This past NFL Draft claimed to have one of the most stacked tight end classes in a long time with College Football stars such as Evan Engram, O.J. Howard, and Jake Butt all having their moment in Philadelphia. With the College Football Season seven weeks away, let’s take a look at the top 10 tight ends off the board this fantasy season.
10. Cole Herdman, Purdue
Cole Herman is the best receiving option for the Boilermakers this season, and luckily he has a solid quarterback in David Blough. One aspect that stands out especially for Herdman this season is that Jeff Brohm is taking over as head coach, and Brohm proved last season at Western Kentucky that his teams can produce yards. With the talent lacking at receiver, look for Herdman to get targeted often this season in Brohm’s new offense.
9. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
South Carolina is one of the more intriguing teams this season as far as progress. With a year under Will Muschamp, this season will determine if South Carolina is improving or if there will be more of the same. Hurst came to South Carolina after a brief stint in minor league baseball and last season finished 10th nationally in receptions by a tight end. With Jake Bentley improving, he could be looking to be higher on that list. Even if South Carolina can’t improve offensively, Hayden Hurst has shown he can be a top tight end in fantasy.
8. Blake Mack, Arkansas State
Blake Mack returns for his senior season and has a lot of upside as a fantasy tight end. Mack was able to produce double-digit fantasy points (full PPR) without finding the end zone several times last season. Although he missed two games last season, Mack still led the Red Wolves in receiving yards and was ninth overall in the Sun Belt for receiving yards. With a full season and Justice Hansen back, look for Blake Mack to be a dominant force in the Sun Belt.
7. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
On top of having the coolest last name in college football, Fumagalli was the receptions leader for Wisconsin last season and is expected to have a larger role in the 2017 season. With playmakers like Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale off to the NFL, Fumagalli will be one of the more experienced options on the field for the Badgers and should see more targets this season. Don’t count out this four-fingered tight end in 2017.
6. Isaac Nauta, Georgia
All eyes will be on Georgia this season going into Kirby Smart’s second season as the head coach in Athens. With the potential rise of Jacob Eason and the graduation of Isaiah McKenzie, it looks like Nauta will get more looks in 2017. Nauta’s ability to participate in Georgia’s Spring game shows that he is healthy enough to play and he should be utilized more in the passing game this season.
5. Garrett Dickerson, Northwestern
Garrett Dickerson started off last season slowly, but his production really picked up after missing the Indiana game in late-October. In the final six games of the season, Dickerson scored more than ten fantasy points in PPR formats in four of the last six games. He also scored in all but two of his final six games in 2016. With Austin Carr heading to New England in the offseason, Dickerson will see a slight increase in targets, and if he keeps his momentum up from last season, this super back should produce admirably in the tight end slot this season.
4. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Mark Andrews has great upside but struggled with a consistent role in 2016. Luckily for Andrews, the top three options from the Sooners roster last season have gone to the NFL, making Andrews one of the more experienced options for Heisman-hopeful Baker Mayfield. If Andrews finally breaks out, he will make many regret not drafting him this fantasy season.
3. Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Mike Gesicki found success in Penn State’s offense last season partly due to the emergence of Trace McSorley. Before last season, Gesicki had 24 total receptions in two seasons at Penn State and then surged for 48 in 2017 which was a record for Nittany Lions tight ends. The Lions lose Chris Godwin, leaving the top receiver spot open. Expect Gesicki to get more looks in his senior season as the Lions look to retain the Big 10 championship.
2. Adam Breneman, UMass
The former Penn State tight end Breneman is showing his worth in Massachusetts. Breneman beat out all of the nation’s tight ends in the nation with 70 receptions and was second in the nation in receiving yards by a tight end with 808 yards last year. Breneman is the number one receiving option in the pass happy Minutemen offense and could get close to 1,000 yards this season.
1. Jaylen Samuels, NC State
It is a mystery as to what position Samuels is made for because he plays just about any position. In 2016, Samuels accounted for a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown and had only four games with less than 10 fantasy points in PPR formats. Samuels is the first tight end off fantasy draft boards and any owner who picks them up will not regret their decision of doing so. Expect Samuels to venture close to 750 total yards but find himself in the end zone frequently.