowns in what should be an improved offense. Engram is only 26, and he is still an athletic freak, which should make him an excellent late-round target if you like to wait to draft your tight end.
Adam Trautman (NO) TE26
Trautman is a little bit of a reach being that he is only in his second year, and did very little with Drew Brees his rookie season. In 2021, he will have to deal with a downgrade at QB — no matter which QB wins the starting job — and a likely downgrade in overall offensive team production. However, what he does have going for him, assuming Jameis Winston were to win the starting job, is that Winston has shown an affinity for the tight end position. Winston once made Cameron Brate a TE1 in Tampa Bay, and Trautman is a much better athlete than Brate.
At 6-foot-5 255lbs, Trautman will make for an excellent red-zone target, and as I mentioned in the open, touchdowns are the key to being a TE1 and ultimately to make it into the top 5.
Gerald Everett (SEA) TE23
The Seattle offense historically hasn’t involved the tight end between the 20s, but when they get to the red zone it’s a different story. Here are the touchdown totals for Seahawk tight ends over the last five years:
- 2020 – 8 TDs
- 2019 – 7 TDs
- 2018 – 8 TDs
- 2017 – 15 TDs
- 2016 – 8 TDs
Granted, some of those years they had a tight end by committee, but the one year they had a tight end stay healthy all season and be “the guy” was 2017 when Jimmy Graham led the team with 10 TDs. This year, that player could be Gerald Everett. The only other tight end of note on the roster per Ourlads.com is Will Dissly, whom we all love, but he can’t stay healthy.
Everett is a big athletic tight end that can be a huge asset in the red zone, and if he is the beneficiary of those tight end TDs, he could easily be top five. Last season, outside of Travis Kelce (11), Darren Waller (9), and Robert Tonyan (11), no other tight end had more than eight touchdowns.
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