Fantasy TEs Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Irv Smith & Dan Arnold See Stock Rise
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. Pictured: Irv Smith Jr.
The height of NFL free agency is behind us. With signings and trades shifting the league as a result, our analysts are here to break down the most noteworthy moves for fantasy football.
Below they highlight four tight ends whose fantasy values have risen this offseason.
Free Agency Winners: TEs
|Irv Smith Jr., Vikings|
|Gerald Everett, Seahawks|
|Tyler Higbee, Rams|
|Dan Arnold, Panthers|
Irv Smith Jr., Vikings
Chris Raybon: This was between Smith and Tyler Higbee, both of whom lost their platoon mates this offseason. I’m going with Smith because, unlike the Rams with second-year man Brycen Hopkins, the Vikings don’t have another pass-catching specialist waiting in the wings at the position.
While Hopkins could conceivably slide right into Everett’s role and leave Higbee with a similar role to the one he had in 2020, Rudolph’s departure is likely to result in a jump in snaps for Smith, as Rudolph was on the field for 72.0% of Minnesota’s offensive snaps when active.
Smith posted four four-catch, 50-plus-yard games last season and two multi-touchdown games, and as a heralded former second-round pick out of Alabama who doesn’t turn 23 until August, he’s dripping with upside.
Smith could be a surprise top-10 finisher on what has become a crapshoot fantasy position outside the top studs.
Gerald Everett, Seahawks
Samantha Previte: My answer would probably have been different if the Patriots had not taken both of the top tight ends off the market during their spending frenzy, but I’m going with Gerald Everett.
Assuming Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith were No. 1 and 2 in terms of available tight ends, Everett probably would have been No. 3. He signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Seahawks after spending his first four seasons as a member of the Rams.
The 2017 second-round pick shared playing time with Tyler Higbee throughout his career and took a backseat to Higbee over the last two seasons. In 2020, Everett caught 41 passes for 417 yards and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) over 16 regular-season appearances.
The Southern Alabama product finished as TE25 through 16 weeks. He should face less competition on the Seattle depth chart, however, which otherwise consists of Will Dissly, Luke Willson and Colby Parkinson.
While Everett’s situation has improved, it may not be quite enough to vault him into the TE1 conversation. He will probably end up on the cusp and possibly a value in the later rounds of deep leagues.
Tyler Higbee, Rams
Sean Koerner: Higbee saw his stock shoot up during the offseason. The Rams upgraded at quarterback after the blockbuster trade sending Jared Goff to Detroit for Matthew Stafford.
Higbee’s disappointing 2020 season was mainly due to splitting time with Gerald Everett. Now with Everett off to the Seahawks, there’s a chance we could see Higbee return to his 2019 level of production.
He’s a TE who may be worth taking a flier on in the later rounds.
Dan Arnold, Panthers
Matthew Freedman: I’m not enamored with many of the tight end moves we’ve seen this offseason, but one that maybe is worth keeping in mind is Dan Arnold’s signing with the Panthers.
Whether they upgrade the quarterback position via a trade or the draft or they simply get better play from starter Teddy Bridgewater in his second year under head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady, the Panthers are likely to be better on offense this season.
In 2020, the Panthers got almost nothing out of starter Ian Thomas, who seems certain to be replaced this year, and that gives Arnold an opening. An athletic move tight end who converted from wide receiver upon entering the league, Arnold will be no better than the No. 4 option in the pass offense behind wide receivers D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson and running back Christian McCaffrey, but he could still see enough targets on a regular basis to emerge as a low-cost fantasy TE2.
At his draft position, that’s value.