Tiers of Confidence- TE Edition
The best Fantasy Analysts always show you their list of players in tiers. Sometimes the difference between 2nd and 4th place is minuscule and other times its as wide as the Grand Canyon. The other great tool when it comes to Fantasy drafts is the Average Draft Position (ADP) of a player. Your stud tight end might project to be the fourth best in the draft, but his ADP says he won’t go until the 5th round. It doesn’t make any sense to pick him with the 4th pick in the draft! Accumulating the most talent is the key to Fantasy Football success. But since Fantasy Football is a weekly game why does anyone care about year end point differences anyway? Today, I present a different way to look at draft value which I call tiers of confidence with the tight ends in the Point per Reception (PPR) format. Let’s take a look at the best tight end choices by round.
The biggest trouble with taking any tight end early isn’t so much his value versus a lower ranked tight end. It is more about the high ranked running back or wide receiver you are missing out on. The elite tight ends have a much higher Consistency Rating plus upside potential, as displayed by the Best 10 Rating better than others at the position. That is why the most elite tight ends can be value plays early in the draft under the right conditions.
Travis Kelce (90.3%)- The average tight end in Fantasy Football over the last 2 years only scores 7 or more points a week 66.6% of the time. He only scores 15 or more points 23.8% of the time. Travis Kelce hits that 7 plus point mark over 90% of the time and 15 plus over 51% of the time. That percentage difference is comparable to that of the 9th best running back whose ADP is close to Kelce’s.
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Zach Ertz (82.8%)- The clear number two choice at tight end based on both Consistency Rating and Best 10 Rating is Ertz. He is 7.5% behind Kelce in Consistency and 0.9 points per week in Best 10 Rating. If you look at his comparison versus the average tight end, his difference rates are comparable to that of the 17th best running back, whose ADP is close to Ertz’s.
Evan Engram (82.6%)- Engram is an intriguing pick at tight end but only if he drops one or two more rounds. While his Consistency Rating is high, his Best 10 Rating which shows how often he has big weeks, is very low. He averages 7.8 points per week less than Travis Kelce. This shows the peril of only relying on one statistical tool and not getting the entire picture.
Eric Ebron (95.5%)- The 7th round is where I feel better about taking anyone but the elite two. Since Ebron’s data is based on two years and not just his incredible 2018 season, I feel better about his Consistency Rating continuing this year. Even with the return of Jack Doyle, Ebron is solid. Ebron’s Best 10 Rating is 6.4 points per game behind Kelce and will probably drop slightly this season if Doyle stays healthy.
Mark Andrews (100%)- Small sample sizes are lousy when it comes to applying them to a full season worth of projections. Small sample sizes are somewhat less historically lousy when it comes to Consistency Ratings. In other words, while Andrews is unlikely to remain perfect, his drop should not be below 80%. This is based on his rookie year of data. This also makes him an intriguing pick at TE16 at 13.09.
Darren Waller (100%)- Another small sample size guy, but he also projects well when you consider he is replacing Jared Cook. Remember, Cook put up impressive numbers the entire season. Waller is an impressive athlete, whose off the field problems have kept him from being a star.
You might notice one elite tight end that I left out of my discussion. George Kittle’s difference in both Consistency Rating and Best 10 Rating from 2017 to 2018 was huge. His Consistency Rating for the two seasons combined was only 77.8%, which represents the 6th best rating at the position. His Best 10 Rating of 212 is 3rd best. That is a full 5 points per game behind Kelce and based entirely off of last season. Because I am uncertain of which figures are closer to Kittle’s expected production this season, I found his third round ADP too high to include in the ratings above. Only four players qualified as potential draft picks for me based on their value versus their ADP. Kelce and Ertz are clearly the top tight ends this season, with Eric Ebron showing Consistency value if you can get him after the seventh round. Mark Andrews and Darren Wallaer are worth a late round dart throw. Incidentally, last season at this time George Kittle’s data was showing similarities to Andrews and Waller this season. The analysis of Consistency Ratings and Best 10 Ratings at the tight end position also shows vividly one thing. You can’t rely on just the Consistency Rating when evaluating players ahead of your Fantasy Football draft.