Monster Year Coming! – Tight Ends – 2020
Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders
Waller was the feel-good story of the year for the Las Vegas Raiders. After some early struggles in life, Waller exploded onto the scene to lead the Raiders with 1,145 yards, good enough for 15th in the league. Waller had a huge number of targets relative to fellow pass catchers on the Raiders, with 90 receptions on 117 targets (77% conversion rate). At 6’6” 255 pounds, Waller is a huge tight end who lines up all over the field. It’s no surprise that he was Carr’s favorite and most reliable option.
The biggest concern was the three TD’s scored. That was the only thing that kept him out of elite tight end status. For some perspective, with all the love Travis Kelce gets, their stat lines where pretty dang close. Kelce finished with 1,229 yards and 5 TD’s. Waller averaged a little less than 2 fantasy points per week than Kelce. So, you must ask yourself on draft day, is a 2nd round pick for Kelce vs mid round pick for Waller worth 2 fantasy points a week considering the need to fill running back and wide receiver positions early? I’m betting big on Waller. He’ll top last year’s yardage output and I wouldn’t be surprised if he catches 6+ TD’s.
Don’t forget to check out our other Monster Year Predictions!
Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
As Lamar Jackson goes so does Mark Andrews. Drafted in round 3 in 2018, The 6’5” 256-pound tight end had a remarkable second season by almost doubling receptions and targets and more than tripling TD’s from his rookie season. The learning curve for Jackson and Andrews was short and sweet. Andrews was the team leader in receptions, targets, receiving yards and TD’s. There were no significant changes to the wide receiver crew so expect more of the same for 2020.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
If there is an uncover-able player at the tight end position in the NFL, it’s Travis Kelce. He out muscle linebackers and towers over defensive backs. Kelce loves punishing tacklers and dominates the middle of the field. Kelce gets #1 WR like targets which he converts over 70% of the time. The last four years he’s topped 1,000 yards receiving in each and averaged over six TD’s. For a tight end!
There is no reason to believe Kelce won’t have another masterful year for the defending champs this season. Over six seasons, Kelce has missed one game. Speaking of consistency, he is targeted 8-10 times a game and gets first down yards on average for each reception (12.7 yards per catch). Do we want double digit TD’s? Well, of course. For some perspective however, only three pass catchers had double digit TD’s last year. Some early ADP rankings have George Kittle going ahead of Kelce in fantasy drafts. That’s simply madness!