There are three distinct clusters of TEs. The top-end TEs get drafted between the Second and Third Rounds. The ‘up-and-coming’ TEs come off the board between the Fifth and Seventh Rounds. The last cluster get drafted between the Eleventh and Thirteenth Rounds. Most of the TEs going in this final range are either promising, yet unproven young guys or older TEs that have injury concerns. I’m going to pick out a TE from each of these clusters and tell you why I trust them, but first I have to tell you what I mean by Trust in fantasy football terms.
Find out who the Ballers have ranked in their top-10 TEs for 2019.
Trust in fantasy football has a lot to do with draft position. It’s a return on investment. I don’t need or expect to find a guy that’s going to blow up and exceed all expectations. I just need the majority of my team to perform commensurate to their draft position. These are the TEs that are in situations where I can put them in my lineup and not worry about it going from week-to-week. Trust creates simple decisions and I like simple decisions. If these guys are on my teams, I can start them and not worry about it
Ertz keeps slipping and slipping in drafts to the point where he’s going in the Third or Fourth Round. Sometimes narratives start forming around certain players that drive their ADPs up and down. Think about what you’ve heard about Ertz this offseason. The only thing we hear is “Well there are more mouths to feed in Philadelphia now and his targets are going to drop.” That’s it. That’s all that’s being talked about for Ertz this entire offseason. His targets will certainly come down and maybe he’s not one of the sexier names being thrown around when discussing TEs, but he’s worth our trust given what he’s done and where he’s being drafted.
If you take last year and his 156 targets away, he had between 106 and 112 targets each of the three prior seasons, which translated to 74-78 receptions and between 816-853 yards. He didn’t even start in all of those games those years. Ertz might not get 156 targets again, but 120 targets is a floor if he plays all 16 games. Throw in the TD upside on a high-powered offense and he doesn’t need 150+ targets to be worth a pick at his draft position. You can trust Ertz to return value.
2. Evan Engram – ADP 5.11
Nobody is a fan of the NYG offense especially with Eli still at the helm and without Odell Beckham Jr. That OBJ is gone is huge for Engram. Engram averaged less than 40 yards per game with OBJ, but over 80 yards when OBJ wasn’t on the field including 77.2 yards per game over the last five weeks of the season. Engram isn’t as hot an item as O.J. Howard, but he’s going to easily average five receptions and 50 yards per game and may be walking into a year where he’s asked to do a lot more in that offense given the lack of healthy weapons beyond Saquon Barkley. He may not have a shot to be a top-5 TE, but he’s a guy you can trust especially if you get him in the late-Fifth Round or later.
3. Greg Olsen – ADP 13.10
It gets ugly when you play chicken with the TE position going deep into a draft. Other TEs in this range include Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker, Kyle Rudolph, Mark Andrews, and Jimmy Graham. Why Greg Olsen over all of them? I trust Cam Newton, I trust Newton will continue to look at Olsen as his security blanket, and I trust the Carolina offense will move up and down the field with the weapons they have. Olsen is a very cheap way to get a piece of a very good offense. If he has two functional feet, you can trust him in your lineup.