2019 Fantasy Football: TE ADP Analysis

Shawn Childs highlights TE ADP Analysis to discuss where he is looking to draft his depth and the value behind every choice.

ADP Analysis: QB1 | QB2 | Starting RBs | Backup RBs | Starting WRs | Backup WRs | TEs

(Editor’s note: To view the best ADP available anywhere online, please check out our Advanced ADP tool, which pulls draft results only from the 10 most recent FFWC drafts. Only the best and cash-winning players play high-stakes so this ADP is simply a cut above!)

One of the better positions to gain an edge over your competition can come from the TE position. To get a feel for the recent history of Fantasy points in PPR leagues, a Fantasy owner will have to look no further than the Fantasy Points Targets at FulltimeFantasy.com. Here’s a look at the top 12 TE ADP in the Fantasy Football World Championships:

FFWC TE ADP Analysis 1

When deciding between an elite TE and a second-tier WR (WR1 in 2019 with Travis Kelce), a Fantasy owner has to understand the gaps at both WR and TE in value and price point in the draft. A Fantasy owner can draft a top TE ahead of a WR2 due to more outs at the wide receiver position later in drafts than at the tight end position.

Tight End Studville

Travis Kelce has been the top TE in PPR leagues in each of the previous three seasons. Kelce should almost be considered the top WR in the Chiefs’ offense as he’s used in that way. In 2018, he set career highs in catches (103), receiving yards (1,336), TDs (10), and targets (150) thanks to the electric Patrick Mahomes. Travis will help a Fantasy owner win multiple games in the regular season while offering impact potential in the championship rounds in the high-stakes market.

Zach Ertz is a nice consolation prize at TE after a career season (116/1163/8 on 156 targets). His floor has been extremely high over the last four years in catches and yards. His TD production (8) made a step forward in each of the previous two years. Even with his success, Ertz gets drafted almost two rounds later than Travis Kelce. Philly does have depth at WR and TE, which points to some pullback in his targets. Either way, Zach is an edge at TE.

The new sexy TE is George Kittle after exploding in his sophomore year (88/1377/5 on 136 targets) while playing with backup quarterbacks. His overall resume isn’t as high at the top two TE options, but Kittle does get drafted as the second TE in 2019. I’m a little concerned with is calf issue this summer, which flared up again after showing improvement in early August. His success in yards last year was created by 20 catches for 20 yards or more with six gaining 40+ yards.

Breakout Option

Injuries have ended O.J. Howard’s first two seasons in the NFL prematurely. Over his first 24 games of his career, Howard has 60 catches for 997 yards and 11 TDs on 87 targets. In 2018, Howard gained over 20 yards on 11 of his 34 catches while receiving only 4.8 targets per game. Tampa lost a couple of WR options in the offseason, which points to a bump in chances for O.J. in 2019. Impact upside if he plays a full season of games.

High Floor TEs

Evan Engram, Hunter Henry, and Jared Cook all find themselves in productive opportunities this season. I expect Engram and Cook to be third options in their passing offense behind the RB position and the WR1 option. Cook gains the edge by playing in a high scoring offense. Henry should receive the fourth-most targets in the Chargers’ passing game behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and the RB position. Hunter will score TDs, but his consistency factor may be a step below Engram and Cook.

TE Gold Mine

Last year the Colts produced some dynamic stats for the TE positions (108 catches for 1,216 yards and 21 TDs on 165 targets. Eric Ebron finished as the fourth-highest TE thanks to his 13 TDs and an injury season from Jack Doyle. If both players stay healthy all year, they will have playable value, but rank closer to the backend of the top ten TEs. Ebron is a former first-round draft pick (2014), so his success shouldn’t surprise. I would pay close attention to Indy’s TEs to hopefully find the value option in this offense.

Growth Expected

David Njoku and Austin Hooper both in offense with high upside in the passing game. Game plan will allow each player to produce multiple playable games, but they may be tough to time if trying to micromanage the TE position.

