Nailing the end of your draft is vital in the best ball format. Even if you have a Travis Kelce (TE – KC) or a George Kittle (TE – SF), you are probably going to take a tight end towards the end of your draft in a best ball league. Let’s break down a few late-round, tight-end dart throws that could potentially bolster your roster.
The U of Miami product had 36 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns while splitting time with Austin Hooper (TE – TEN) last season. Hooper is now in Tennessee. Njoku figures to be the clear-cut TE1 in Cleveland now and should see a much bigger role in this upcoming season. When Njoku had a similar role for the Browns in 2018, he finished with 56 receptions for 639 yards and four scores.
In addition to a likely upgrade in volume, Njoku will enjoy a significant upgrade with his new quarterback. Deshaun Watson (QB – CLE) tossed for over 4,800 yards and had a touchdown/interception ratio of 33 to seven in his last season. He will be a massive upgrade over Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE), who was awful at times last season. Watson provides a huge fantasy boost to Cleveland’s skill players. Look for a potential breakout year for Njoku as the presumptive TE1 in Cleveland. If you can grab him in the later rounds of your draft, that is a home run, especially in best ball.
Everett posted career-highs across the board last season for Seattle, hauling in 48 receptions for 478 yards and four touchdowns. Everett signed a two-year deal with the Chargers this offseason. He should benefit from a quarterback upgrade in Los Angeles. Going from half a season of catching balls from Geno Smith (QB – SEA) to now playing with Justin Herbert (QB – LAC) is an ideal change of fortune.
Look for Everett to play a similar role in this Chargers offense to LA’s Jared Cook (TE – FA) a season ago. Cook had 48 grabs on 83 targets and racked up 564 yards and four touchdowns in 2021. He is no longer with the team, and Los Angeles has not added another tight besides Everett this offseason. Cook had some big games last season, and I expect the same from Everett this season with the Chargers, which is even better in the best ball format. Expect Everett to put up numbers in 2022 that are close to Cook’s in 2021. He should end up being a very solid selection if you are looking for an underrated tight end in the latter rounds of your draft.
The Alabama product had five touchdowns and 365 receiving yards on 30 receptions in his second pro season for the Vikings in 2021. Smith played second fiddle to Tyler Conklin (TE – NYJ) last season, who is now with the New York Jets. The former second-round pick finally figures to be atop the depth chart at tight end for Minnesota, as the Vikings currently do not have another tight end on the roster that recorded more than one reception last season. Smith should see a huge increase in volume this season and that should lead to a big-time numbers boost. I would not be surprised at all if Smith has a breakout 2022. He is a tight end that you should look to steal in fantasy this year.
Hooper should greatly benefit from a change of scenery this offseason. He was splitting time with David Njoku in Cleveland last season and as a result, posted his lowest reception, yardage and touchdown totals since his rookie year in 2016. Hooper inked a one-year deal with the Titans in free agency, and he will be the clear-cut number one option at tight end for Tennessee in 2022. Hooper had a terrific 2019 season with the Falcons in his last clear-cut number one role. In that season, Hooper had 75 grabs for 787 yards and six touchdowns.
I think we may see a fantasy renaissance for Hooper in Tennesee as the lead tight end. His numbers will certainly be better than they were last year. If those numbers can approach anything close to Hooper’s 2019 performance, he could present as one of the bigger steals in fantasy football in 2022.
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