Quarantine Day 32:
This virus is really throwing a wrench in our economy as well as our professional sports enjoyment. Have you seen the latest proposal for the 2020 Major League Baseball season? I’m not talking about that whole Arizona/Florida restructured league proposal with the 30-team playoff. The latest idea on the table is one where Elon Musk and Richard Branson fly all the baseball teams to the moon where they’ll play the entire season without gravity. Even Tim Tebow with be launching dingers into orbit. This is especially exciting because if all goes well, rumor has it the NFL season will be played on Mars. In anticipation, Bill O’Brien just traded Deshaun Watson for a cardboard cutout of Buzz Lightyear. Anyway, I went over my top 15 dynasty tight ends last week, here’s my top 30 tight ends for 2020 PPR dynasty football:
Tier 4 (cont’d)
16. Mike Gesicki – It took some time, but Gesicki and Fitzmagic developed some chemistry down the stretch hooking up for 5 touchdowns over the final 6 games in 2019. I’m still undecided whether Gesicki is a late-bloomer or a bust, but my gut says late-bloomer. Might just be the frozen burrito I ate for dinner.
17. Will Dissly – When Dissly has played, he’s been a beast: 6 touchdowns in 10 career games over his first two seasons, developing a high level of trust with Russell Wilson. Unfortunately, he only played those 10 games due to patellar and achilles tendon injuries. Now serious competition comes to town in Greg Olsen. Still, Dissly’s only 24 years old and I see a bright future even if we have to temper 2020 expectations a bit.
18. Dawson Knox – We could be looking at the Fort Knox of young tight ends here and I’ve moved him up several times during my mad science of ranking. 2019 was a solid rookie year for the third rounder out of Mississippi. I’m a big fan of Josh Allen and the Bills’ future, the addition of Stefon Diggs may open things up a little more too.
19. Blake Jarwin – The Cowboys committed to Jarwin last month with a 4-year 22 million dollar deal. The value of this can’t be overstated. I’ve been with the lady-Donkey for over ten years and still haven’t committed. Jarwin in Jerryworld could be a real thing in 2020.
20. Ian Thomas – The 24-year old filled in admirably for Greg Olsen when called upon over the last two seasons. Now he gets his chance as the Panthers number one tight end in Matt Rhule’s new, potentially high-octane offense. Pay attention to whether Carolina brings in some competition via the draft, if they don’t then it’s all systems go for Thomas. Even if they do, I’m still interested since this tight end class is more yawnstipating than quarantine with Bill Belichick.
21. Jonnu Smith – This Titan’s name sounds like a Greek god and he looks like one too. Old man Delanie Walker is finally out of the picture for good. Look for the 25 year old to develop a stronger connection with Tannehill in their first full season together.
22. Jared Cook – He’s a 33 year old on the final year of his deal with the Saints. As long as we’re treating him as a one-year rental there shouldn’t be too much disappointment. Maybe we get a bonus year too.
23. Jack Doyle – In 2017 he caught 80 passes for 690 yards and 4 touchdowns. In 2018 Doyle was limited to 6 games due to hip and abdominal injuries; Eric Ebron swooped in for a career year and then hung around as a 2019 pest as well. Will O’Doyle rule the Colts’ tight end position once again in 2020? All signs point to ‘yes’. Philip Rivers shouldn’t have any issues shot putting the ball his way either.
24. O.J. Howard – I caught a break last year when I accidentally drafted O.J. Simpson instead of O.J. Howard. But Howard is still only 26 this year and some guy by the name of Tom Brady is now his QB. I remember a couple of tight ends doing well in a Brady run offense. UPDATE 4/27/20: Gronk is coming out of retirement to reunite with Brady. Speculation is abound that O.J will be traded and a change of scenery could be just what the talented youngster needs. Stay tuned.
25. Eric Ebron – My gut tells me this ranking is too low for the 27 year old Ebron. But I had Mexican again tonight, so not sure whether to trust the gut. While Big Ben is an upgrade over Jacoby Beef Briskett, Vance McDonald is still in town for 1-2 more years and Roethleisberger does have a history with Bagger Vance.
