Fantasy Football Overvalued – Tight Ends – 2020
Evan Engram – New York Giants
It’s no secret Engram has battled injuries in his three seasons in the NFL. He runs routes like a wide receiver and has the quickness to dominate linebacker coverage. Engram is beginning to build a highlight reel of spectacular catches. He is too young, with too much talent to give up on yet. With Daniel Jones building confidence, Engram’s fourth season will be his first full season with a competent quarterback throwing the rock.
He is a risky choice with his injury history, but volume won’t be a problem. Even after playing only 8 games last season, Engram had 68 targets. If Engram manages 16 games, 100+ targets is a lock, but it’s a big if. The Giants expressed their confidence in Engram by exercising his 5th year option so let’s hope they’re right. There are still plenty of safer options and that’s the route I’d suggested for a lower tier starting tight end.
Don’t forget to check out our other Overvalued Players!
Austin Hooper – Cleveland Browns
Hooper is coming off career bests in receptions, receiving yards and TD’s in just 13 games last season with the Atlanta Falcons. He managed a 77% reception to target conversion rate in 2019 with Matt Ryan but now joins the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are still working on minimizing the erratic performances of Baker Mayfield and Hooper’s numbers are sure to take a hit. Hooper is a big guy at 6’4” 254 pounds but doesn’t have a whole lot of mobility. The formula for Hooper is simple, you throw, he catches, takes a hit and get a couple extra yards.
The 2020 season forward will not yield the same success as his time in Atlanta. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Cleveland. The Browns picked up David Njoku’s fifth year option which will eat a little into Hooper’s targets. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr will be the top receiving targets and Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will also have a slew. From a team perspective, Hooper’s addition is great for the Browns and will stabilize the tight end position. From a fantasy football perspective, Hooper takes takes a huge statistical hit and will drop out of the top ten.
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
Olsen has had a very long and impressive career over the last decade and a half. Fantasy football is a what have you done for me lately examination and the current scorecard is a D+. Injuries have begun setting in and coming into the 2020 season, he will be 35. The last three years Olsen has played in 7, 9 and 14 games after playing in 16 nine seasons in a row to start his career.
Even if Olsen is on the field, the days of 1,000 receiving yards and half a dozen TD’s are long gone. Picking the bottom 6 tight ends (out of the top 12) is a crapshoot, so you place a bet on someone who you hope can get 800 receiving yards and 6 TD’s. Take your chips off the table for Olsen and place them on one of the younger emerging guys in the league.
Rob Gronkowski – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
How will a one season hiatus affect Rob Gronkowski? It won’t matter one bit and he loves himself some Tom Brady. I’m mean the guy retired rather than getting traded to the Detroit Lions. His body was beat up after the 2018 season and getting out of the game probably seemed like the right thing to do. But after endless comments from the Fox Sports booth hinting at a return, he just couldn’t help himself to take one more run. The Tampa Bay situation couldn’t be any better with Tom Brady and a strong supporting cast that will allow Gronkowski to reduce his snap count and preserve his body for the playoffs.
From a fantasy perspective, the lines are little blurrier. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and OJ Howard when healthy, are premium options in the passing game. In New England, Julian Edelman was his main competition for targets. Let’s also remember he’s only played a complete season in 2 of his 9 seasons. The ball will be spread around a lot and I’d be surprised if Gronk ends up in the fantasy top ten.