Good tight ends have always been difficult to pick when it comes to fantasy football. And unless you want to spend high draft capital on one of the “big three” tight ends in 2019 (Kelce, Ertz, Kittle), you may want to wait till the end of the draft to fill the spot.
Now if you do take a shot at a late round TE, the nice thing is you can always drop him for someone else without feeling too bad about it. Streaming TEs is always an option if your sleeper doesn’t pan out. But let’s look at a few that you may want to draft super late in hopes of a great return. This comes from our 12-team PPR ADP .
Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Delanie Walker may not be the youngest guy these days, but from 2014 through 2017 he was a very reliable TE for fantasy owners. In 2017 he caught 74 passes for 807 yards and 3 touchdowns. 2018 was a letdown for Walker, breaking his ankle the first game of the season. In that game he was targeted 7 times, catching 4 of them for 52 yards.
Not much has changed offensively for the Titans player-wise, so Walker could continue to see a ton of work thrown his way by QB Marcus Mariota. Walker has a lot to prove to himself coming back from injury, and an ADP of 12.12 might be worth taking a shot at. Walker could easily bounce back and be a top 5 TE this year.
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
Sticking with the “old” guys here, Greg Olsen is another solid TE that has been plagued by injuries as of late. He missed a majority of both the 2017 and 2018 seasons with an injured foot (the common injury seen in the NFL). Now after the 2nd surgery (which apparently is supposed to fix it for good), Olsen looks to be ready for 2019 with renewed energy (and a renewed foot).
The last time Olsen was healthy was in 2016, when he caught 80 passes for 1073 yards and 3 touchdowns. He caught over 1000 yards three straight seasons from 2014-2016, but hasn’t come close since then. That being said, a healthy Olsen with an ADP of 13.03 is just too juicy to pass up. The departure of the huge TE-like Devin Funchess could also add to Olsen’s success this coming season.
If Olsen comes even close to his 2016 numbers with QB Cam Newton at the helm, you will be one happy fantasy owner.
Chris Herndon IV – New York Jets
So first thing’s first, Chris Herndon IV is suspended for the first 2 games, so don’t even bother drafting him. His current ADP is at 13.11, but unless you want 2 TEs on your roster after draft day you may as well just scoop him up off waivers.
Herndon had a fairly big rookie year in 2018 (which doesn’t normally happen for rookie TEs), catching 39 passes for 502 yards and 4 touchdowns. He showed his athleticism at times last year, and coming into his 2nd year in the Jets’ system he could find himself a major target in the offense.
The Jets made a huge splash signing free agent RB Lev Bell this offseason, so if this Lev Bell is anything like he was in Pittsburgh, the passing game could really open up. Herndon is one to watch for on the waivers after Week 1 or 2 has concluded.
Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
Seems like we’ve switched from the old guys to the new guys, so I’ll keep that ball rolling by introducing our next 2nd year TE: Mark Andrews. Baltimore has always been known for its’ TEs getting very involved in the passing game, and it seems like it has been passed on from QB Joe Flacco to QB Lamar Jackson. In 2018, Andrews was targeted 50 times, catching 34 passes for 552 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Jackson has brought a whole new offense to Baltimore, which should benefit the TEs and the RBs the most. Opposing defenses will have to continuously monitor the QB and the option, so Andrews has a real chance at getting open in the secondary as the linebackers “spy” or bite on Jackson.
Andrews is currently being drafted at the 14.05 spot, and could easily be a solid TE in 2019. He may not crack the top 5, but top 10 is definitely not out of the question.
Noah Fant – Denver Broncos
Finishing up our list we will take a shot on a rookie TE. Now this is normally a big no-no in fantasy football, but Noah Fant might just be the one worth taking a late round flyer on. Fant was regarded as one of the best TEs in the 2019 draft, and was selected 20th overall by the Denver Broncos.
Fant was a beast at Iowa, totaling 1012 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns his Sophomore and Junior year. He was first team All-Big Ten in 2018 and his 6’5” frame could make him an easy target for QB Joe Flacco (assuming he starts).
Flacco loved targeting TEs in Baltimore, so it’s not crazy to think he will continue the trend in Denver. Fant is being drafted at the 14.05 spot, and most likely won’t be drafted in most leagues unless you have a huge Iowa or Denver fan. He is one to watch for on the waiver wire.