3 TEs To Trade For In Dynasty

Target TE Zach Ertz in dynasty

By Levi Ellis

When looking at tight end rankings in fantasy football you will find it’s a dim look after the top three to four players.  Rankings are all over the place and you can just as easily make an argument that one guy’s fifteenth ranked tight end could be another guy’s fifth-ranked tight end. 

If you’re reading this article it’s likely that you don’t own one of the top three guys so the most important thing for me when deciding to trade for a player is to find value.  I rarely ever go after a player and give a team a king’s ransom.  I like to look for players that can be scooped up for a value.  Below you will find three players that I believe are currently a value at the tight end position.

The first player on this list is Dallas Goedert.  While Goedert certainly will come with a cost I think his current situation makes him a value.  Many people are worried about the long-term future of the Eagles quarterback situation and that they are likely to be a run first team this year.  The team also just drafted wide receivers in the first round of back to back drafts (Jalen Reagor and Devonta Smith) and Zach Ertz is still on the roster.  All of these things bring uncertainty however one thing is for certain and that is Goedert is a heck of a player.  I believe Ertz will be traded or cut soon and there are rumors that the Eagles are after Deshaun Watson.  Whether the Watson rumors are fact or fiction doesn’t change a lot for me.  I happen to be a firm believer in Jalen Hurts talent and while he is definitely not at Watson’s level I think Hurts can be a solid starting quarterback in the NFL.  The Eagles have also shown in the past that they will be aggressive in acquiring talent so if Hurts doesn’t work out I have no doubt they will find another quarterback.  Goedert will also be a free agent after this season so he could just as easily sign with another team this offseason.  Imagine if Goedert were to leave via free agency next season and sign with a team like Seattle, Buffalo or the LA Chargers.  Goedert may not be a top five tight end this season but if you’re playing in dynasty he has all the tools to be a consistent top ten player year in and year out and his value is likely to never be lower than it is right now.  

Another tight end that I believe is at a great value right now is Jonnu Smith.  Smith flashed quite a bit early last season before falling out of the game plan in Tennessee.  Smith has a ton of talent and is special with the ball in his hands.  I think a lot of people are concerned about Smith because he and Hunter Henry both signed with New England this offseason, however that is exactly why I like him even more.  New England has shown the dedication and willingness to involve the tight end in the offense and they have proven experience with running two tight end formations and were extremely successful in doing so.  I believe that Smith will play the Hernandez role while Henry will play the Gronk role.  I know that analogy doesn’t seem to make the case for Smith as much as it does for Henry but my point is both tight ends were special in that offense and I think Smith will be the big play vertical guy while Henry will be the more inline blocker and middle of the field guy.  Also, take into consideration that New England does not have a bonafide top wide receiver on the roster that will demand ten plus targets a game.  Smith and Henry can also both be special regardless of which quarterback plays.  Cam likes to throw to the big-bodied players which is great for both Smith and Henry and if Cam’s accuracy really is as bad as what we saw last season he isn’t likely to sling it to the outside as much which means he will be looking for the dump-offs which just happens to be what Smith excels at.  If Mac Jones comes in at some point this also should work out well for Smith.  Rookie quarterbacks tend to lean on the tight end position to serve as a security blanket and Jones would have two of them. I think New England would then build the offense to get the ball out of Jones’s hands quickly, something that he’s great at, and again that works out well for Smith with screens, dump-offs, and slants.  Regardless of Henry or which quarterback plays, Smith is destined to be involved in the offense and he has the talent to succeed and you may not get a better time to buy than now.

I have been pounding the table all offseason to buy this next guy because his value has taken such a hit that he is an incredible value and that guy is Zach Ertz.  Look I don’t expect Ertz to be a top-three tight end this season but I do expect him to be a top ten guy and likely more in the five to seven range.  Although Ertz hasn’t yet been traded or released I think the time is coming and will happen before the season starts.  Philadelphia needs to move on both for cap space as well as to let Goedert out of his cage.  I expect Ertz to land with a team like Buffalo or Indianapolis and I believe he would be a focal point of either offense.  If he did join Indianapolis he would also be reunited with his old quarterback, Carson Wentz and we know that they already have a connection.  By all accounts, Ertz is now healthy and you better believe he will be ready to prove that he still has it.  It feels like the consensus in the fantasy community is that Ertz is washed up but the guy is just thirty years old and only one year removed from an 88 catch season.  The talent is still there and if a zip code change is in store you better believe there will be a chip on his shoulder this season.

If you’re shopping for a tight end this offseason these are three great players to buy if you can get good value from their current owner and while there are other tight ends out there that I like, I believe these three may be at the best bargains.  Good luck on your search and remember to always buy at a value!

