My inner dialogue:
“Which tight ends could potentially bust this season?”
“Hmm…. All of them.”
Last year was a disaster at the tight end position, with the top-10 tight ends producing the fewest fantasy points per game since 2010. Toward the middle of the season, most fantasy players felt like they were throwing darts. No one wants to play fantasy football that way. That’s why people get PFF memberships.
Here are five potential tight end busts. Sticking to five was the hard part.
(All ADP data comes from Fantasy Football Calculator.)
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (Overall ADP: 25, first TE)
Gronkowski is the best fantasy tight end in the league. Full stop. His 15.1-yard average depth of target was first among tight ends. So was his average 3.18 yards per route run. He was second with 8.7 yards after the catch. I do not think that Gronkowski’s skills have diminished, but his “bust” potential is all about your league settings and strategy. Reportedly Gronkowski is ”ready to roll”after recovering from his third known back surgery. That sounds great, and we’re all hoping for the best, but pragmatism keeps dragging my expectations back to earth. Gronkowski only played in eight games last season, but more importantly, he was a decoy with one or zero catches in three of those outings. That means you got five fantasy-relevant games from a first- or second-round draft pick at a position with very few decent fill-in options. You’ll also hold your breath every time you see him on the injury report. If you play in a league with a shallow bench, he could sink your team. If settings aren’t weighted at the tight end position, streaming players will probably yield similar points at the end of the season.