This is the last update before the season begins. As dynasty managers prepare for the season, a lot of patience is required during this time so as to not overreact to the daily news wire. I will use recent trades I have made to highlight this version. Here are tight ends to watch before the season begins:
Adam Trautman, DEN – Sell
Trautman was brought over from the Saints in a trade and thus far, has operated as the starting tight end for the Broncos. Much to the dismay of those touting Greg Dulcich, it appears Trautman will operate as a thorn in the side for Dulcich managers despite not having much value himself. I expect him to act as the “starter” but be limited in the number of routes he will run, and thus, should be liquidated for anything possible before the season.
The Move – This happens to be a start two TE league with devy players in the rookie draft. Ultimately, the league also cuts down by five roster spots and moves like this help shift value to draft capital and alleviate a future roster decision. This should be the goal of moving Trautman; clearing space in your garage.
Elijah Higgins, MIA – Sell
This one is a bit riskier than moving away from Trautman. Higgins is a rookie who converted from wide receiver and has made some plays early in Dolphins camp. However, the trend of Miami not using or targeting the tight end position seems likely to continue in the near future. As a positional convert, Higgins has a ways to go before he gets on the field and is in a bad situation to do so early on in his career. I am fine moving him to get something of value and free up a roster spot.
The Move – This is another move in a start two tight end league (notice a theme) where the extra pick gives a roster spot back and pushes that value to future draft capital. In a league with 12 starters and one with start two starting quarterbacks required, draft picks tend to hold more weight in the future and Higgins feels like the perfect player destined to stay stagnant for years. Give me the re-roll.
Courtesy of Phins Insider
Cole Kmet, CHI – Sell
Since the beginning of the 2021 season, no tight end has been on the field as much as Kmet. He has averaged 57 snaps per game and played more than 100 more than the next-highest tight end. Unfortunately, his market share has been top ten, but his targets per route run ranks 50th and his yards per route run outside of the top 40. With the addition of Robert Tonyan and wide receiver talent, I expect these numbers to stay where they are, which makes it extremely unlikely Kmet gets to a range where he matters.
The Move – This format is a points-per-reception league with no premium. Ultimately, WoRP says Kmet is replaceable and roster construction warrants not carrying more than two tight ends. Given his name and age, someone considered giving me two flexible assets (and a free roster spot) to move off an asset that is irrelevant.
Dawson Knox, BUF – Sell
We make it four for four on selling tight ends in this piece. Knox has only finished in the top 12 in points per game once and the team made a massive investment in drafting Dalton Kincaid in the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft. Kincaid may struggle early given the sheer number of snaps, but make no mistake about it, he has the trajectory as the next elite tight end based on the situation and community hype. Knox has some security in the short term but feels like a very easy liquidation piece at this point.
The Move – This league only starts one tight end but the premium is anywhere from 1.65 to 2.0 points per reception. Take advantage of freeing a roster spot in this type of format, netting a future pick and likely, trading something away that will not contribute to helping your competition in any way.
Conclusion – The TE market is flatter than ever. As noted, this entire article sums up my approach to tight ends and finding spots where I am likely to give up anything of production value for future draft pick liquidity. The beauty of the position? Many teams will cut good tight ends (Albert Okwuegbunam comes to mind) that you could add, rinse and repeat at a later time. Use your excess at tight end to build your dynasty bankroll.
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