2018 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts
Tight end is a tough position. There is a new generation of young, athletic pass catchers at the position, but there are still a number of question marks even within the top 12. If half the teams pick a backup tight end, it doesn’t leave much on the waiver wire if your starter busts and you wait four or five weeks to give up on the guy you drafted. A lot of the time you aren’t using a high draft pick on a tight end, but either way, if your starter goes down, it is a tough position to replace midseason. So, with that thought in mind, let’s look at guys you can avoid in order to not have to troll the waiver wire starting in Week 6.
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Kacey’s Bust – Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Steve is going to hate me for this one, but I just cannot be on the Greg Olsen train this season. I look for Olsen to be in his “Jason Witten Mode”. Remember Witten starting the season off strong for fantasy purposes last season, but then fading into the distance? I feel like this is going to be the same path for Olsen. Sure, Cam Newton doesn’t have a ton of targets, but I feel Devin Funchess is going to step up and be a good fantasy option this season. More targets his way means less for Olsen. D.J. Moore was drafted and did a nice job in the Panthers’ first preseason game as well.
Olsen has agreed to a two-year extension and has said he wants to keep playing. And yes, he did have three 1,000 plus yard seasons before becoming injured in 2017. There was that wonderful rumor swirling around during the offseason that he wanted to retire and go to the booth. I am not sold that he’s going to go back to the way he looked prior to last season. He is currently being taken as the fourth tight end in PPR formats (via fantasypros.com) and is going before players such as Evan Engram, Delanie Walker, Jimmy Graham, and Kyle Rudolph. I would take any of those guys over Olsen. I like Olsen if he was going later, but I think you’ll be disappointed in what you have to pay to get him. This is an unpopular opinion, but I feel so many tight ends are going to be similar that you can wait to get a guy who will give you Olsen like numbers but in a later round.
Brian’s Bust –Any Tight End in Rounds 1-3
I'm sorry but I can't spend valuable draft capital on a position that starts only one player AND is easily streamable. You'll kick yourself after seeing your fellow owners taking players in the 2nd like Christian McCaffery or Davante Adams when you take Gronk. If you waste a 3rd on Kelce or Ertz you'll be passing on much needed running back depth. You'll be chasing those points all season. Load up everywhere else and get a midlevel TE in rounds 7-10. Your roster depth and win totals will thank me later.
Jim’s Bust – Trey Burton, Chicago Bears
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the upside of him being the starter in Matt Nagy’s offense and I could be totally wrong, I just don’t think I will be. He is currently being drafted as the 10th TE and that is just too high for me. Not only has he never caught more than 38 balls in any season in college or the pros, but outside of his 5 last year, he had never scored more than 1 touchdown in any other season, again both in the pros or college.
When I add that to the fact that Adam Shaheen is sitting there too, that worries me. Shaheen is huge at 6’6”, 270 lbs. and will be a bigger target in the red zone than Burton. Shaheen only had 12 receptions in limited action last year, but three of them were for TDs. Every single TD he vultures from Burton pushes Burton further down the list. Tarik Cohen could also steal some work from Burton. If you only draft one TE, don’t make it Burton, but he will be a decent streamer based on opponents.
Steve’s Bust – Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers
Let’s take a look back at Jimmy’s Graham’s 2017 season. Graham was number in the NFL in red zone targets with 29. He was number one among tight ends and number two overall in the NFL in receiving touchdowns, with ten scores. He benefitted from being on a team with a horrible rushing attack and no other red zone threats, and how did he finish in fantasy? Despite the success in the red zone, Graham finished as the TE6 in PPR leagues.
Now Graham has taken his talents to Cheese-Land and according to Fantasy Football Calculator, he is currently getting drafted as the fourth tight end off the board. Green Bay hasn’t featured the tight end in their offense for years and they have a touchdown-scoring machine in Devante Adams lining up on the outside. The stars aligned perfectly for Graham to have great season last year. You better make a wish, because those stars are going to come falling down in 2018.
Ryan’s Bust – Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
This one kills me because I love Gronk. However, his ADP has gotten out of control. According to Fantasy Pros he is going 21st overall off the board. That is pick nine of Round 2. As good as Gronk is, he has gotten too injury prone, and his numbers just aren’t there. Right now he is going ahead of receivers like Mike Evans, Doug Baldwin, Stefon Diggs, etc. These guys are top flight wide receivers and barring injury I can guarantee they will outperform Gronk. Unless you are in a league that gives bonus points to tight ends, I just can’t see taking him in the second round when you only need to play one tight end each week. The position still isn’t deep, but there are so many young guys with a chance to succeed that you can find one later. You have to have too much depth at running back and wide receiver in fantasy football anymore to avoid taking a tight end in the second round. Please forgive me Gronk, I still love you. And I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. No I won’t do that.