Wednesday - Dec 11, 2019

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FANTASY SLEEPERS: Tight End

In the only mock draft I’ve done thus far this year, I took Rob Gronkowski in the second round (you can see the mock draft here). Ever since then, I have felt uneasy about that pick. I love Gronkowski, and he is the ultimate stud at the tight end position but there are so many values to be had at the position. I know, it was just an early mock draft done to show where players are going now that the NFL draft is complete. But I’m still bothered! Ugh, I guess I’ll get over it eventually.

Today I’ll share with you a few tight ends going after the eighth round in a 12-team standard league that I would love to have on my roster this season. I should have just waited on tight end, I tell ya! See, I’m still not over that Gronkowski selection. Here are some late round targets for the Sharks at tight end. Let’s go!

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota (ADP: Round 9, Pick 1)

How in the world is last year’s TE2 going so late!? Blasphemy! The reindeer lead all tight ends in targets last year with a whopping 132. Sam Bradford showed a willingness to get Rudolph the ball all year, and he ended the season with 83 catches, 840 yards and seven touchdowns. I think he prances along that reception total, but with room for more in the yards and the touchdown department. I’m reaching before the ninth round in any and all drafts for the red-nosed stud. You should do the same.

Eric Ebron, Detroit (ADP: Round 13, Pick 7)

Ah, the bitter taste in our mouths is strong with this one. Selected as the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, everyone and their mother has thought Ebron would have broken out by now. He hasn’t, just in case you weren’t sure. He only played in 13 games last season, but he quietly piled up 61 catches for 711 yards on 86 targets. Pretty darn good, if you ask me. So what’s the kicker? He only scored one measly touchdown (well two, if you count his 1-yard rushing touchdown. You read that correctly … a rushing touchdown). He is apparently healthy, and has drawn rave reviews from Coach Jim Caldwell this offseason. If he can stay healthy (he has never played a full season), look for the breakout to finally happen. Maybe Kyle Rudolph from last year? Well that would be quite nice with a 13th-round pick.

Evan Engram, New York Giants (ADP: Round 13, Pick 10)

As always, I have to give a shout out to a rookie. He is a smaller tight end, standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 234 pounds. You know who is very similar in size to Engram? Jordan Reed (6-foot-2, 236 pounds.) and we all know what Reed has done this far in his career (when healthy and on the field, that is). Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media has stated that Engram has been “lining up everywhere” at organized team activities. Take that with a grain of salt if you want, but his playing style and size prove this to be the game plan on how the Giants should use him. Rookie tight ends typically disappoint in fantasy football but I don’t think Engram does this year. Go against the grain and grab the rookie towards the end of your draft.

And there it is, three tight ends who I should have waited for instead of taking Gronkowski in the second round of that mock draft (I swear I’ll get over that selection eventually. Time heals all wounds.) Honestly, if Gronkowski falls to the third, I’m pulling the trigger almost always. As you can see, though, you can get Kyle Rudolph (the TE2 last year, Sharks! I just can’t emphasize that enough) in the ninth round currently. I’d much rather take someone else in the second round and reach for Rudolph in the eighth round in any draft. Someone else loves Rudolph and reaches higher to take him? No problemo! Take Ebron or Engram in the 13th and sit back and enjoy your beverage of choice for the remainder of your draft. Drafting tight ends early is for the birds. Until next time, Sharks!

About Ryan Black

Ryan is a fantasy football enthusiast who specializes in redraft and keeper leagues. He lives in Yorktown, VA with his beautiful wife, son, and daughter. Feel free to ask him any and everything regarding fantasy football on twitter. It's all about winning that fantasy football championship, Sharks!