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Best Ball Fantasy Breakout Tight Ends on Underdog

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Best Ball season is in full effect and the Puppy 2 tournament is opening up this week. Stokastic wants to assist in winning the grand prizes by keeping fantasy gamers up to date with Best Ball rankings and draft guides. The one thing that our ranking has noticed is the lack of respect for the tight end position. They are considered the go-to “punt” position. As a result, people will generally under-draft the position or only draft the elite players. However, the Stokastic Best Ball rankings shows the tight end position can provide much upside even ahead of wide receivers.

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Best Ball Fantasy Breakout Tight Ends

The big three tight ends being drafted today are Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Kyle Pitts. Last year, it was Kelce, Darren Waller and George Kittle. Waller and Kittle now go as far as two to three rounds later than in previous years. People paid high for those guys last year, got burned and now they plummet to mid-tier rounds as borderline elite options. Funny enough, the player who burned Fantasy Managers in 2020 was Andrews, considered an elite prospect that year.

The position is generally volatile and Kelce is the only player who has stayed as an elite option for numerous years. So the solution is to provide some players who will be breaking out this season and will likely be going at a higher ADP next season.

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (Underdog ADP:66 – TE6)

One of the most extensive breakouts of last season was TE Dalton Schultz. He was initially drafted in the 18th round the previous season to now being taken in the 6th round. Some would say that it’s a fair jump up. Stokastic Best Ball rankings have him even higher as a 4th-round value and this season’s TE4.

Our reasons for this are pretty simple, QB Dak Prescott is one year passed his injury and star WR Amari Cooper has left the team and gone to the Browns. In addition, Michael Gallup is still recovering from his late-season ACL tear and is unlikely to be ready for Week 1. Throw in two shaky options at WR with James Washington and rookie Jalen Tolbert and Prescott will have to rely on Schultz for a good portion of the season.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (Underdog ADP:128 – TE12)

Since Heath Miller’s departure in 2015, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been on a five-year drought to try to find his replacement actively. However, based on Pat Freiermuth’s 2021 performance, they have found his guy. Finishing with 497 yards and seven touchdowns in his rookie year, he outperformed his predecessors in just his rookie year—veteran players such as Jesse James, Ladarius Green, Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron.

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Tight ends tend to struggle their rookie year and Freiermuth wasn’t one of them. However, suppose he can take his game up a notch. In that case, there is a possibility that he can move himself up as a primary target right behind fellow teammate Diontae Johnson. Stokastic rankings are entirely on Freiermuth. Stokastic currently projects him 15 spots ahead of UD’s current ADP and a smidge behind wide receiver Chase Claypool.

Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks (Underdog ADP:165 – TE20)

Fellow Stokastic writer Brady Goodman wrote a great article on Fant as one of his Sleeper Tight End for DraftKings and everything he said there applies to Underdog formats. Fant is one of the few late-round tight ends with the ability and situation to put up game-winning weeks. An average tight end upside week is 10 to 12 points, but Fant goes as high as 18 points or more. He did this twice, with one of those games coming in at the Underdog Finals of week 17. Fant is one of those players that is truly better in Best Ball.

Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans (Underdog ADP:186 – TE25)

Fantasy football consensus hasn’t been favorable to many of the Tennessee Titans’ off-season moves, with Austin Hooper being one of them. Hooper has been with the Cleveland Browns the past two years and statistically, it wasn’t good. But were there any receiving options on the Browns that were fantasy relevant? The past two seasons, the Brown had produced zero 1,000-yard receiver. Chalk the Hooper down years up to the Browns more so than Hooper.

Stokastic has Hooper ranked 45 spots ahead of his current ADP. Before Hooper went to the Browns, he had three straight fantasy-relevant seasons as an Atlanta Falcon. He averaged over 650 yards per season and approximately five touchdowns per year. All the off-season camp news has pointed to Hooper and Tannehill being a solid duo. To top it off, these players can easily be part of a stack, as they are being drafted in the same range at the end of Underdog Drafts.

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