2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts

by Dennis Sosic
2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the next edition to the Fantasy Six Pack Draft Kit. Where I take a look at my 2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts.

The tight end Fantasy pool is getting more in-depth with young talents such as Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson looking to make their mark in their sophomore seasons. However, there are four tight ends that I believe will sink your Fantasy teams if you draft this season.

Which tight ends should I avoid? Why should I shy away from these tight ends? I will answer those questions and a whole lot more in my 2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts.

2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts

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Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

Jared Cook finished as the TE7 in 2019, which was bolstered by finishing second in touchdowns by tight ends. 

Cook was absurdly efficient in his career season. That is the result of scoring nine touchdowns on only 43 catches for 705 yards. Scoring a third of his Fantasy points off touchdowns is an alarming stat that should scream regression. The absurd touchdown rate should come down significantly due to the improvements that the New Orleans Saints employed for the 2020 season.

In comes veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders who will start opposite Michael Thomas at wideout. Sanders will attempt to alleviate the defensive pressure on Thomas. Additionally, the Saints drafted TE Adam Trautman in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Trautman will look to make a Fantasy impact this season as the Saints look to follow the current NFL trend of implementing two receiving tight ends simultaneously on the field.

I don't want to reach for Cook as a top-ten tight end. Considering the inclusion of the offensive players stealing work along with the touchdown numbers coming down, it will be difficult for Cook to duplicate last season. Cook will not finish as a top-ten tight end, and Fantasy managers should draft accordingly.

Evan Engram, New York Giants

The New York Giants' offense is loaded with young, explosive Fantasy talent. The Giants will be led by new head coach Joe Judge, who named former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as his offensive coordinator. The talented wide receiver corps of Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and last season's breakout Darius Slayton will demand plenty of targets. Of course, they still have one of the best players in the league in running back Saquon Barkley.

The above listing showcases what tight end Evan Engram faces to live up to Fantasy expectations. Engram is a very athletic and dynamic playmaker when healthy. However, the biggest challenge for Evan Engram throughout his three-year NFL career so far has been staying healthy. Evan has already missed 14 games in three years.

Engram also seems overrated based upon his Fantasy production. He scored only three touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. That is a killer for Fantasy owners who depend on touchdowns from their tight ends to be Fantasy relevant. Additionally, he averaged just 6.9 yards per target and 10.6 yards per reception last season.

The Fantasy Six Pack Rankings have Engram at TE7, and that draft capital is not worth it for me. He is still recovering from Lisfranc injury from last season. That injury could be tricky to contend with, and I would rather spend the draft capital on other positions and select one of my tight end sleepers.

Evan Engram is the modern-day Jordan Reed. A high risk/high reward tight end who I am avoiding in my drafts.

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

Coming into the 2019 season, Fantasy owners were concerned with Hunter Henry regarding his recovery from a torn ACL in his right knee. Henry played the opening week, however in Week 2, he suffered a left knee injury that kept him out of four games last season. Unfortunately, not being on the field is a recurring theme for Henry, who has missed 20 of his previous 36 games.

Henry caught only 37 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns over his final nine games and finished with 792 yards, six touchdowns which led to him finishing as the Fantasy TE9 last season. 

However, the 25-year-old tight end produced those numbers with Philip Rivers as his quarterback, who is notorious for targeting his tight ends. Last season, the Chargers threw 597 passes, which were the tenth-most in the league. With Rivers leaving via free agency to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers have veteran Tyrod Taylor taking as the primary signal-caller - for now. The Chargers also selected quarterback Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It is fair to assume that Taylor will start the season as the starting quarterback. Taylor behind center is a downgrade for all of the Chargers' pass-catchers except for possibly running back Austin Ekeler. The passing volume for the 2020 Chargers will take a gigantic hit while they proceed with a run-first approach and rely on their superb defense to win games.

I simply can not trust Henry as my starting tight end this season. Will Henry stay on the field? Can Taylor prove that he performs better than he did with Cleveland Browns? How often and willing will they be to pass this season? All questions that I don't want to deal with considering what I will need to invest in acquiring a top-ten tight end.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns went all-in on the tight end, Austin Hooper, this offseason, making him the highest-paid tight end in the league. Hooper enjoyed a career season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2019. He recorded 75 catches on 97 targets for 787 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.

Hooper will go from the most pass-heavy offense in the league and finishing fifth among all tight ends in receptions to a Browns team that possess two top-ten running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Additionally, quarterback Baker Mayfield will need to rebound after a lackluster sophomore season even though the Browns offense had Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and David Njoku on the roster. The Browns simply have too many mouths to feed for Hooper to see anything close to the targets he received last season.

Volume and opportunity are vital components to analyze when prospecting Fantasy players. Hooper will be utilized in more two-tight end sets as the new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski used the 12 personnel 34 percent of the Vikings' snaps last season, which was second in the league.

His role with the Browns should not instill trust as a top Fantasy tight end for Fantasy managers. His opportunities will diminish to the point that his ceiling may only reach lower TE1 consideration, which is not conducive to his ADP of 93rd overall.

Click here to access the 2020 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

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