TRUST YOUR GUT – TIGHT ENDS
Last position on our TRUST FACTOR articles is the Tight End.
TRUST YOUR EYE
When looking at tight ends, one thing always seems to ring true. More targets seems to equal more points. Tight ends in offenses where they are high targets will get more opportunities to do more for your fantasy team.
Seems simple enough, right? You have one Tight End in your lineup and, when you make the choice to pull the trigger, you need to be confident in your choice.
But sometimes selecting a tight end feels like a dart throw. Aim at your target and hope for the best. Every year there are 7 to 12 tight ends that have the ability to help tip the table in your favor. Finding a top five Tight End could be the difference in finishing in the cellar in your league or standing at the top.
Let’s look at the TRUST FACTOR list and see which tight ends have the highest expectations for the upcoming season.
MARK ANDREWS / TRUST FACTOR RATING 9.4
- During his 2021 campaign, Mark averaged 14.6 FPPG and had 9 touchdowns in 17 games. He also had a single setting franchise record of 1361 yards on 107 receptions. All these numbers added up to Mark leading tight ends in all the major receiving categories of yards, receptions and tied with Travis Kelce on touchdowns.
- While only having a YAC of 4.3 , he did lead the team in 26% of team targets for the year.
- After that spectacular year, you can definitely put Andrews down as the main target on the radar for the passing game. With the departure of Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals, the door is now open for Rashod Bateman to move up and compete with Andrews for the top spot in the receiving corps for the Ravens. And, as our article on TRUST YOUR GUT – QUARTERBACKS suggests, look for Lamar Jackson to be ready to use Mark as a weapon of choice. That could put the duo at the top of the AFC North once again.
TRAVIS KELCE / T.F. RATING 9.2
- For TE2 we have Travis Kelce. Kelce had 1125 yard on 92 receptions with 9 touchdowns in 16 games. He was targeted 134 times with an average of 8.4 per game. He had an average of 10.7 FPPG while having over a thousand receiving yards for his sixth straight year.
- Kelce finished second with 21% of team targets behind , Tyreek Hill’s 25%. He als had an average of 6.1 YAC.\
- Going into his tenth season, Travis has been able to set the benchmark for top tight ends. With Tyreek Hill going to the Miami Dolphins during the off season , that leaves Kelce to be the lead in the passing game this year. His relationship with Mahomes is a special one and the two have been able to provide some of the best games in the NFL over the time together. With him turning 33 during the season this year, he is the oldest on our list.
DALTON SCHULTZ / T.F. RATING 8.9
- Schultz makes the list this year at number three. In his fourth season he finished with his best stats for his career. In 17 games he had 808 yards and 8 touchdowns on 78 receptions. He was targeted 104 times with 6.1 per game.
- Dalton finished tied for second on the team with 16.3% of team targets with Amari Cooper. CeeDee Lamb led the team with 18.8% of team targets. He also had a YAC of 4.5.
- With Cooper being traded to the Browns and Michael Gallup being sideline and out for the beginning of the season with a torn ACL, Schultz stands a strong chance of moving up in the offense. CeeDee Lamb will have plenty of targets on him to start the season, but that will also bring him tougher assignments being the number one wideout. With all the attention he will be getting , look for Schultz to get the trust from Dak for the second option in a lot of the plays.
KYLE PITTS / T.F. RATING 8.3
- In his rookie season, Kyle led the team with 1026 yards receiving and 68 receptions. He had a 6.4 FPPG in 17 games played with only one touchdown.
- He was targeted with a team leading 110 targets with an average of 6.7 per game. His YAC was 6.3. He also had 18.8% of team targets, which also led the team.
- The Falcons are in a rebuilding season. They have several new players. Drake London, wide receiver, was drafted at number eight overall, with the addition of new quarterback Marcus Mariota, and wide receiver Bryan Edwards, they look to have a new look offense that will be able to put points on the scoreboard. Look for Pitts to still be the go to guy in the offense for the receiving corps and also see him to score more in this new look offense.
GEORGE KITTLE / T.F. RATING 8.1
- George played in 14 games with 910 receiving yards on 71 receptions. He also had six touchdowns and a 9.1 FPPG.
- He had 94 total targets with an average of 6.7 per game. His 18.8% of team targets was second behind Deebo Samuel, who we wrote about in our TRUST YOUR GUT- WIDE RECEIVERS article, https://5yardrush.co.uk/trust-your-gut-wide-recievers/. His YAC was at 6.3.
- The 49ers this year is an interesting bunch. They have a new offensive coordinator, not sure about the Quarterback situation and maybe Deebo finds a way out of the bay area. If these situations were not going on , Kittle would have been higher up on the list. Without a doubt he is one of the most exciting tight ends in football, and if he passes the trust factor he might end up on your team as TE1.
When it comes to taking a tight end in your draft, there are many factors that come into play. The key for me is how many targets per game are they getting? If I take one early , I definitely want them to be getting at least six targets per game. That seems to be a good average when you’re looking at top Tight Ends.
But it’s always going to be a guessing game. There is no crystal ball to tell you who to take. There’s only the data or your gut. Why do you like this Tight End? Is it the game scheme? Is it his past history? Bottom line it’s up to you.
Who are you going to trust your gut to pick?
Good Luck in your draft!