Get ready for your season with the Score’s 2018 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
The top tight ends are going to cost a lot in drafts. Rob Gronkowski has an ADP of 26 in the Fantasy Football World Championships (FFWC), Travis Kelce is 34 and Zach Ertz is 44. Some prefer to wait a long time if they miss out on the elite. Here are five tight ends going outside the Top 12 that could present value.
Five Value Backup Tight Ends
Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinal didn’t address tight end in the draft or free agency and based on preseason usage, Seals-Jones is the starting tight end, playing 18 of 22 snaps with the first teams. Sam Bradford loves to target tight ends, even though his health is a risk. Tight ends account for 29 percent of his career touchdowns. Seals-Jones averaged 16.8 yards per catch and was a receiver in college at Texas A&M. Seals-Jones, at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, is a big mismatch for the defense and with a lack of receivers that command targets outside of Larry Fitzgerald, Seals-Jones is a good target as a backup tight end.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
Gesicki is a great athlete. He crushed the combine. Tight end is one of the most difficult positions to adjust to in the NFL and few tight ends excel as a rookie. Gesicki hasn’t been targeted in the preseason, but he’s playing starter snaps. Miami lost a lot of snaps with Jarvis Landry and his 161 targets gone and the Dolphins targeted tight ends 78 times last season. He could start slowly, but if you’re looking for a TE2 with big upside, Gesicki is one.
Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints
Watson is free in most drafts. His age of 37 is likely one of the reasons, but Watson has reportedly looked excellent in training camp. There’s nothing exciting about the pick, but he caught 61 of his 79 passes last season for 522 yards and four touchdowns with the Ravens after tearing his Achilles the year before. In 2015 with Brees, Watson caught 74 of 110 passes for 825 yards and six touchdowns. Don’t expect those numbers, but he’s in a better spot than last season. According to Next Gen Stats, Watson was third in average separation per route for tight ends.
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
Hooper seems like he disappointed last year, but it’s not easy to make an impact as a young tight end. In his second year with the Falcons at age 23, Hooper caught 75 percent of his passes. He had 49 catches for 526 yards. The Falcons offense disappointed last season in the transition from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian, but it will be better this season. Hooper has good hands and is good after the catch.
Luke Willson, Detroit Lions
Eric Ebron left for the Colts and Willson is going to be the starting tight end. Willson didn’t receive a big opportunity with the Seahawks, but it could change with the Lions, who targeted the tight ends 19 percent of the time the last two seasons. Willson is a good athlete and if you miss out on a tight end run, Willson can be had in the final rounds as a backup tight end.