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3 Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Avoid: Tight Ends (2024)

3 Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Avoid: Tight Ends (2024)

The 2024 fantasy football season is still months away. However, it’s never too early to start preparing for the fantasy season. While everyone wants to focus on breakout stars or ADP values, I have three tight ends I will avoid drafting this year.

Tight Ends to Avoid

(ADP courtesy Underdog Fantasy)

Travis Kelce (KC): ADP 43.4 | TE2

Kelce was the TE3 in 2023, averaging 11.5 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. While he joined Sam LaPorta as the TE1 on a points-per-game basis, the future Hall of Famer was a fantasy bust given his first-round draft capital. The veteran had his lowest fantasy points per game average since 2016 (11.3) and his first year without at least 1,000 receiving yards since 2015. Kelce averaged 15.4 fantasy points per game in 2022, four more than any other tight end. Yet, fantasy players didn’t get that advantage last season.

There were 11 tight ends that finished averaging within four fantasy points per game of the veteran last year. More importantly, he was awful in the second half of the season. Kelce averaged eight fantasy points per game over his final eight regular season contests, totaling seven or fewer in half of those matchups. Furthermore, he was the TE26 during the fantasy football playoffs, averaging 5.1 fantasy points per game, a lower average than Lucas Krull. There is no way I’m drafting Kelce over Trey McBride in 2024.

David Njoku (CLE): ADP 90.8 | TE10

Last year was the best season of Njoku’s career. The veteran tight end set career highs in several categories, including receptions (81), targets (123), receiving yards (862), touchdowns (six), and half-point PPR fantasy points per game (10). However, he was the TE13 in the five contests that Deshaun Watson had at least six pass attempts, averaging 6.3 fantasy points per game. By comparison, Njoku was the TE1 in the five games with Joe Flacco under center, averaging 15.2 fantasy points per contest, scoring 13.4 or more in all but one.

Furthermore, his usage and efficiency skyrocketed with Flacco. The veteran had a significantly higher target per route run rate (29% vs. 17%), air-yards share (15.8% vs. 2.4%), yards per route run (2.48 vs. 1.23), and fantasy points per route run (0.49 vs. 0.23) with Flacco under center compared to Watson (per Fantasy Points Data). Unfortunately, Njoku won’t catch passes from Flacco in 2024 after the veteran joined the Indianapolis Colts. More importantly, Jerry Jeudy’s arrival means there is one more receiver for Watson to target over the veteran tight end.

T.J. Hockenson (MIN): ADP 117.9 | TE13

The veteran had a career year in 2023. Hockenson set a career-high in receptions (95), receiving yards (960), and half-point PPR fantasy points per game (11.4) despite missing the final 2.5 contests with a torn ACL. More importantly, he was the TE2 before getting hurt despite playing with four different quarterbacks. However, his production with Kirk Cousins and Joshua Dobbs was outstanding compared to Nick Mullens. Hockenson averaged 11.3 fantasy points and 8.5 targets per game with Cousins, while he averaged 12.8 and 9.6 with Dobbs under center.

Unfortunately, neither veteran will return next season, leaving Mullens, Sam Darnold and Jaren Hall as the quarterbacks on the roster. While the Vikings should draft one of the top rookies, they won’t save Hockenson’s fantasy value. He averaged 13 fantasy points and 9.6 targets per game with Justin Jefferson out of the lineup compared to 9.6 and 7.1 with the superstar wide receiver playing last year. More importantly, Hockenson will likely miss most of the 2024 season recovering from the torn ACL, making him not even worth a late-round pick.


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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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