Five undervalued fantasy tight ends
Every offseason you’re going to find in-depth articles focused on draft strategy; whether it’s Late Round QB, Zero RB, or RB-heavy, these articles can often end up missing the point. The draft is likely the most important day of your fantasy season, but drafts are ultimately won and lost on the players more so than positions you draft. Each player drafted is a pick made against your peers. The player you’re higher on than everyone else is usually the one you drafted. If you’re right more often than your leaguemates, you stand the best chance of winning your league.
With that in mind, here is my list of tight ends I’m much higher on relative to ADP and my expert peers.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE10, TE10) – Tyler Eifert was a top sleeper heading into 2014. On his first eight snaps, he had three catches for 37 yards, before falling awkwardly on his elbow and sitting out for the rest of the season. Just as Eifert was one of fantasy’s top sleepers last season, after his injury-marred 2014, so too is Seferian-Jenkins for similar reasons this year. Seferian-Jenkins played on 78 percent of the team’s snaps in Week 1 and caught five passes on seven targets for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Week 2 did not go as smoothly, as he left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. The Buccaneers played it safe, easing their 2014 second round pick back into action and limiting his snaps. He would go on to sit out for the next ten weeks, and never see more than 45 percent of his team’s snaps in a single game. He was still, however, incredibly efficient on the limited playing time he did receive.
Last season, Seferian-Jenkins was first among tight ends in fantasy points per snap, second in fantasy points per route run, second in yards per route run, fourth in fantasy points per catchable target, and tied with Rob Gronkowski for the third-highest aDOT (10.9) at the position. Granted, it’s a limited sample, but Seferian-Jenkins produced at an elite level when he was on the field. This season, he’ll be competing for targets against Mike Evans and the 33-year-old Vincent Jackson. A lot is made of the conventional wisdom that young quarterbacks lean heavily on their tight ends, but in this case I could certainly see it being true. Over Winston’s two seasons at Florida State, his tight end, Nick O’Leary, led the ACC in receptions and receiving yards at the position. Given the high-efficiency numbers he posted last season, and his cemented role on an emerging offense, Seferian-Jenkins makes for one of my favorite sleeper picks for 2016.