5 Tight End Sleepers (2022 Fantasy Football)
Many prefer to draft a stud tight end and avoid the waiver wire streaming game. Drafting a plug-and-play tight end in the first few rounds has its perks. However, spending high draft capital on a tight end instead of a stud running back or wide receiver can be problematic. Another option is to draft a pair of tight ends in the late rounds.
Arguably the best tight end draft strategy is “great or late.” Either you pay the price to draft a stud tight end like Travis Kelce or wait till the final rounds and hope you find a weekly starter.
To help fantasy players target the correct later-round tight ends, here are five sleeper options with an ADP outside the top-12 tight ends.
Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.
Cole Kmet (CHI): ADP 134.4 | TE13
Last year Kmet was second on the team in targets with 93. More importantly, Kmet was very productive in Justin Fields‘ final four starts last season. While Fields left the Week 11 matchup early with an injury, Kmet averaged 7.3 targets and 10.8 fantasy points per game in the other three games. His targets per game were up 25.4% from his season average, while his fantasy points per game were up 34.3% from his season average. More importantly, his 10.8 fantasy points per game average would have made him the TE5 over a 17-game pace despite not scoring a touchdown. Kmet is a prime breakout candidate this year and my favorite tight end to draft in the double-digit rounds.
The late-round TE fantasy players should target… Cole Kmet.
His final 4 games with Justin Fields last year
— Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2) July 28, 2022
David Njoku (CLE): ADP 166.4 | TE17
While he has struggled in his career, Njoku is one of the more popular breakout names at tight end this year. Last season, he played 63.4% of the snaps and had a route participation rate of 56.6%. More importantly, Njoku played a role in the red zone, totaling nine targets and five receptions in the red zone. He had a 10.8% touchdown rate, scoring a touchdown once every nine receptions last year despite being a part-time player. While Amari Cooper is the best receiving option for the Browns, Njoku has a clear path to the No. 2 role. Whether Deshaun Watson or Jacoby Brissett starts at quarterback, Njoku will breakout this season and has top-eight upside.
Gerald Everett (LAC): ADP 186.1 | TE22
One of my favorite late-round tight end targets is Everett. He has averaged only 5.8 fantasy points per game in his career. However, Everett had his best year last season, averaging 7.9 fantasy points per game. More importantly, fantasy players saw Everett play with Russell Wilson in Seattle. He scored more than 14 fantasy points in three of the six games with five or more targets last year. Furthermore, Everett averaged 10 fantasy points per game in the eight games with four or more targets. Over a 17-game pace, he would have been the TE8 with that average. With Justin Herbert under center, Everett could have the first top-12 season of his career.
If you're looking to wait on TE this season, there's a ton of sneaky options that could produce for you late in drafts:
– Irv Smith (TE15)
– David Njoku (TE17)
– Robert Tonyan (TE18)
– Gerald Everett (TE22)
– Hayden Hurst (TE25)
– Austin Hooper (TE26)
– Jonnu Smith (TE27)
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) August 16, 2022
Hayden Hurst (CIN): ADP 221.6 | TE24
The Bengals lost long-time starter C.J. Uzomah in free agency this offseason. They replaced him with Hurst, who has been a fantasy disappointment since the Baltimore Ravens used a 2018 first-round pick on him. However, Hurst has been the No. 2 tight end on his team every year of his career except in 2020. As the starter in 2020, Hurst averaged a career-high 9.3 fantasy points per game and scored six touchdowns on 88 targets. Uzomah averaged 8.4 fantasy points per game and scored six touchdowns on 74 targets in 18 career games with Joe Burrow by comparison. Furthermore, Hurst has played very well during training camp. If you are targeting late-round tight ends in your draft, Hurst needs to be on your target list.
Brevin Jordan (HOU): ADP 256.3 | TE30
If you play in a deeper or two tight end league, Jordan is an excellent target that is basically free. He was the TE27 on a points-per-game basis last year, averaging 6.2 fantasy points per game. However, Jordan produced for fantasy teams when targeted. He averaged 1.99 fantasy points per target last year. Furthermore, Jordan averaged 9.5 fantasy points per game in the four games with four or more targets. More importantly, the Texans leaned on Jordan in the red zone. Despite seeing only 28 targets last year, 14.3% of them came in the red zone, resulting in three touchdowns. The Houston offense lacks proven weapons other than Brandin Cooks, so Jordan has a path to a second-year breakout.
Great article by @AndrewErickson_. Pay attention to #5 on the list.
DRAFT BREVIN JORDAN LATE https://t.co/VXDpVwYpwS
— Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2) July 3, 2022
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.