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Staff Post: Tight ends to avoid in 2019

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Don’t go drafting these tight ends this year in fantasy football.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

The tight end position is notoriously boom or bust: either you land one of the top guys or you’re hoping the guy you took in the 10th round amounts to some sort of mildly viable fantasy production. However, investing too early in a tight end who ultimately busts can sink your fantasy team. You’d hate to spend a fifth round pick on a guy you ultimately have to cut.

To help you avoid this mistake, we here at Fake Teams have given you the tight ends we’re not touching this year in fantasy. (ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator in non-PPR league.)

Zach Ertz

Current FFC ADP: 4.05

Pete Rogers: My hesitation with Zach Ertz predominately is just centered around volume. The Eagles offense has a ton of weapons now for Carson Wentz to target and while Wentz has shown an affinity for Ertz, I’m not certain Ertz is going to see the usual 110+ targets he’s been getting recently. Of those top three tight ends (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Ertz), I think he’s the one most likely to tumble out of even the top five and because of that, I’m not investing a 4th round or better pick on him.

O.J. Howard

Current FFC ADP: 5.09

Clark Barnes: I’m excited about Tampa Bay’s offense, Howard is an amazing athlete, and he’s a very good, young tight end. I have 2 real concerns here: the opportunity cost you have to pay for Howard, and Cameron Brate is still alive and a threat to Howard’s touchdown potential. These middling, high-upside tight ends are much like the middling, high-upside QBs that people repeatedly wasted draft capital on.

Paddi Cooper: Love the player, hate the situation and the draft capital required to get him. I’m so scared that the Bruce Arians fantasy irrelevant tight ends curse is going to continue, I’m swerving Howard and don’t own him in a single league. To use a 5th round pick is far too rich for my blood and I’m happy to take the risk and look at Evan Engram, Jared Cook and Vance McDonald 1-2 rounds later.

Eric Ebron

Current FFC ADP: 8.01

Mark Abell: Everything fell into place for him last year. Expect his touchdown total to come down from 13 and his yardage to go down from 750 as one of a number of possibilities unfolds: 1) Luck is hurt and misses some games; 2) Jack Doyle, fully healthy takes some of those passes and touchdowns; 3) Marlon Mack or TY Hilton playing all games take a few of those touchdowns; 4) Eric doesn’t have a 53 yard reception. Take your pick.

Kyle Rudolph

Current FFC ADP: 14.01

Heath Capps: Last year I bought into Kyle Rudolph. But no more. The Vikings have a pair of established wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. They have an electric back in Dalvin Cook, and could employ more of a run-heavy focus in 2019. There is also the presence of Irv Smith Jr. to contend with, whom the Vikings selected in Round 2 of this year’s NFL Draft. Rudolph is also very touchdown-dependent, meaning you will have super-lean weeks for forever while waiting on him to catch a score. Odds are, when he has his one two-score game of the season you’ll have him on your bench after six weeks of 3-for-31 type of production. HARD PASS.