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The tight end position has drastically changed over the last decade, and there isn't a singular position that can see fantasy performance impacted more than tight ends. But a TE revolution is on the horizon. Teams increasingly value the creation of mismatches, and players at this position are some of the best at doing so. Being dynamic and able to line up in multiple areas of the field stresses the defense. Athleticism at the position allows for winning reps against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks. Tight ends also play a pivotal role in the evolution of the run game, as they often function as extra linemen in particular offensive packages. But offensive scheme often changes the fantasy ceiling or floor of a tight end, and quite a few candidates could see the most impact from scheme changes in 2022.
Evan Engram and Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Doug Pederson offense loves tight ends. Pederson's West Coast concepts heavily favor targeting tight ends and running backs, and Evan Engram and Dan Arnold can both be beneficiaries. In each year from 2018-2020, Pederson's Eagles led the league in 12-personnel (1 RB, 1 WR, 2 TE) percentage. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert both found success during that period, finishing in the Top 10 when the season concluded in 2019. The tight end screen is a staple of the Pederson offense, and shallow concepts create yard-gaining opportunities for the big-bodied receivers. Neither Engram nor Arnold is Zach Ertz, but the first step to improvement is staying on the field. Both players could be outlets in specific game scripts, and while Engram may see some work out of the slot, both players could see a large target share with sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence under center. Both players come into 2022 with question marks but with a newfound opportunity with Doug Pederson in town.
Tommy Tremble, Carolina Panthers
Tommy Tremble was raw as a prospect. He was best as a blocker but showed flashes of what he could be as a receiver at Notre Dame. A quiet rookie year has kept him lower on the radar, but Ben McAdoo's arrival could be incredibly beneficial for Tremble. McAdoo's primary offense focuses on getting the ball in players' hands quickly and efficiently, allowing the receivers to do much of the work. This philosophy simplifies everything for the quarterback while priming the defense for calculated deep shots. Tremble's athleticism is his best asset. He possesses incredible yards-after-the-catch ability with his translatable 4.65-second forty-yard dash. Getting him the ball in space is wise.
McAdoo traditionally likes to target tight ends, as well. In 2014, he gave Larry Donnell 92 targets (a 15.4% share) when orchestrating the Giants' offense. In 2015, McAdoo's last season as offensive coordinator in New York, Will Tye and Donnell combined for a 16.7% target share from the tight end position. Adding in the quarterback addition and understanding that Baker Mayfield is at his best when he has an athletic tight end in the middle of the field, Tremble could be in for a massive second-year leap.
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