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Tight-end scoring came down at the top last year, with a slight increase in the number of solid TE1 options. All of the early picks - except Mark Andrews - disappointed. Dalton Schultz was a huge hit, while Ertz and Knox had strong stretches for late-round/waiver wire options. Other than that, as usual, points were hard to come by at tight end. What’s the best way to navigate the position in 2022 drafts? How are the options distributed among tiers?
- Travis Kelce, KC
Kelce’s numbers were down sharply last year, and his effectiveness could be hurt by the loss of Tyreek Hill and subsequent compression of the defense/extra attention, but he could also get a corresponding target peak because he is the only option in the offense that has had extensive success with Patrick Mahomes II. He’s worth a late first.
READY TO BE THE #1 OPTION/ELITE TE?
This group has the potential to surpass Kelce (again in Andrews' case), but they are going to be the focus of the opposition’s pass defense game plan, and they haven’t proven they can produce consistently in that situation. On the plus side, the targets should be there by default.
Andrews had his biggest games when Lamar Jackson was out last year, and Marquise Brown is gone, so safeties won’t have to respect the deep pass, making his job harder. The offense is reportedly going back to a run-heavy game plan, which could lower Andrews' ceiling. Andrews could have trouble living up to his second-round price.
Pitts often drew the #1 corner, and almost always drew extra attention as a rookie, which is remarkable. His ability shined at times, but 2021 was mostly a learning experience. He could blossom as a talent and make his quarterback and how he is defended not matter, but much like when he had this ADP last year with a better supporting cast and quarterback, that could be asking too much.
SOLID TE1 WITH UPSIDE
This duo is coming cheaper than last year, and maybe not with good reason.
Waller won’t be the #1 target in the offense, but the Raiders should still be pass-heavy and Davante Adams should make his job easier. If Josh McDaniels deploys the ample talent in this offense effectively, Waller should justify his ADP.
Kittle will probably have a less efficient passer in an even more run-heavy offense, but he was a lot more efficient per target than Waller last year and has a longer track record of success. Being able to get him in the late fourth seems too good to be true.
HIGH CEILING TE1
Both of these players are on the upslope of their career arc, or at the peak, and their situations are getting more positive. Either of them could break into the top five this year.
Knox was one of Josh Allen’s favorite middle of the field and red zone targets last year. Cole Beasley’s departure can only help his target share, and he could be a delayed breakout player after he turned the corner last year.
Goedert looks dominant at times and the Eagles offense should be tough to defend this year. Will the week-to-week targets be there if A.J. Brown stays healthy? It’s hard to know, but when Goedert gets targets, big plays should ensue.
HIGH FLOOR TE1
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