How the dynasty tight end landscape is about to change

Dynasty TEs are evolving

Marcel Boudreau (@Marcel_BFF)

There has been growing importance among the fantasy football community about having one of the top 3 fantasy tight ends, and how it gives you an extreme positional advantage. Many dynasty leagues are now tight end (TE) premiums (where tight end receive more points for production), which if you are in one of these leagues, prepare for the shift. In redraft, we’re seeing Travis Kelce picked in the first round when not too long ago, picking a tight end in the first three rounds would have been frowned upon. But now, we really need to be aware of how the tight end landscape is about to get set on fire, and how it could affect dynasty rosters. 

There are more relevant fantasy tight ends whose contracts expire after the 2021-2022 season than has ever been in an off-season. Who are they, their TE finish last season in PPR scoring, and how it affects the landscape:

Mark Andrews (TE #6): Finishing as a top 6 TE in back-to-back season, Mark Andrews is entering his fourth and final season with Baltimore. It appears we will see a better passing attack from the Ravens in 2021, which could bode really well for this touchdown machine. If the Raven’s fail to extend him, and Andrews tests the free-agent market, he could find a team willing to out-pay the Ravens, which leaves a big hole in Raven’s offense for someone to fill, but also would likely dethrone the tight end in Andrew’s new destination.

Dallas Goedert (TE #20 in 11 games; paced to be TE #9): in a year with the horrific quarterback play, they’re did shine a glimmer of hope to what Goedert could become as the lead TE in the Philadelphia offense. Goedert quickly became Jalen Hurts’ favorite target, but that could be irrelevant if Zach Ertz remains in Philly. If the Eagles fail to trade Ertz, it may leave a sour taste in Goedert’s mouth, as it would show the team really does have full confidence in him. Not only would Ertz ruin Goedert’s dynasty managers’ expectations for the upcoming season, but it would lead to Goedert and Ertz being out of Philly after 2021, especially if Goedert wants to go to an even paying team, who will use him more. 

Mike Gesicki (TE #7): The Dolphins just spent a third-round draft pick on promising TE-talent Hunter Long and extended TE Adam Shaheen in the middle of last season, which both appear like preparation moves to be without Gesicki in 2022. Gesicki would be another extremely talented TE on the market, who has shown nothing but constant improvement and has set himself up nicely to earn a big cheque. 

Evan Engram (TE #15): What was a disappointing result on 109 targets (4th among TEs in 2020), the Giants did show they want to continue to use the TE or was it only a product of no other quality receiving options. They paid a lot of money for Golladay, have endless faith in RB star Saquon Barkley, and just picked wide receiver Kadarius Toney in the first round. But that’s not all, they also signed veteran TE Kyle Rudolph to significant money ($6,000,000/year,) and with the investment in receivers, it’s increasingly seeming that Evan Engram will be faded from this offense. It would be very surprising to see Engram be of any consistent relevance this season, but he is worth holding onto regardless of his 2021 production. Engram is a former first round pick, a freak athlete, and has Daniel Jones to blame for his recent lack in production. It would be shocking to not see another team willing to take a chance on him and give him a fresh start.

Gerald Everett (TE 24): If you’re invested in the fantasy community, you’re aware of the recent surge for Gerald Everett as a sleeper/breakout TE in 2021. Russell Wilson has been well known for producing relevant TEs, but in recent years, the Seahawks have failed to find one that can stay healthy for 16 games. Gerald Everett put up 7 catches for 135 yards against the Seahawks a few years ago, and Pete Carrol was quick to mention how amazed he was by Everett’s play that game. Everett was snagged by the Seahawks on a one-year deal (likely Everett playing the money side of things with the low cap space) and now has the offense and the quarterback to put up massive numbers, in a scheme that has been friendly to the tight end in the past. It would be fun to see Everett be either extended by the Seahawks or re-challenge the free-agent market if he does end up producing top-10 tight end numbers.

Robert Tonyan Jr. (TE #4) and Logan Thomas (TE #3) are both coming off breakout seasons. Neither of these names was on draft radars a season ago and became league-winning waiver wire adds. Both TEs are coming off seasons where they were a top-3 receiving option for their teams. Green Bay and Washington both added receiving options and have other receivers coming back from injury. These TEs have lost some steam over the off-season, and it would not be all that surprising to see them leave their current teams in 2022. 

David Njoku (TE #47) and O.J Howard (TE #58 paced to be TE #14: 4 game splayed): Both drafted in the first round showing lots of promise with their athletic profiles, and both producing top-15 TE value in their second years in the league have also both fizzled out recently and have experienced significant injuries. In 2021, these two guys will face solid competition for snaps and targets at TE in their respective offenses. It be interesting to see how many teams are willing to give them a second chance based on their athleticism and flashes of promise.

