Look, I get it. It’s hard to get a good, consistent tight end. Yes, I know Kyle Pitts is supposed to be the greatest tight end since Travis Kelce, but if I’m in Vegas I’m betting the under on all the Kyle Pitts prop bets. If you remember, Travis Kelce wasn’t Travis Kelce until his fourth year in the league. An injury erased his rookie season and his next two years were good, not great. All world, all time great Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez didn’t turn into the best tight end in the game until his third season. Former Chargers great Antonio Gates didn’t break away from the pack of mediocre tight ends until his second season. What I’m saying is that you can spend your dynasty rookie draft first round pick on Kyle Pitts and wait a year or two until he’s the tight end savior, or you can send a lowball trade offer to your league mate who has given up on great players who just didn’t break out as rookies.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears: “But Phil, Jimmy Graham is still on the roster and had a better season than Cole Kmet last year.” Look, and I really mean look. Look forward not backward. Dynasty fantasy football is all about seeing the future. What happened last year means nothing, and what some snot nosed high pick rookie did in college means diddly squat when they get to the NFL. Last year Cole Kmet had 28 catches with two TD’s and Jimmy Graham had 50 catches and 8 TD’s. I’d bet money that Cole and Jimmy are going to swap stats this year, but Cole Kmet will have an even better year with a shot at 60 catches and 10 touchdowns. Why? He’s more experienced than last year, and the Bears have actual NFL quarterbacks on their roster this year.
Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints: In 2020 the Saints gave up their only three draft picks to get Trautman in the third round. Do the Saints strike you as a team that makes terrible draft decisions? They signed Jared Cook last year to serve as their TE1 and the fact that the Saints cut Jared Cook loose this off-season tells me all I need to know about Adam Trautman. He’s ready. Last season, although Trautman had only 15 catches, he caught nearly 94% of anything thrown his way. Trust the Saints and trust Trautman.
Thaddeus Moss, Cincinnati Bengals: Pretty soon Cincinnati will be LSU North. First Joe Burrow, then Ja’Marr Chase, and finally TE Thaddeus Moss. It’s almost like Joe Burrow is the GM. If Thaddeus Moss makes the Bengals roster this season, don’t you think Joe Burrow is going to help his old buddy out? I do. Sure, he may not have caught a single pass in a regular season game yet, but don’t let that deter you.
Jordan Akins, Houston Texans: Yes, this is the rare fourth year breakout candidate. And yes, Jordan Akins has been just a serviceable tight end thus far in his career. But this year is different. Why? Because the Texans are going to be truly awful. It’s all but certain that DeShaun Watson is not going to play this season. In comes Tyrod Taylor, who’s following the Ryan Fitzpatrick “new team every year” career plan. With the Texans being awful, they are going to be trailing in a lot of games. That means a lot of throwing and a lot of check downs to the tight end.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills: Knox is a third year player who has been good when called on, but hasn’t been called on as much as he would need to become a top 12 TE. This is the year that changes. With defenses focusing on Stefan Diggs, Gabe Davis, Emmanuel Sanders, and Cole Beasley, that leaves Dawson Knox wide open in the middle of the field. Josh Allen is a year older and as most running quarterbacks do, they run a little less each year, meaning more check downs to the tight end. Also, by now, most of your league mates have given up on Knox breaking out, making him a cheap trade target. Knox is on one of the best passing offenses in football. Go get him!
Next week dynasty running back sleepers!