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3 Tight End Busts You Must Avoid in Your 2018 Fantasy Draft

Jimmy Graham Photo Credit: US Air Force
Jimmy Graham Photo Credit: US Air Force

It’s unfortunately easier to draft tight end busts than it is to find sleepers.

Each year, the hype train makes at least one tight end overpriced.  Martellus Bennett, Coby Fleener, Jordan Cameron, and Ladarius Green are just a few of the names that come to mind.

This season, there’s a new set of players who will disappoint you.

That’s why I always do this when drafting tight ends…

Avoiding Tight End Busts

I like drafting multiple tight ends.

If you had the opportunity, would you buy just one lottery ticket? I’m assuming not.

You’d buy multiple lottery tickets in the hopes of hitting it big.

That’s why I normally draft three tight ends. MFL10s have 20 rounds, so that gives you more room to add more players.

The more comfortable I am with my first tight end, the longer I wait to draft my other two tight ends.

For example, I’m comfortable with Greg Olsen as my starting tight end. I would then roll the dice on Tyler Eifert in Round 13, and I would add Vernon Davis in Round 16.

But if it’s Round 7 and I haven’t drafted a tight end yet, I get more aggressive.

In that situation, I would do something like drafting Kyle Rudolph in Round 7, Jordan Reed in Round 8, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in Round 13.

I’m a fan of Rudolph this season, especially with Alex Smith’s tendency to lean on his tight end, but I’m worried about his consistency.

Reed is a stud, but he has to stay on the field. Seferian-Jenkins showed promise with the New York Jets last season, but I’m not expecting too much out of him. He’s just a third lottery ticket.

A few of the players I mentioned above are bound to disappoint their owners.

But through careful planning, I’m hoping I can have one winning ticket. You can love Reed’s potential, but he could also get hurt in Week 1 and be out for the entire season.

Don’t draft him and then add Hayden Hurst in Round 15 as an afterthought.

Protect your investment by adding other tight ends who are starters or who should receive consistent playing time.

Now that you’re prepared, let’s jump in and see the tight end busts you need to avoid in your 2018 Fantasy Football draft…

2018 Tight End Busts

All ADP data is from FantasyPros.com and is up-to-date as of July 31

Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 4, OVR 55)

Graham is a 31-year old tight end who is entering a new system.

That doesn’t sound promising, and it certainly doesn’t make me want to draft him in Round 5. If I’m adding Graham, that means I’m passing on DeShaun Watson, Jarvis Landry, Chris Hogan, and Marvin Jones.

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Also, when was the last time you remember a tight end on the Packers making a Fantasy impact?

I couldn’t remember either, so I had to do some digging.

The last time a tight end on Green Bay recorded more than 700 receiving yards was in 2011. Jermichael Finley posted a 55-767-8 stat line that year.

Now, Graham could still have a few big games here or there.

But if I have to pay a fifth-round price tag for a tight end, he needs to be consistent with his Fantasy scoring.

That’s not going to happen, which makes Graham one of the biggest tight end busts on my list.

Evan Engram, New York Giants (ADP: 6, OVR 61)

Rookie tight ends aren’t known for their Fantasy production, but Engram was impressive in 2017. He caught 64 passes, recorded 722 receiving yards, and hauled in six touchdowns.

However, injuries to Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard helped Engram finish with more targets then he normally would have recorded.

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With the return of OBJ, I’d expect to see a downtick in production.

But his Fantasy production may also take a hit because of the addition of running back Saquon Barkley. If the Giants can get it right, the offense can replicate the success of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Leaning on Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars finished first in rushing yards per game in 2017.

Correspondingly, Blake Bortles’s passing attempts dropped 19.5% from 625 in 2016, to 523 in 2017.

But the focus on the rushing attack worked for the Jaguars…

Jacksonville won 10 games last year and reached the playoffs. The last time the Jaguars made the playoffs or won more than eight games was in 2007.

With Eli Manning being closer to the end of his career than the beginning, the coaching staff may just ask him to be a game manager. He may attempt fewer passes as the offense leans on Barkley.

Engram can’t improve his 2017 stats if Manning is throwing less and not looking as much in his direction.

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ADP: 15, OVR 145)

Howard is a talented athlete, and he was compared to Julius Thomas in his draft profile.

But he’s on my tight end bust list because his situation isn’t ideal.

He’s starting off with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the signal caller because Jameis Winston has received a three-game suspension.

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At this point, we’ve seen everything the 35-year old quarterback has to offer. He’s competent, but he’s not going to help his receivers and tight ends produce elite numbers.

Speaking of tight ends, remember that Cameron Brate is still on the team.

In March, the Buccaneers signed Brate to a six-year deal. They plan to utilize him, especially in the red zone. Over the last two seasons, the 27-year old tight end has caught a total of 14 touchdowns.

The situation is bad and there’s competition for playing time.

That’s not a formula for Fantasy success.

It’s the formula for creating tight end busts.

Thanks for stopping by to see our advice on tight end busts to avoid. Before heading out and preparing for your 2018 Fantasy Football draft, make sure to check out this article. It will show you how be a great commissioner to make the season legendary. Or check out our partner FantasyPros Draft Wizard to see what kind of teams you can build as you avoid those tight end busts!

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Jack Delaney

Jack's love of craft beer and gangster rap is only surpassed by his love of pass-catching running backs. He was a top-40 finisher and $1,500 prize winner for the 2014 RotoBowl, a top-50 finisher in the 2015 Mock Draft Online Championships, finished first in draft accuracy for quarterback rankings in 2015 on Fantasy Pros, and was a contributor to the 2015 and 2016 The Fantasy Football Guide.
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