Possible Traps

Vance McDonald played the best ball of his career in 2018 (50/610/4), and the Steelers cleared out their TE2 options (Jesse James) in the offseason. My problem with McDonald is his history of injuries. Vance is entering his seventh season in the NFL at age 29. Let’s just say I’m not fighting for him in any draft even with a chance of improved targets.

Mark Andrews is the 12th off the board on the average in 2019. I expect him to split time in an offense that won’t produce impact throws. I expect improvement, but his ceiling doesn’t look high enough to be drafted inside the first ten rounds of a fantasy draft.

The gap in drafting a starting TE has a range of about 110 drafts picks in 2019. Last year only one of the top five TEs (Eric Ebron – ADP of 161 in the FFWC) in scoring in PPR leagues was drafted after round ten, which shows a sharp eye will uncover a dazzling jewel. Austin Hooper, David Njoku, and Vance McDonald were selected as TE2 in 2018 while finishing a top ten TEs.

Here’s a look at the top backup TEs:

FFWC TE ADP Analysis 2

When reviewing the next 19 TEs options, Fantasy owners will need to decide between steady, upside, and previous resume

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Proven Players

In the past, Delanie Walker, Jordan Reed, Jimmy Graham, and Greg Olsen all have been a top ten TEs in multiple years.

Reed is the young buck (29) of this grouping while owning one impact season on his resume (87/952/11 on 114 targets in 2015). His lack of respect is due to his injury past and regression and excitement in the Redskins’ passing game. I’ll say this; Reed will be the top receiving option on the team if he plays 16 games. I don’t see any risk on drafting him after round 12 as a TE2 in PPR leagues.

Greg Olsen lost his Fantasy draft value due to back-to-back injury seasons due to a foot injury. He’ll start the year at age 34 while being two years removed from three straight years with over 1,000 yards receiving (84/1008/6, 77/1104/7, and 80/1073/3). If he ended up playing a full season, even a downtick in stats would most likely beat most players on this list. The risk has been removed if he’s drafted as your second TE in 2019.

Jimmy Graham created a slow death for Fantasy teams over the finish ten games in 2019 when he caught three passes or fewer and gained fewer than 35 yards in eight contests. His final stats (55/636/2) still ranked him as the 12th highest TE in 2018. Tough to get excited, but he may have one year left in him helped by Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball.

Delanie Walker will start the year at age 35. Last year his season ended in Week 1, which came after a productive four years in Tennessee (63/890/4, 94/1088/6, 65/800/7, and 75/8907/3). The Titans now have depth and talent at WR, which suggest regression in the TE opportunity.

Impact Upside

Dallas Goedert is the TE option that could be a beast of Zach Ertz went down with an injury. As a backup TE option in the Eagles’ offense, Goedert will be tough to time even with a chance to deliver some playable games. More of a home run swing for a team with strength at TE1. If I drafted Ertz, I would make an effort to roster Dallas on my Fantasy team.

Steady Options

Trey Burton, Kyle Rudolph, and Jack Doyle all fall into a range where they will battle to finish as backend TE1 while having just as many empty games as playable stats.

Hot Shot Rookies

T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant battled for playing time and targets in college. This season they both offer upside while expected to emerge as the top TEs on their respective rosters. Fant may have the better opportunity out of the gate with Joe Flacco having a history of featuring the TE, and Denver having questionable WR options. Either way, both player should be targeted as TE2 while tempering their starting value early in the season.

My goal is to find a TE that has a chance to score 200+ Fantasy points, which entails about 70+ catches for 850+ yards and eight TDs. The need for depth at WR will lead to viable TE options sliding to a fair price in many drafts. With this in mind, I would try to take what the draft gave me to solve the TE position.

The backend TE inventory will move up and down with any injury update and team news. A Fantasy owner will need to pay close attention to the value of a targeted player. If you wait at the TE position and miss on a player of interest, it will force you in another direction while possibly leaving you weaker than expected.

A Fantasy owner has to be aware that some Fantasy owners like to double up at the TE position, making it tough to finesse the position if you wait too long. The free-agent inventory may have a couple of outs early in the seasons, but it will be challenging to find a steady option as the season moves on.

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About Shawn Childs 970 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros. As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.