Fantasy Football: 2019 NFL Draft TE Landing Spots

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If you’ve played fantasy football at all over the past few years, you know that finding a quality TE to start is a fairly difficult thing. If you don’t have one of the top players, such as Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, etc. you’re normally scrambling to find a starting TE that will actually deliver a decent performance.

This draft could have changed that debacle for fantasy owners as some very talented players just ended up in some great landing spots.

(The Fantasy Footballers Podcast also recently did a TE preview episode that will hold you off until AndyJason, and Mike are ready to give you their full opinion on these landing spots.)

Editor’s Note: Check back for all Rookie Landing Spot articles as they become available.

T.J. Hockenson – Detroit Lions

Round 1, Pick 8 (8th Overall)
Lions fans are going to inevitably be upset about this pick due to the recent “over-drafting” of Eric Ebron in 2014. However, Hockenson is a phenomenal talent who is worthy of a Top-10 selection. He’s a great receiver and has great movement and fluidity in his route running, but is also mean and nasty in the run game as a blocker. He’ll never come off the field in Detroit and he’s worth taking a look at towards the back end of Round 1 in your rookie mock drafts.

2019 Competition: Jesse James, Logan Thomas

Noah Fant – Denver Broncos

Round 1, Pick 24 (24th Overall)
Hockenson’s former teammate at Iowa, Noah Fant was drafted by the Denver Broncos after moving back to pick #20. Fant is the epitome of a “move” tight end in the NFL. He ran a 4.50 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine and that speed jumps off the screen when watching tape. He has great hands and was used all over the field at Iowa, whether in short passes or the intermediate to deep routes. The best part about his landing spot though? He lands with Joe Flacco as his quarterback, who loves throwing to tight ends. The last time that Flacco had a talent like Fant was 2016 with a 31-year old Dennis Pitta. Pitta finished with 86 receptions that season and Fant is 10x the athlete Pitta was at that point in his career. Fant could be walking into a huge target share in Denver and it could mean big things for fantasy football.

2019 Competition: Jake Butt, Jeff Heuerman

Irv Smith, Jr. – Minnesota Vikings

Round 2, Pick 18 (50th Overall)
Irv Smith is a TE prospect that is dripping with upside. He’s a little undersized, but he moves extremely well and has solid hands as a receiver. He’s gritty as a run blocker and slides in perfectly as the eventual Kyle Rudolph replacement. He does have some concentration issues that pop up on tape from time to time and he’ll need some time to adjust to learning the position at an NFL level. With that being said, all the tools and traits are there for him to succeed for fantasy football.

2019 Competition: Kyle Rudolph

Drew Sample – Cincinatti Bengals

Round 2, Pick 20 (52nd Overall)
This was an odd pick to see in the middle of the 2nd Round, but the Bengals obviously liked him enough to spend that capital on him. He has an incredible size/speed combination and while he was thought to be primarily a blocking tight end, he does show some underrated receiving ability. Sample’s a projection at the next level to have success and enters into a crowded TE room in Cincy. We’ll have to take a “wait and see” approach with Sample and whether or not he can be useful for fantasy football.

2019 Competition: Tyler Eifert, C.J. Uzomah

Josh Oliver – Jacksonville Jaguars

Round 3, Pick 5 (69th Overall)
Oliver is a raw prospect out of San Jose St. that does carry great upside. He’s a great athlete and has really nice hands in the receiving game. While he may take some time to develop, he’s walking into a great situation in Jacksonville where he fills a huge need in that offense. It may take a while for Oliver to become fantasy relevant, but he’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

2019 Competition: Geoff Swaim

Jace Sternberger – Green Bay Packers

Round 3, Pick 12 (75th Overall)
This is one of my favorite tight ends in this year’s draft class. Sternberger is a big-bodied receiver who is able to drop his hips and move in and out of cuts extremely well. He only had one year of great college production after transferring to Texas A&M this past season, but there’s a lot of untapped potential there. He has arguably the best hands in this tight end class and is going to an offense that needs a long-term option behind Jimmy Graham for that flexed-out TE role. Sternberger might not walk into an immediate role, but if the Packers choose to move on from Graham soon, Sternberger is an instant upgrade.

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2019 Competition: Jimmy Graham

Editor’s Note: Check back for all Rookie Landing Spot articles as they become available.

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