2018 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

2018 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers: Hidden Value

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Six tight ends, drafted in the 11th round or later in 2017, finished as a TE1. They were Evan Engram, Jack Doyle, Jason Witten, Cameron Brate, Benjamin Watson, and Jared Cook.

Four tight ends in 2016, accomplished the same feat. They were Jimmy Graham, Cameron Brate, Martellus Bennett, and Hunter Henry. Same thing goes for 2015. Of the top 11 tight ends drafted, six came in the 11th round or later. The trend continues as far back as you can go, six years for me. There were five such tight ends in 2014, three in 2013, and six in 2012.

The point of this is that there is value in the later rounds of fantasy drafts for the tight end position. You just need to know where to look. This article is that place to start! For more information on the tight end position and draft strategy read my tight end positional preview. Read this article to find out the scoring distributions of tight ends in recent years, draft strategy and whether you can wait on drafting the position, potential steals and other pressing questions.


Below you will find my tight end sleepers and values. Value picks offer a solid upside player at a more than reasonable price. Sleeper picks consist of tight ends not expected to produce as shown by their ADPs, but could surprise people.

2018 Tight End Sleepers

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Value Picks

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

I mentioned Olsen in the tight end preview, but his value makes him worth mentioning again. Olsen is not a quintessential sleeper. He has been a well-established Fantasy tight end for many years. But an injury plagued 2017 season and his increased age have caused his ADP to take a significant hit. This make him one of the better values in Fantasy drafts.

For those who have not seen the Greg Olsen mention in the tight end preview, here is an excerpt. “People are forgetting how good Olsen has been for Fantasy. Let’s throw out last year. Since 2011, when Cam Newton entered the league, Olsen has never finished worse than 6th at his position, which is where he finished Newton’s rookie year.

Olsen then had three top-3 finishes, a top-4 finish, and a top-2 finish leading up to last year. Talk about consistency and safety at the tight end position. The best part is that you do not have to spend an early round draft pick on him. Instead you can load up on other positions and then draft Olsen, who has a high percentage chance of providing elite level tight end Fantasy production to your team.

One may worry about his health; due to age and last year’s injury riddled season. The fact is that Olsen is just as likely, if not less likely than Gronk, Kelce, Graham, and Ertz to have an injury, and he won’t cost you a high draft pick.

He may not be a sleeper but ignoring Olsen’s value would be a grave mistake.

Honorable Mention: Jordan Reed, WAS; Tyler Eifert, CIN; Trey Burton, CHI

Sleepers

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens

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I think Hayden Hurst will be a fantastic NFL tight end. As a fellow South Carolina Gamecock, I had the privilege of watching Hurst play in College, so there may be a little bias here. First, it is true that Rookie tight ends are often not Fantasy relevant. But, there are some exceptions i.e. Evan Engram last year. Plus, Hurst is an old rookie, being that he spent some time in professional baseball before starting his college football career, His age, maturity, and experience can help him progress much quicker than a typical rookie.

Second, Hurst is freakishly athletic for the tight end position. He is 6’5”, 250 lbs, and runs a 4.67 40-yard-dash, displaying his speed as an occasional punt returner at South Carolina. Lastly, his situation is ideal. The Ravens did not draft him in the first round, passing on arguably the top wide receiver in the draft, Calvin Ridley, to not use him. Joe Flacco loves throwing to his tight ends and Ravens’ tight ends are often at the top of the list for targets at the position. It was only a year ago that Ben Watson was a TE1 in Baltimore.

He will certainly need to improve as a blocker in order to see consistent playing time, but his abilities as a receiver are undeniable. Hurst offers real sleeper value at the tight end position.

Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints

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Outside of the Coby Fleener era in New Orleans the past two years, the Saints have produced five TE1s since 2011. This includes a 2015 season with Ben Watson as the number 7 tight end overall. Watson knows the offense, something Fleener struggled with, and Drew Brees trusts him. In an offense that I predict will trend back closer to their throwing tendencies, Watson is a perfect sleeper candidate.

Honorable Mention: Ricky Seals-Jones ARI; Jared Cook, OAK


Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

2018 Fantasy Football Draft Kit Categories
RankingsPosition PreviewsTeam PreviewsSleepersBusts

About Alex Hamrick

Alex is an avid fantasy football enthusiast and writer for Fantasy Six Pack. With a background in quantitative methods and analysis, Alex enjoys using statistics and data analytics to develop detailed fantasy football analysis. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @AlexBHamrick

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