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In the second of a six-part fantasy draft preview series leading up the NFL season, Fantasy Insanity discusses which tight ends to draft when. Next week: quarterbacks.
A lot of things have changed in the Madman’s lifetime. We used to use rotary phones. Then came cell phones, and after that smart phones. Now, between texting and photos and surfing social media and the internet, using our phone to make a phone call is quite uncommon. Things have changed.
We used to have a handful of TV channels, then came cable, then satellite TV and now streaming. Things change.
We used to have phonographic records to listen to music, then came tape cassettes, then CDs, and now you stream that, too. Things change.
The Madman is not resistant to change. We welcome anything that makes our lives and our fantasy success, better. Hence, our tweaked DVQ formula has undergone a new change, with more emphasis on positional scoring disparity. The primary focus was to reflect the elevated value of those rare few who excel at shallow positions.
The one position that benefited the most was tight ends. This added boost vaulted consensus top tight end, Travis Kelce, from the 30-40 range into the top five — all the way to No. 3 overall, in fact. But Kelce isn’t the only beneficiary. Darren Waller (14) and George Kittle (19) also cracked the top 20.
After that, you might want to wait a while for a tight end.
It does present a tricky dilemma for fantasy owners. Can you afford to forego a feature running back, of which there are few, for a tight end in the first or second round? Can you bypass a high-volume receiver?
What our math says is: Yes. Because it is based on numbers that show you can find a closer facsimile in the next round or two to the RB or WR you shun. There are no such comparable players to the top tight ends.
Sure, Mark Andrews and Kyle Pitts are not scrubs, but if we’re going to reach outside the RB-WR sphere that early, in that range we would prefer to nab one of the top quarterbacks.
Essentially, we are much more open to taking a tight end very early. But if it doesn’t work out, we’re waiting — likely until the double-digit rounds.
We’re expecting big things from Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense, so our favorite later-round target is Tyler Higbee. But we also think Mike Gesicki and Logan Thomas can be productive and have the potential to break out.
We’re OK with Robert Tonyan, with Aaron Rodgers returning. But be aware, his draft stock likely will rise. Because he is so touchdown-dependent, we are not inclined to chase as he rises up draft boards.
And if you’re searching really deep in the draft, take a stab at Cole Kmet. Normally it takes tight ends some time to catch up to the pro game. With better QB play this season, you certainly could do worse than this second-year target near the end of your draft.
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