2018 Fantasy Football TE Preview: Koerner, Raybon & Freedman

Aug 18, 2018 4:37 AM EDT
  • Below are profiles on each tight end from NFL experts Sean Koerner, Matthew Freedman, and Chris Raybon.
  • Koerner has been the No. 1 in-season FantasyPros ranker for three straight seasons, Freedman was No. 6 last year, and Raybon has watched every NFL snap since 2010.
  • Links to more in-depth content appear below each profile.

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Cameron Brate, Buccaneers

Per-game numbers decreased from 3.8-44-0.53 in 2016 to 3.0-37-0.38 in his first year with O.J. Howard and DeSean Jackson in town, and now he has to contend with an emerging Chris Godwin and more missed time from Jameis Winston. – Raybon

Trails only Jimmy Graham and Kyle Rudolph at the position with 14 touchdowns receiving over the past two years. – Freedman

Trey Burton, Bears

Tight end starts to get ugly around the time he goes off the board. – Raybon

Charles Clay, Bills

A poor man’s Delanie Walker– Raybon

Jared Cook, Raiders

Seventh among tight ends in receiving yards per game (43.0) in his first season with Derek Carr– Raybon

Vernon Davis, Redskins

AppleCare for Jordan Reed . – Raybon

Has averaged 4.9 targets and 9.1 PPR points per game over the last two years in 14 games without starter Jordan Reed– Freedman

Ed Dickson, Seahawks

It seems as if the Seahawks’ definition of recommitting to the run was downgrading at every pass-catching position. – Raybon

Jack Doyle, Colts

While the potential return of Andrew Luck may seem like a positive, Doyle was probably better off with a shellshocked Jacoby Brissett, who lacked the confidence to do much besides force-feed him checkdowns; Eric Ebron could also cut into his targets. – Raybon

No. 2 receiving option in offense with terrifyingly low 4.9-yard average depth of target last season. – Freedman

Eric Ebron, Colts

Most underwhelming first-round tight end of this millennium (after Anthony Becht) but now on a team with an uncertain pass-catching cohort after T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle– Freedman

Tyler Eifert, Bengals

Has scored 18 touchdowns in 21 full games over the past three years. – Freedman

Double-digit touchdown upside with durability that makes Jordan Reed look like the Cal Ripken of football. – Raybon

Evan Engram, Giants

Has a high ceiling but might lack consistency with Odell Beckham Jr. back and Saquon Barkley added to the fold in what figures to be a more run-heavy attack. – Raybon

Zach Ertz, Eagles

Has averaged 16.64 PPR points per game over the last two years in 16 outings without former Eagles slot wide receiver Jordan Matthews. – Freedman

Reigning target-per-game leader (7.9) on a team with a quarterback who was playing at an MVP level before going down last season. – Raybon

Mike Gesicki, Dolphins

Has old-school Vernon Davis athleticism, second-round draft pedigree, and limited competition for mid-range targets as a rookie. – Freedman

Jimmy Graham, Packers

Is it possible for a player to have more touchdowns than yards? – Raybon

Likely to become Aaron Rodgers’ favorite red-zone target. – Koerner

Virgil Green, Chargers

Journeyman with just four touchdowns in seven years but athletic and slated to start for a quarterback who has historically relied on his tight end. – Freedman

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

Has NFL-high 77 touchdowns since entering the league in 2010 despite missing 26 games. – Freedman

Top-two tight end in PPR points per game in a ridiculous six of the past seven seasons. – Raybon

Austin Hooper, Falcons

Finished last season as the TE 17 overall and TE21 in PPR points per game but has been efficient when given an opportunity, ranking fifth among tight ends with 8.66 yards per target since coming into the league. – Raybon

O.J. Howard, Buccaneers

Explosive second-year man has the misfortune of being a better blocker than Cameron Brate for a team that just guaranteed Brate $18 million. – Raybon

