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Fantasy Football Tight End ADP Risers: NFL Draft Reaction

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Once again, I am going to re-introduce the concept of ADP, which you may already be familiar with. Average Draft Position (ADP) indicates the average position where a player is drafted over more than one fantasy football draft. You can consider it as the price you have to pay to draft and get a player on your team. A high ADP (that is, actually, a low-numbered ADP) means that a player is going off draft boards early, and thus you'll need to draft him in the first rounds if you truly want him.

Low or high ADP values, though, are not gospel. Each of us fantasy GMs have our strategies and value players differently depending on what we think is the most important for them to have in terms of abilities. No matter what, though, ADPs are good to know the "average value" of the "average GM" you'll be drafting against.

By now, with free agency and the draft finalized and just a few players left to be signed, it makes sense to look at how ADPs are varying during the last few days as we start to gear up for our fantasy draft season. In this series, I’ll highlight players at each skill position seeing significant fluctuation from just before the past NFL draft to right after it finished, using data from FFPC drafts that have taken place in that period. Today, it's time to look at some tight end risers.

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Tight End Fantasy Football ADP Risers

 

Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans

Truth be told, the tight end position is definitely not the one yielding the wildest swings in ADP rises and falls. Hooper is the one and only TE experiencing a full-round rise through the two weeks after the draft took place, and Hurst has the second-highest bump up at only six draft positions. Hooper, if you remember, signed with the Titans back in mid-March and way before Tenneessee moved A.J. Brown to Philly. Hooper was seen as a good prospect and kicked his career off reasonably well in Atlanta, although he was clearly boosted by QB Matt Ryan tossing him the rock.

A couple of floppy seasons followed in Cleveland and he's now about to try to regain some of his early mojo in Tennessee. We'll see how that goes, though, as Hooper topped as the TE6 with back-to-back such finishes in 2018 and 2019 but was just the TE21 and TE24 in the past two campaigns and is actually coming off his worst season career-wise. Hooper is actually rather cheap considering his TE1 role next year and the potential he has in an offense not-so-packed with great pass-catchers. If the ADP doesn't skyrocket (it shouldn't), then Hooper might be a good post-12th-round punt option at the position. That said, that strategy might give you the same results as just picking whoever is left on the waiver wire at the end of your league's draft.

 

Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals lost C.J. Uzomah to the New York Jets and instantly filled that gap with the addition of Hurst. Considering Uzomah will make almost seven times what Hurst signed for over three years, Cincy did well inking Hurst to the one-year deal they offered him instead of overpaying for Uzo. Fantasy GMs know where things might and might not work, and that's why they are drafting Hurst around the 150th overall selection while Uzomah has dropped to the 212th.

That makes sense, obviously, considering the Jets added Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and a rookie TE to their roster. Cincinnati only plugged Hurst into their depth chart while keeping Drew Sample around as their TE2. The ADP isn't otherworldly, of course, but I don't think it's reasonable to spend a lot--or anything--on Hurst while the Bengals will obviously keep using the WR trio of Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins 99 percent of the time. Fade.

 

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Hockenson's ADP barely moved and the fact that the Lions drafted an injured/healing WR only helped it get a slight bump up of late. Detroit added WR D.J. Chark on a one-year deal as a free agent, but that was never going to knock Hock down the pecking order in any impactful way. Hockenson didn't have quite a phenomenal rookie season three years ago but has since turned into a bonafide top-10 tight end with a TE1 finish in 2020 and TE15 finish last year--on just 12 games played.

Hockenson has steadily improved his production on a per-game basis, going from scoring 6.7 FPPG to 11.0 and lastly 12.1 in 2021. Even before his first season in Detroit, Hockenson has never had an ADP below that of the TE14 while topping at an ADP of TE6 (and 60th OVR) last year. Hockenson's ADP is nearing the 40th OVR pick right now but he's dropped to the TE7 off the draft board. There is a very real possibility of Hock finishing 2022 as a top-five tight end (I'm not buying the Dalton Schultz/George Kittle hype) so the ADP feels like a good deal to me if it stays around where it is now.



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