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Fantasy Football: Believing in the Tyler Higbee 2020 breakout

Tyler Higbee is shaping up to be one of the more polarizing players of 2020 fantasy football draft season. His modest TE7 ranking and 72-719-5 receiving projections do not reflect the player that erupted down the stretch as the No. 1 tight end throughout the fantasy playoffs.

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Questions regarding the sustainability of Higbee’s late-season breakout are depressing his average draft position into the seventh round and beyond, which is far too cheap for a player that has already demonstrated that a TE1 ceiling is within his range of outcomes. Drafting Higbee is a calculated risk with potential league-winning payoff.

Exposure to TE1 ceiling at a mid-round price

Fellow tight end Gerald Everett suffered a knee injury in November, opening the door for Higbee to seize the Rams' lead tight end job. Higbee surprised the fantasy world by rattling off five straight extraordinary weeks of fantasy production.

  Targets Catches Yards PPR Points
Week 13 8 7 107 23.7
Week 14 10 7 116 18.6
Week 15 14 12 111 23.1
Week 16 11 9 104 19.4
Week 17 11 8 84 22.4

Higbee's receiving stats over that five-game stretch stack up against the NFL’s best pass catchers at any position:

  • 54 targets (fifth-most in the NFL)
  • 43 catches (third-most)
  • 522 yards (most)

Higbee only trailed Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson, Davante Adams and Christian McCaffrey in targets. Only Thomas and McCaffrey had more catches. And nobody had more receiving yards.

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