Tight End Sleepers, Values and Targets
Strategies involving the tight end position vary from analyst to analyst. There are those who believe it’s an easily replaceable onesie position. That is, owners only have to start one per team, so there are always a number of decent options available on the waiver wire, and therefore it’s not worth burning an early-round pick on an elite TE. Then there are those who believe that drafting an elite TE is a good foundation for a championship roster. I typically fall into the latter group, but in recent seasons, I have varied my approach based on the makeup of the position and whether there was a screaming value at the position in the later rounds.
I’ll often go into my draft having identified my quarterback and tight end targets and then build my draft strategy around those two positions, finding running backs and receivers that fit within that framework.
I divided the position up into four groups: Values, Breakout Candidates (Not Targeting), Sleepers and Targets.
Tyler Higbee, Rams
Higbee caught fire at the end of the year, racking up an incredible 43 catches for 522 yards and two touchdowns in his final five games, garnering double-digit targets in his last four games and gaining at least 100 yards in four straight. He had the third-highest yards per route run at his position, per PFF. It’s hard not to view him as a fantasy TE1 even with Gerald Everett back in the fold. The loss of Brandin Cooks should only help to increase Higbee’s usage in 2020.
Jared Cook, Saints
Cook’s first season with the Saints didn’t get off to a great start. Through the first four games, he caught 8-of-18 targets for 90 yards and was the No. 33 tight end at that point in the season. But then the proverbial worm turned. Even though he missed three games midseason with an ankle injury, he proceeded to gain at least 50 yards and/or score a touchdown in his final 11 games, including the team’s lone playoff game against the Vikings. From Week 10 on (when both Cook and Drew Brees were healthy), Cook was the No. 1 tight end in the final eight games. He should pick up where he left off in 2020, though free-agent acquisition Emmanuel Sanders may pinch his targets.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles
Continue reading for 3 more values, 3 breakout candidates, 5 sleepers and 5 tight ends John Paulsen is targeting in 2020!
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