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4 Late-Round Tight Ends to Target (2022 Fantasy Football)

Aug 17, 2022
Irv Smith Jr.

Irv Smith Jr. has some fantasy upside this season now that he is in a more consistent role.

Here are late-round draft picks our analysts are targeting in their 2022 fantasy football drafts. You can find all of the players they are targeting and avoiding through the links below, which are included in our full 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.

Players to Target & Avoid

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Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

4 Late-Round Tight Ends to Target

Irv Smith Jr. (TE – MIN)
Smith (knee) missed all of last year with an injury, but he was a full participant at minicamp, and now he should be a full-time player without TEs Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Conklin competing for snaps. In his four season-closing games without Rudolph in 2020, Smith averaged 11.0 half-PPR points on five targets per game.
– Matthew Freedman

Adam Trautman (TE – NO)
In fantasy baseball, top prospects who struggle in their early exposure to MLB competition and become less expensive to fantasy managers, as a result, are called “post-hype sleepers.” Trautman profiles as a post-hype sleeper.

The development of NFL tight ends usually takes time. Don’t target rookie TEs. Target well-regarded TE prospects with a year or two of professional experience. A third-round draft pick in 2020, Trautman hasn’t been fantasy-relevant in his first two NFL seasons, but he was a small-school superstar at the University of Dayton, and he’ll be the No. 1 tight end in New Orleans this year.

Trautman’s ADP as of mid-June was TE29, No. 236 overall.
– Pat Fitzmaurice

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David Njoku (TE – CLE)
I covet athleticism and target upside at the tight end position, and you should love them too. David Njoku adamantly checks these boxes as we search for a late-round breakout. Njoku utilized his 97th percentile burst score and 81st percentile agility score to post some absurd advanced stat numbers in 2021. Last year he was 11th in yards per route run, fifth in yards after the catch per reception and seventh in slot yards per route run (per PFF). Amari Cooper is the only proven target on this depth chart who Njoku has to fight with for targets. In an offensive scheme that has seen the third and fourth highest target shares to the tight end position over the last two seasons and Austin Hooper gone, it’s Njoku’s time to shine.
– Derek Brown

Gerald Everett (TE – LAC)
Gerald Everett is easily one of my favorite late-round tight ends, so I am glad the consensus is finally starting to catch on. He was solid during stretches of the 2021 season, particularly after Russell Wilson returned from injury. The ex-Rams tight end ranked as the TE9 in fantasy points per game (PPR) from Weeks 10-16 while running a route on 74% of dropbacks.

Everett proved he can be the featured No. 1 tight end for the Chargers coming off a career year. He achieved career-highs in receptions (48) and receiving yards (478) and wreaked havoc with the ball in his hands, forcing 11 missed tackles after the catch — sixth-most among tight ends.

His peripheral metrics in Seattle’s offense — 12% target share, 63% route participation, and 17% target rate per route run — were nearly identical to Jared Cook in the Chargers’ offense last season.

Cook finished as TE16 overall, which seems like Everett’s fantasy floor heading into 2022. The tackle-breaking tight end finished the 2021 season just .4 points per game short of Cook’s average (8.3 versus 7.9) despite playing in an offense that ranked dead last in pass attempts per game (29.1).

L.A. ranked third in that category last season (39.6). They also ranked ninth in TE targets overall.

Breakout tight ends are generally athletic players who earn above-average route participation in high-powered offenses. Everett fits the profile of next season’s star at the position. And he’s still super cheap.
– Andrew Erickson

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

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