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Dynasty Stock Watch - Tight Ends


The New York Stock Exchange is not the only place where people care a lot about whose stock is skyrocketing and whose is plummeting.

The fantasy values of many tight ends have gone up and gone down during this interesting offseason. While nobody’s fantasy stock plunged more than Rob Gronkowski’s after he retired following winning another Super Bowl with his New England Patriots, other tight ends have also seen their stock in dynasty leagues take Kam Chancellor-like hits. Meanwhile, some tight ends have been fortunate this offseason as circumstances have caused their fantasy value to shoot up.

Here are two tight ends whose fantasy stock is rising and two tight ends whose fantasy stock is reeling in dynasty leagues:

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Dynasty Stock Rising

These tight ends have seen their dynasty value rise since last season ended and could be worth buying now.

 

Evan Engram, New York Giants

2018 Stats:  45 receptions, 577 yards, 3 TD

Engram’s 2018 numbers were down compared to 2017, but that was because he missed five games due to a sprained knee, not because he was less productive on the field. He averaged 4.3 receptions for 48.1 yards per game in his rookie campaign and averaged 4.1 receptions for 52.5 yards in his sophomore season in the NFL, so the stats difference was minimal.

Now that Odell Beckham Jr.’s talents and tongue have been traded to the Cleveland Browns, Engram should have more Eli Manning wounded ducks headed his way. Beckham averaged 10.6 targets per contest during his time with the Giants, and those targets are not all going Golden Tate or Sterling Shepard’s way. When Beckham has not been on the field, Engram’s fantasy worth has been at its best. During the final four games of 2018 that Beckham missed, Engram had his only four games of 75 receiving yards or more. And after Beckham suffered a season-ending injury in 2017, Engram rattled off four straight games where he caught a touchdown toss. The math is simple. No Beckham equals more targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns for Engram.

 

Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals

2018 Stats:  34 receptions, 343 receiving yards, 1 TD

Seals-Jones let down more people last season than Adam Levine did when he recently announced he was leaving The Voice. Seals-Jones was supposed to be a tight end trapped in a wide receiver’s body, someone who could spread the field with his above-average speed for a big-bodied pass catcher. The problem was that he did not get open enough, and when he did rookie quarterback Josh Rosen was unable to put the ball in his breadbasket enough.

We know what Seals-Jones can do within the worst passing offense in the NFL (not much), but what can he do if new head coach Kliff Kingsbury is the same passing-offense genius at the pro level as he was on the college level? This is what fantasy players have to ask themselves. Kingsbury’s run-pass option offense is known for scoring tons of points, racking up tons of yardage and being extremely effective in the red zone. With No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray running the show and Kingsbury picking the plays, Seals-Jones has a lot going for him heading into 2019. With only past-his-prime veteran Charles Clay behind him on the depth chart, Seals-Jones should be able to double his 2018 numbers in 2019 and be a solid contributor for fantasy owners in the coming years.

 

Dynasty Stock Falling

These tight ends have seen their dynasty value fall since last season ended and should be sold or cut from rosters.

 

Tyler Kroft, Buffalo Bills

2018 Stats:  4 Receptions, 36 receiving yards, 0 TD

Just when it looked like Kroft’s fantasy value in dynasty leagues was about to soar after signing a multimillion-dollar deal to be Buffalo’s top tight end, the injury-prone pass catcher broke his foot on the opening day of OTAs. Now his availability for training camp and the start of the season is up in the air like a skydiver whose parachute got stuck on a tree branch.

Kroft’s 2018 campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals was ruined by injury, so this offseason oddity is the last thing he or his dynasty owners needed. There is no telling now if Kroft will be ready to go by Week 1, and if he is in uniform how well will he do on a new team with a shortened training camp. The dynasty owners who have Kroft and were thinking he would be able to duplicate his 2017 touchdown total (career-high seven TD) in 2019 with the Bills should be shopping around for another tight end this offseason in case Kroft’s foot does not heal in time.

 

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

2018 Stats:  64 receptions, 634 yards, 4 TD

While Rudolph’s touchdown total was cut in half in 2019 compared to 2018 from eight to four, his numbers in the other major fantasy categories were on par with what he had done in the past and what fantasy players probably projected him for. He might only be Kirk Cousins’ third-best option in Minnesota’s passing attack behind All-World wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, but Rudolph is dependable, durable and consistent.

The Rudolph rumor mill has been churning this offseason, with talk ranging from Minnesota releasing him to give the Vikings some much-needed cap relief, to the Vikings trading him to a tight-end-starved squad like New England, to Rudolph signing a new long-term contract to stay with Cousins and Co. While fantasy players cannot predict which of the three will happen to Rudolph, Minnesota drafting Irv Smith Jr. in the second round this past April means that even if Rudolph sticks around his role, playing time and target total have a better chance of decreasing than increasing. Unless Rudolph is traded to a team like the Patriots chances are his fantasy value for this season and the next couple will be trending downward.

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