Anthony Firkser, Maxx Williams, Rob Gronkowski, C.J Uzomah, all appear to be in “filler” roles at TE. This is not taking anything away from Gronk’s 2019 performance, as he outproduced most expectations, but these four TEs are all part of explosive or efficient offenses and it would not be surprising to see their respective teams replace them with younger, promising talents to add even more weapons to their offenses, especially with some of the talented free agents hitting the market. 

Mo Alie-Cox, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook, Jordan Akins are other TE names to think about, as in all their cases, their respective teams have spent draft capital on rookie TEs, all with the potential to succeed and take over the TE role for these teams. Ian Thomas, Zach Ertz, Jimmy Graham, Chris Herndon, Dalton Shultz, are also on the list of 2022 free agent TE and deserved a mention.

To summarize this cluster of information on how to apply it to the dynasty managing world, latch on to a high-end prospect ready to hit the open market and bank that their talent will earn them a hot landing spot. Another angle to take is to acquire one of the already established TEs, whose roles, volume, and production are not in question for the next couple of years (Kelce, Kittle, Waller, Hockenson…?). After acquiring one of these studs, you can sit back, relax, and watch your league go crazy about the TEs in free agency next off-season. 

3 Dynasty TEs to Trade Away

Trade away these dynasty TEs now!

The Synopsis:

The 2020 regular season saw a dry spell on the tight end position in terms of receiving yards, but there was a higher count of touchdowns compared to the past two seasons. Travis Kelce was the clear reign of the throne amongst all tight ends this season, logging over 1400 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Darren Waller was the only other tight end to reach the 1000 receiving mark, with 1196. TJ Hockenson came in third with 723 receiving yards, a promising outlook for the youthful tight end. 

Although this NFL season was way different than any other, next season is a new season, and it is important to load up on promising young talent for the dynasty league you are in… or perhaps let go of the talent that failed to show up when it mattered the most. 

Kyle Rudolph (MIN):

Rudolph used to be dubbed as ol’ reliable for the Vikings until this disappointment of a season. With the stellar season performance of WR teammate Justin Jefferson and the emergence of young, fellow TE Irv Smith Jr., it is no surprise why Rudolph’s performance greatly declined this year.

Rudolph, unfortunately, could not finish the last four regular-season games due to a foot injury landing him into the injured reserve, but that still does not account for the inadequate performance and involvement he had on the Minnesota offense he had before his injury, posting up a 28-334-1 season line while Smith Jr. posted up a 30-365-5 line, indicating that Smith Jr. is the preferred red zone threat over Rudolph. 

Entering the 2021 season at age 31, it is safe to trade him away given the other explosive options on offense Kirk Cousins has in his arsenal, with the likes of Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and Irv Smith Jr. It is best to include him in a package deal for a better TE option 

Greg Olsen (SEA):

Another dinosaur tight end that will be an easy drop going forward is Greg Olsen. Going into next season at 36 years of age, he is very prone to sustaining any sort of injury that will leave him on the sidelines. If the Seahawks choose to continue keeping him on the roster, he might see a reduced role given his season line of 24-239-1. 

Fellow tight ends Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly produced similar lines of 25-209-3 and 24-251-2, respectively. With the incline of DK Metcalf’s performance and Tyler Lockett’s skillset at Russell Wilson’s disposal, the tight end corps are not considered the main threats in the Seattle offense. As both Hollister and Dissly are under 28 years of age and are capable of posting up the same results and more, Olsen most likely will ride the backseat behind the two. 

It is important to note Dissly’s success last year before he suffered a serious Achilles injury during October 2019. Dissly has shown his talent beforehand and given that he is only 24 years old, his boom potential is bound to happen anytime soon. 

Tyler Higbee (LAR):

Tyler Higbee had that memorable stretch of incredible football during the final regular season games in the 2019 season. Unfortunately, the same type of performance was not replicated anywhere in the 2020 campaign, except that week 2 hat trick TD performance. Higbee hit a dry spell from weeks 3 to 12, scoring under 10 points in PPR formats in that stretch. Although there was a little improvement after week 12, it was not enough to solidify a TE1 spot during the fantasy regular season.

Higbee capped the season with a respectable 44-521-5 line but it should be considered how three of those touchdowns came from the week 2 performances. Two additional factors to take into account of Higbee’s declining performance is Jared Goff’s passing inconsistencies and the shared involvement of tight end Gerald Everett. Everett concluded the regular season with a respective line of his own, demonstrating a 41-417-1 line. Everett did not have that one blockbuster game like Higbee did, but he did manage a couple games over 10 points (PPR). 

Regardless, with Goff’s passing inconsistencies, the undeniable WR talent with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, the growing potential of RB Cam Akers, and sharing snaps with fellow tight end Everett, Higbee is not bound to find success as he once did during last year’s phenomenal stretch. Some owners still believe highly of him because of what he was able to produce, but with many offensive choices to go with in LA, Higbee’s ceiling is very limited and it is best to use him as leverage to trade him for a better dynasty tight end.  

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