26. Chris Herndon – Tough luck 2019 season for Herndon as he was limited to one-game after a suspension, hamstring injury and season ending ankle injury. There’s still upside with the 24-year old, but he’ll now have to compete with Ryan Griffin who took advantage of the Herndon void catching 34 passes and 5 touchdowns.
27. Gerald Everett – I mentioned him in the Higbee blurb. Truth is, I’m not sure Higbee is better than Everett, but the Rams placed their wager in giving Higbee a 4-year 31 million dollar extension last summer. I’m very interested in where the 25-year old Everett lands as a free-agent next off season.
28. David Njoku – I’m a fan of Chief David Njoku, but it’s hard to rank him much higher when the Browns spent up for Austin Hooper last month. On the plus side, Njoku could be a free agent next year if the Brown’s pass on his 5th year option and he’s still only 24 years old. If you have deep dynasty rosters then this could be a great time to stash the chief. UPDATE 4/27/20: The Browns brought in yet another tight end thru the draft in 4th rounder Harrison Bryant. Not sure what this means for Njoku but guessing the Browns will be passing on that 5th year option. He could be a nice buy-low target for a rebuilding team, if only to see where he might land next off season.
29. Greg Olsen – 7, 9, 14. Not only the number of meals I’ve eaten per day for February, March and April, but also the number of games Olsen has played each of the last 3 seasons. I’ll take the under on 12 games in 2020. He’s up to 35 years old now and signed on a one-year deal with the Seahawks where he’ll have some real competition from youngster Will Dissly (#14). Consider Olsen a one-year rental a la Jared Cook.
30. Cole Kmet – As mentioned above, I’m not a big fan of this year’s tight end class—other than Claypool (#15), who might not even be a tight end. Out of Notre Dame, Kmet isn’t much of a blocker, but who really cares these days. Oh, and some folks also question his hands. I know, really selling him hard here. I’ll be deferring to draft capital on this year’s tight end class if I’m set on adding a young big man to my dynasty squad, but Albert Okwuegbunam, Harrison Bryant, Hunter Bryant and Adam Trautman are all intriguing prospects. I also considered Cameron Brate, Darren Fells, Kyle Rudolph and Vance McDonald and the varying degrees of boring which they each bring to the table. UPDATE 4/27/20: The Bears have spent a 2nd round pick on Kmet. Such a blah tight end class, but if you need a big man, the Bears thought Kmet was good enough to take in the second round. But they also thought Jimmy Graham was worth a two-year, 16 million dollar contract. And did I mention Trubisky? Tread carefully!
31. Devin Asiasi – UPDATE 4/27/20: The Patriots have spent a 3rd round pick on Asiasi. I saw a lot of jokes about Bill Belichick’s dog drafting for him. Can my Bears maybe find a dog to draft next year? Asiasi was a bit off the radar coming in because he played for some lackluster UCLA teams, but he’s the type of pass catching tight end prospect to keep on your fantasy radar. Plus, if Bill’s dog likes him, who am I to argue?
32. Adam Trautman –UPDATE 4/27/20: The Saints have spent a 3rd round pick on Trautman. Jared Cook has only one year left, so we’re likely looking at his successor here. Unfortunately, Drew Brees may only have two years left himself.
33. Harrison Bryant – UPDATE 4/27/20: The Browns have spent a 4th round pick on Bryant. Bryant showed a knack for finding open space in college and it seems like there’s nice PPR potential here. Unfortunately, he landed in an offense already flush with tight end talent in Austin Hooper (4 years left) and Chief David Njoku (2 years left).
34. Albert Okwuegbunam – UPDATE 4/27/20: The Broncos have spent a 4th round pick on Okwuegbunam. One of the more intriguing tight end prospects in the class also didn’t land in the best of locations for near-term fantasy production. I don’t see how he ever cracks the top 15 fantasy tight ends while in an offense with Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler.
35. Tyler Eifert – UPDATE 5/11/20: u/FigoStep over on Reddit reminded me about Eifert signing the two year deal down in Jacksonville. If he can stay healthy—and that if is the size of Gardner Minshew’s collection of headbands—Eifert could be a deep league steal this year. His tight end competition for targets is James Oh-Shag-Hennessy and Josh Oliver…not super threatening.