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Hit or Miss: Rookie Tight Ends

Hit or Miss: Rookie Tight Ends!!

What’s good Rush Nation? I’m back with the final installment of this series, looking at the Rookie Tight End’s. To check out the last article on Wide Receivers click here. It’s always a long shot for a Tight End to have a breakout Fantasy Football season as a Rookie. Sometimes they may not even put up the big points as a Sophomore. But, let’s have a look at who’s landing spot gives them the best opportunity to perform year 1. 

Now I’m not saying there’s a Kyle Pitts or even a Pat Freiermuth in this class. For me, the Tight End position in Fantasy Football essentially comes down to 2 BIG factors.

1: Volume

If a player is a shoe-in for a lot of targets i.e Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts they’re gonna be right up there in the Tight End rankings come the end of the season. Let’s take Pitts as the example, Last year he had 110 targets of which he caught 68. This allowed him to go over 1000 yards. He only had 1 Touchdown on the year but finished up as the PPR TE5. 

2: Touchdowns

This is where we shift from target hogs to endzone threats. The reliable option whos gonna score their teams points. i.e Dawson Knox or Hunter Henry. Both had 70+ targets, making 50+ catches but they had their signal caller’s trust in the endzone scoring a whopping 9 times each. Finishing up as TE10 and 11 respectively last season. This is kind of the bracket Freiermuth fell in to as he scored 7 times but he didnt actually start for the Steelers until week 6. 

HIT! Jelani Woods, Indianapolis Colts.

For 2022, I feel Jelani Woods out of Virginia has the best chance at having a day 1 impact. He’s got Matt Ryan slinging the rock his way, who helped Pitts to that breakout season last year. Michael Pittman Jr. will be the main target in Indy but after using 3rd round capital on Woods he will see the field this year. How much is hard to predict. 

What we do know is they’ve added no competition for snaps at Tight End. Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Gransen are still at Lucas Oil where Jelani impressed with his athleticism in the NFL Combine. So not exactly a star studded pass catching groupand could fall into factor 1(Volume). Woods also scored 8 times for the Cavaliers last year, proving he could fall into factor 2(Touchdowns). 

MISS! Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals.

Trey McBride joins Woods right up there in everybody’s Dynasty Rookie Tight End rankings but for 2022, Woods is miles ahead. Colorado native McBride had a more than impressive 2021 campaign. Winning the John Mackey award for the nations best Tight End and being a Unanimous All-American. He also broke his schools single season and career records for receptions and yards by a Tight End. 

Despite his 90 catches and 1100+ yards last season the landing spot is awful. A rejuvenised Zach Ertz who gained an instant chemistry with Kyler Murray last season stands in front of him on the depth chart. The team also bringing in Marquiese Brown at wideout and DeAndre Hopkins returning after his suspension, Arizona are littered with high quality options for Kyler to pass too. Taking nothing away from the former Colorado State star’s talent but after last year’s TE6 Zach Ertz penned a new deal this off-season, it’s more then a long shot for the Rookie to have any Fantasy Football impact this year. 

ON THE FENCE! Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos.

Cali born and bred, Greg Dulcich has had a couple solid years for the UCLA Bruins. Scoring 10 times and putting up 1200+ yards over the last 2 seasons combined. Many people are tipping Albert O to be the TE1 in Denver after this summers blockbuster trade for Russell Wilson sent Noah Fant(TE9, 2022) to Seattle. Here’s why Dulcich could stand a chance.

Albert Okwuegbunam hasn’t had much chance to show what he’s capable of behind Fant in his NFL Career so far. There’s not enough sample size if he’s gonna be good or not at this level to be a team’s TE1. The 2nd obstacle is getting Russell to throw to his Tight End. Since Jimmy Graham left Seattle after the 2017 season, no Tight End under Russ has commanded even 60+ targets in a season until Gerald Everett(TE20, 2022) last year who had 63. 

The be all and end all is, none of these guy’s are gonna cost you any draft capital. A late round dart throw in a deep roster league or a waiver wire addition if they’re this years Dawson Knox. 

Lew – @lvenes1



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