Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

T.J. Hockenson: Your New Dynasty TE1


It certainly didn’t take long for rookie first-round pick T.J. Hockenson to make his presence known in Detroit.

Selected eighth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, Hockenson was one of the catalysts to Detroit’s offense in Week 1, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. He led the team in receiving yards and was tied with Kenny Golladay for the second-most targets on the team with nine (Danny Amendola had a whopping 13).

Hockenson certainly looks the part of a future TE1, but how soon will he get there? Is he there now? And just how good could he be?

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

The Tools

The unique skill set of the 6’5” Hockenson was on full display in Week 1. Hockenson is a remarkable route runner for his size. He has great balance and light feet, allowing him to make quick cuts that cause instant havoc for any linebacker guarding him. Meanwhile, his height makes him extremely tough to cover for cornerbacks and quarterback Matthew Stafford took advantage of that on Hockenson’s touchdown, finding him in the back of the end zone and lofting a ball to where only Hockenson could get it.

Hockenson also has great hands and a solid catch radius to boot. He’s excellent at catching passes while on the go, giving the offense a lot of flexibility in how to use him. In Week 1, he looked more like a wide receiver than a tight end with some of the plays he was running. He even came out of the backfield like a running back for one of his routes that resulted in a catch and a solid gain.

Hockenson only played two years of college football at Iowa after redshirting his freshman year. During his final collegiate season in 2018, he caught 49 passes for 760 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown. So he certainly has shown the ability to put up big numbers when he gets high usage, something we don’t always have evidence of for highly-touted tight ends coming into the league.

 

The System

The Lions have been abundantly clear in their approach to emulate the Patriots’ system in their own. They brought in Bob Quinn from the Patriots’ front office to serve as their general manager, then brought in Matt Patricia from the Patriots’ coaching staff to serve as their head coach. One thing that we certainly know from the past decade of Patriots football is that it breeds fantastic tight end usage and production, enabling Rob Gronkowski to set several all-time records for the position including 17 receiving touchdowns in 2011.

The Lions are in the midst of shifting from the pass-heavy offense featured under the Jim Caldwell reign to a run-heavy offense under Patricia. Instead of seeing Stafford launch deep balls to Marvin Jones every drive, we should be seeing more running plays and more medium-distance throws to Kenny Golladay and Hockenson. Just as the Patriots groomed Gronkowski into a #1 target on offense, the Lions could very much revolve their passing game around Hockenson sooner rather than later.

 

Dynasty Dream

As veteran fantasy players should know, the tight end position can be a royal headache. If you find yourself outside the Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz inner sanctum, you could easily end up throwing out a prayer week-in and week-out for any production whatsoever at the position.

Hockenson is in an extremely rare position for a tight end. He’s an extremely talented rookie in a tight end-friendly system without another tight end blocking his path toward targets. Plus, he’s already delivered a TE1 fantasy week one week into his career.

In a rookie class that lacks a Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffrey-like talent, there’s certainly an argument that Hockenson could be the best dynasty asset in the group. Josh Jacobs is probably the only other rookie who has as good or better of an opportunity with little competition for touches at his position on his team. But David Montgomery and Miles Sanders, often the next two highest-ranked rookies in the class after Jacobs, look to have an uphill battle for consistent and significant touches on a weekly basis.

But back to Hockenson vs. Jacobs as the best dynasty asset in the class. Running backs come and go often, like the undrafted Phillip Lindsays and Austin Ekelers of the world. Plus, who’s to say for certain that the Raiders won’t bulk up their backfield next year with a No. 2 running back that threatens Jacobs more than Jalen Richard. Meanwhile, the Lions will be locked into Hockenson as their primary, high-usage tight end for many years to come. And finding a tight end in a situation like that as a rookie, who could be a legit top-3 mainstay at the position for several consecutive years is extremely rare. So if we were redrafting the rookie class in dynasty formats again right now, Hockenson would be my pick ahead of Jacobs.

 

Redraft Value

As far as Hockenson’s value this season goes, he should certainly be owned in every single league, first off. The path towards a TE1 season is certainly not an arduous one. Trey Burton finished as a fantasy TE1 last year and he only topped 40 receiving yards in three of his 16 games. So not only is a TE1 season in reach for Hockenson this year, it’s very likely.

Outside of the top five or six at the position, the race to fill up the TE1 tier is wide open and Hockenson is going to be one of the top competitors in snatching one of those open spots. So I’d still rank him behind Kelce, Ertz, George Kittle, Evan Engram and O.J. Howard for sure. Then I’d probably keep Hunter Henry in that sixth spot for now. But after that, Hockenson’s my guy, followed by Delanie Walker, Jared Cook and Darren Waller.

More Dynasty League Strategy




More Recent Articles

 

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 14 Le'Veon Bell (illness) is questionable to play this week. Marlon Mack is expected to be back on the... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 14

Welcome to our Week 14 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Week 14 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 14 (Top 100)

The fantasy playoffs are here for most of us, so every position matters that much more. IDP spots often become an afterthought or a set-it-and-forget-it situation but it could be that linebacker who has a monster game or that key interception that makes the difference between winning or going home. Look to our streamer suggestions... Read More


Week 14-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

The playoffs are here, and that means we're going to do things a little differently. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


Star Players Who Might Miss the Fantasy Playoffs

As we head into the playoff weeks of fantasy football, you'll hear many experts preach (correctly) the need to stash high-upside handcuffs or backups at quarterback or tight end. You'll inevitably hear about looking ahead three weeks for favorable playoff schedules and thinking less about what the player has done up until now or whether... Read More


Week 14 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding

It's finally here... The fantasy playoffs for most leagues. Hopefully you have a chance to win a fantasy championship in the next few weeks. If you're lucky, you have a first-round bye and won't have to worry about anything this week except for picking out a Christmas tree and setting up all your holiday decorations.... Read More


Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Zach Pascal, Jamaal Williams, Gardner Minshew

Whether this is the first week of your playoffs, the last week of your regular season, or the time to win a DFS league to pay for your holiday presents, this is the most crucial week of your fantasy football season. While my booms from last week (Robert Woods, Jack Doyle, Dede Westbrook, Kyle Allen)... Read More


Running Back Start/Sit Advice - Week 14

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the running back position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in RB3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More


Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 13 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As many of you prepare for your Week 14 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which... Read More


Week 14 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are beginning in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning a championship.... Read More


Wide Receiver Start/Sit Advice - Week 14

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the wide receiver position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in WR3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More


The King's Week 14 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 14 fantasy football lineup rankings for the first round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More


Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Playoff Panic

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More


Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 14

It's that time of year again! While many will be caught up in the thrills of the holiday season, those lucky few who have risen to the top of their fantasy leagues will be sweating over lineup decisions in pursuit of a championship (in most league formats). To our fantasy owners who have managed to... Read More