Lauded second-year player stuck in a timeshare. – Freedman

Hayden Hurst, Ravens

Dennis Pitta and Ben Watson essentially came back from the dead lead the Ravens in receptions in 2016 and 2017, respectively, so it wouldn’t be surprising if an NFL-ready 25-year-old picked in the firs round led them in 2018. – Raybon

Overdrafted rookie who will enter the season as a 25-year-old project with three college touchdowns. – Freedman

Travis Kelce, Chiefs

Over the last two years has 14.73 PPR points per game to Gronk’s 14.75. – Freedman

Hard to knock him based on quarterback play when he’s finished as the PPR TE1 in back-to-back seasons with Alex Smith– Raybon

George Kittle, 49ers

Was the No. 10 tight end in PPR after Jimmy Garoppolo became the starting quarterback in Week 13. – Koerner

His 0.30 PPR points per snap in five Jimmy Garoppolo starts would have ranked No. 2 at the position over a full season. – Raybon

Vance McDonald, Steelers

Caught 10-of-16 passes for 112 yards in his most recent game as a Steeler and will reportedly be a featured part of new coordinator Randy Fichtner’s offense. – Raybon

David Njoku, Browns

Led the team last year with four touchdowns receiving and primed to follow in the Hall-of-Fame footsteps of Tony GonzalezJason Witten and Rob Gronkowski as a 22-year-old second-year breakout. – Freedman

2017 first-rounder has high-end college production, good workout metrics, and a signature touchdown celebration but lacks a clear path to topping Year 1’s 60 targets by much. – Raybon

Greg Olsen, Panthers

A foot injury limited his playing time and production last year, but he came on strong with an 84-1,040-8 season-long pace over his last four games (including playoffs). – Raybon

Jordan Reed, Redskins

The No. 1 tight end in PPR points per game in 2015 and 2016 must ward off injuries and establish chemistry with Alex Smith, but his upside is well worth it when it costs no more than a seventh-round pick at a hollow position. – Raybon

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

The initial chemistry between Rudolph and his new quarterback Kirk Cousins (who loves throwing to tight ends) seems to be going well; Cousins describes throwing to Rudolph “like throwing into a mattress.” – Koerner

Top-15 finisher for three years straight; caught 34% of Minnesota’s touchdowns over that span and now gets a quarterback who’s thrown 31% of his touchdowns to tight ends in that same timeframe. – Raybon 

Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals

Jermaine Gresham’s Achilles injury opens the door for Seal-Jones to handle a full complement of snaps; early reports out of camp (and the W Hotel) about his blocking are promising. – Raybon

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jaguars

Average of 7.1 yards per reception makes him perfect for Marcedes Lewis‘ block-first role. – Raybon

Talented pass-catcher but at best the third receiving option on an offense that generated just 21 aerial touchdowns last year. – Freedman

Delanie Walker, Titans

Only Travis Kelce has scored more PPR points than Walker over the past three seasons; advancing age is offset by what could be a major upgrade at offensive coordinator with Sean McVay’s understudy Matt LaFleur replacing the Mike Mularkey-Terry Robiskie regime. – Raybon

Ben Watson, Ravens

The ageless wonder quietly finished as the TE11 in 2017 with Baltimore and now goes back to New Orleans, where he finished as the TE6 in 2015. – Raybon

Credit:

Winslow Townson – USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rob Gronkowski

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SCHEDULE
OPEN
CURR
# BETS
ATL
NYG
-4.5
54
-4
54
WAS
DAL
-1
42
PK
41.5
CHI
NE
+2.5
50
+3
48.5
TB
CLE
-3
49.5
-3.5
52.5
JAC
HOU
-3.5
44
-4
41
NYJ
MIN
+3
47
+3.5
46
SF
LA
+10.5
53
+9.5
52
IND
BUF
-7
42.5
-7
43
LAC
TEN
-7
45.5
-6.5
45
ARI
DEN
+1
41
+1
42
MIA
DET
+2.5
47
+3
46.5
KC
CIN
-6
58.5
-6
58.5
PHI
CAR
-4.5
45
-5
44.5
BAL
NO
-2.5
51
-3
49.5