Risk management is fundamental to any fantasy football strategy. Let’s be honest: No one wants to endure heartbreak. To help fantasy gamers avoid sob sessions this season, we’re unveiling our top bust candidates, position-by-position. Today, tight ends.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Liz Loza: Coming off of a career campaign, there's no denying Ertz’s dominance. A top-five fantasy producer who's cleared eight spikes in back-to-back seasons, the Stanford product drew a whopping 28 red-zone targets in 2018. But with the addition of deep threat DeSean Jackson, the excitement over contested-catch specialist JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and the potential emergence of second-year TE Dallas Goedert, Ertz's volume figures to shrink. Sure, he'll still flirt with upwards of 80 grabs, but given his current ADP (26.6 on Yahoo and 34.3 in recent mocks) I'd prefer to hammer WR or RB (examples: Marlon Mack, David Montgomery, or Stefon Diggs) instead of paying at peak value.
Evan Engram, New York Giants
Andy Behrens: If you simply pass on all Giants who aren’t named Saquon this season, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. People seem halfway excited about Engram in early drafts, but this team’s passing game could be dreadful. Sure, OBJ’s departure will leave a bunch of targets up for grabs. But the loss of Beckham also kneecaps the entire offense to some extent. Engram would do well to simply recapture his rookie year production (64-722). If I’m gonna shop in the TE4-TE8 range, gimme Jared Cook, Hunter Henry or O.J. Howard. I’d prefer to invest in an upper-tier offense.
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
Matt Harmon: Ebron was tied for second in the NFL with 13 receiving touchdowns in 2018. It was the key factor in his rocket up to the No. 4 tight end fantasy finish. We know the 11.8 touchdown rate is a result that’s highly unlikely to repeat this coming season. That’s fine. His 110 targets were also fourth-most at the position in 2018. That would be more than enough to sustain his current TE8 ADP. The trouble is, that level of volume is unlikely to come in 2019. The Colts revamped their wide receiver corps in the offseason, adding husky veteran Devin Funchess and rookie slot receiver Parris Campbell. Each of them could snip into the duties of a move tight end like Eric Ebron.
Jack Doyle is also back. He was a reliable force in this offense before Ebron’s arrival and was consistently out-snapping him early last year. Additionally, former basketball player and big-time athlete Mo Alie-Cox continues to earn steady offseason praise and could be in line for a role boost this year. All this adds too many question marks to Ebron’s projection. He should be a fine tight end option in 2019, but not one worth reaching for at his Round 7 ADP.