The tight end position in fantasy football is one of the toughest to predict. Every year it seems like the three biggest names are at the top, and then after that is a hodge-podge of household names and then guys you've never heard of having a breakout. While you may think this takes some pressure off and you can just grab a tight end whenever, I disagree. Even with tight ends, I think you need to be wary about these five players and make sure to fade them in your drafts.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What? Fade Tom Brady’s tight end? Yep. Brate looked like the incumbent tight end as Rob Gronkowski retired, but then the Bucs brought in veteran Kyle Rudolph. His best days are behind him, but it still holds true that Brady gives the OK for any offensive decision. He had to have wanted Rudolph to join the offense, and it has already been reported in camp that Rudolph is expected to take up Gronk’s old role. This would leave Brate in the dust and back in fantasy irrelevancy.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos
Albert O had an interesting offseason. He went into it as the backup tight end for the Broncos with Drew Lock as his quarterback. One trade later and now former starter Noah Fant is in Seattle, and quarterback Russell Wilson is in Denver. This should shoot up Okwuegbunam in fantasy, right? Wrong. He is still unproven, and a tight end hasn’t been featured in the game plan of either the Broncos or a Wilson-led offense in years. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and the running back duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon should see the majority of receiving opportunities as Albert O takes another season to get accustomed to the NFL.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
Henry had a promising start to his career with the Los Angeles Chargers. When he entered free agency, he joined the Patriots in 2021, who had just signed Jonnu Smith. This suddenly became a convoluted position that didn’t allow either player the chance to take a step forward. Henry was still able to finish the season as the overall TE9 a year ago, but Smith has another year working with New England and quarterback Mac Jones. I think he and Smith will be closer in production this year, which would cause him to fade as you get into your drafts.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
I think I am finally ready to step off the Kmet hype train. He is a solid player and should perform well for Chicago, but I have no reason to trust this offense this season. Justin Fields will be playing in his second season and is expected to take a step forward. The debate can be had for who he will lean on, but I think if he improves, it benefits running back David Montgomery and wide receiver Darnell Mooney. Kmet should see an increased target share, but not enough to avoid being a fade.
CJ Uzomah, New York Jets
If you happen to be the type of person that drafts your fantasy football team based on last year's production, this inclusion is for you. If you look at last year’s stats, Tyler Conklin finished as the TE17 playing with the Minnesota Vikings a year ago because Irv Smith Jr. was hurt all year. When it comes to the Jets offense this season, fade both Conklin and CJ Uzomah. The latter is a great locker room guy but hasn’t been a consistent fantasy producer, so there is there's no need to draft him.