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2020 Fantasy Football Sophomore Tight Ends: Standouts vs Slumps


The 2019 NFL season brought forward unexpected stars, as fantasy football owners attempted to get ahead of the curve. The standout performances of Kyler Murray, Deebo Samuel, and others will be carefully monitored for consistency later this year. Here, we discuss the performances of last year’s rookies and whether they can uphold their fantasy value moving forward.

Noah Fant (Denver Broncos)

The sophomore tight end class doesn’t have high expectations, but Fant has the potential to be a sneaky pick in the later rounds. As the TE16 from 2019, he posted 9+ fantasy points three different times. In those three games, two of them amount to 17+ fantasy points.

He does have difficult stretches during the 2020 season, including the fantasy playoffs (@CAR, BUF, @LAC from Week 14-16). Fant will be available in the closing rounds of re-draft leagues, and should be a bargain for fantasy owners looking to take a risk.

Standout or Slump: Slight Standout

T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions)

Despite finishing above any other rookie tight end in 2019, there is room for decline when it comes to T.J. Hockenson. He posted 8+ fantasy points in two of his first four games, but injuries prevented him from surpassing that amount again.

The Lions don’t appear to have a difficult stretch of play for fantasy owners, but after signing a veteran in Jesse James to a four-year deal, the addition of Hockenson in re-draft leagues is a concern.

Standout or Slump: Slight Slump

Irv Smith Jr. (Minnesota Vikings)

In re-draft leagues, Smith doesn’t provide a ton of upside. His highest fantasy point total in a single week was 6.8 points in Week 15, which would have been partway through the fantasy playoffs. As the TE33 in 2019, a favorable schedule doesn’t make a difference when Kyle Rudolph is the heavy favorite for fantasy owners moving forward.

Standout or Slump: Slump

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