As many of us have probably come to learn the hard way, having a reliable TE in Fantasy Football is a big time luxury! And sure, you can go ahead and pay a premium to land the top rated players at that position, but more often than not every year the teams that make it far and contend for a league championship are the ones that were able to find that BREAKOUT TE on the season. Using 2019 as an example, think guys like a Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, or Austin Hooper. Acknowledging that this somewhat overlooked position can have such a meaningful impact, today we will go through our list of Top 4 Breakout TE candidates that you should be targeting for the 2020 Fantasy Football Season.
*Note this list will have TE's of different "tiers" but they all fall into the category of being guys that can currently be had at good value and are in great positions to have BIG years!
We have been on record many times before saying how much we like the skill set of Engram, so it should be no surprise to see his name here. In all honesty, the only reason Engram even falls into this category is because of his injury issues these last few years. Now that's not to say Engram doesn't carry risk with him due to this, BUT people seem to forget the great stretch Engram had last year while healthy (his final stat line was 44 receptions for 467 yards and 3 TD's). If you extrapolate that production, Engram was on pace for close to 90 receptions for upwards of 900 yards and 6 TD's. Those stats would have put Engram into the Top 5 TE's across all formats! Partner this with the fact that Engram is a matchup nightmare due to his size pretty much on every play and the passing propensity of Daniel Jones and you start to realize Engram will have TONS of opportunities offensively. And sure yes, Engram might be the riskiest name on this list, but at the same time he by far has the highest ceiling for a truly DOMINANT year. At the end of the day our approach is to take a chance on Engram because the value(6th/7th round ADP) for a high-end Tier 2 TE still outweighs the risk and we want to add Engram before his value blows up in 2021!
If Engram is our 1A favorite for breakout TE's then Doyle has to be our 1B. With Philip Rivers joining the Colts every pass catcher offensively instantaneously became more viable as even last year Rivers had over 4600 passing yards! This QB upgrade alone will have bring a new wrinkle to the Indianapolis offense as last year Jacoby Brissett failed to reach 3000 yards passing and the Colts turned to the run almost every game. On top of this Rivers is one of those QB's that has always favored his TE's in the past, as was the case with Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates where they were both some of his most trusted targets, which we anticipate will also be the case with Doyle. Additionally worth noting is the fact that Doyle is one of the most experienced pass catchers on this offense and he would arguably become the primary target for Rivers, if not already, if something were to happen to T.Y. Hilton injury wise. Lastly let's not forget about the departure of Eric Ebron which will now allow Doyle many more goal line opportunities and a larger target share in the offense as a whole. Keeping all of this in mind and noting that Doyle is currently a double digit draft pick then drafting him is a no brainer!
Gesicki had a bit of a slow start to the 2019 season and when you consider all the QB inconsistencies the Dolphins had it makes sense why. However, starting Week 8 Gesicki had at least 6 targets every game (with the exception of 5 in Week 13) and also scored all 5 of his TD's in that span as he emerged as a bigger red zone threat for the offense. As far as 2020 is concerned, the expectation is that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the QB for the majority of the year, as Miami will likely heir on the side of caution with Tua, which is a good thing in terms of offensive consistency. We currently have Gesicki slated for around 700 yards and 6 TD's which might even be a bit conservative (he had 570 yards on 51 catches last year) which for reference would have put him as the 8th best TE in 2019 for Standard formats. Furthermore, considering that Miami is still a young team with a questionable rushing attack and a not fully developed defense then you know this will be a pass heavy offense that will likely be playing from behind a lot of times which will create lots of opportunities for Gesicki. At the moment Gesicki is being drafted in double digit rounds which presents very good value for a TE with a lot of TD upside and arguably the #2 weapon for Miami behind DeVante Parker.
Yes there are a LOT of mouths to feeds in Atlanta, but believe us when we say that this Atlanta offense is going to be one of the best for 2020 Fantasy Football production and you will want to buy stock in it wherever you can! It's honestly a bit strange because you could make the argument that every single Atlanta offensive player is being somewhat undervalued right from Julio Jones all the way to Matt Ryan and Hayden Hurst is no exception! We have pointed this out before but even last year, which was a down year for the Falcons and maybe factoring into the recency bias of people, Atlanta was #1 in the ENTIRE NFL in terms of pass attempts, which is a BIG DEAL in terms of fantasy. As far as Hurst is concerned he might not be an Austin Hooper clone but the Falcons did trade a 2nd round pick for him which suggests that they do intend to use him offensively. Somewhat ironically the biggest question mark the Falcons have, being their offensive line, could also be a big reason that Hurst succeeds as that was what worked in Hooper's favor in 2019 (line couldn't protect Ryan and he had to quickly get rid of the football which often resulted in increased targets for Hooper who was that short passing option). As it stands right now Hurst will probably be the 3rd option after Jones and Ridley in the passing attack which is still very valuable as that will still likely net him close to 60 receptions for over 600 yards with TD's being the X-factor. When you combine this with his double-digit ADP then Hurst becomes another one of these TE's that is very undervalued at the moment.