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PPR Targets - Undervalued Tight Ends

Drafting tight ends in fantasy is like eating your vegetables at dinner. You know you should, but you really don't want to.

Only three tight ends in PPR leagues, Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz averaged over 12 points per game in 2017. On a points-per-game basis, the TE4 (Evan Engram) and TE20 (Vernon Davis) were separated by just four points. Basically, if you don't get one of the top-three tight ends, you're probably better off just waiting.

If you do wait on the TE position this year, or are looking for a high-end waiver add in shallow leagues, here are three tight ends that you can wait on and still get solid PPR numbers from week-in and week-out.

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Undervalued PPR Tight Ends

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

Kittle is being drafted as a fringe TE1 but has the potential to be so much more than that. Coming off a rookie season that saw him haul in 43 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns, while starting just seven games, Kittle looks poised for a breakout. With the 49ers offense expected to be much better this year, and potentially 16 games of Jimmy Garoppolo, he should see even more opportunity. The loss of starting running back Jerick McKinnon should also open up more intermediate targets, which Kittle should see plenty of. Kittle may not have the touchdown upside of a Gronk or a Kelce, but that’s OK in a PPR format where he should make up for it in volume. He has easy top-10 upside, and if he does find the end zone more could push for top-five.

Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders

Many people may not realize this, but Cook was TE12 in PPR leagues last year. No really, go look it up. I’ll wait... See, I wasn’t lying! I get it, Cook isn’t the sexy pick at tight end, but in PPR formats he is more than serviceable. He also plays for a Raiders team that traded away their best defensive player and will likely be forced to throw a ton. They also cut wide receiver Martavis Bryant, which means Cook and Jordy Nelson will compete for targets behind Amari Cooper. Beyond them, there really isn’t a whole lot for quarterback Derek Carr to throw too. Coming off a 54-catch, 688-yard season, Cook should improve on those numbers in 2018. Worst case he is a punt at the position that will offer a solid weekly floor in PPR formats. Best case he sees 100 targets and finishes inside the top-10 at the position. Regardless he is an absolute steal this year. He will likely be one of the biggest waiver pickups after week 1, so draft him instead.

Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals

Why is Seals-Jones getting no love? Sure, his rookie numbers look awful, but he also barely played. All signs point to him being on the field plenty this year, and his situation looks great. Let’s go over them. First, he’s only competing with Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson for targets. While Fitz and Johnson will get their share, there is still plenty of room for Seals-Jones. Second, his quarterback is Sam Bradford. If there is one thing Bradford loves, it’s tight ends. In 2016 Kyle Rudolph played 15 games with Bradford and finished as PPR TE2. Last year, in the two games before Bradford got hurt, Rudolph had nine catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns, good for 14.5 PPR points per game. Now I am not saying Seals-Jones is as good as Rudolph, but he flashed upside last year when given chances. If Bradford feeds him 4-6 targets a game (Rudolph averaged eight in 17 games with Bradford), Seals-Jones is going to be a weekly start at the position and offer plenty of upside. Not even being drafted in almost every league, he is worth a stash at the end of your bench if you punted the position.

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