Late Round Best Ball Tight Ends

Like in any other draft, it is like splitting hairs drafting tight ends after the fifth one goes off the board. The difference between TE6 and TE20 is not that different. So with a late round tight end, you’re looking for upside for the future, a guy who has a knack for the end zone, or will get the leftovers in a pass-friendly offense.

Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints
Seeing what Jameis Winston did for Cameron Brate in Tampa all of those years makes me dream about what he could do for Trautman as the red zone target. Winston loves to target his tight ends, especially when he needs a score, just don’t expect him to go vertical too often with them. Trautman is still very young and it takes NFL tight ends years to break through but if we’re looking at upside, there’s plenty here.

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gronk proved last year that he can still pull a great game out of his helmet. When the defense keys in on the receivers too much, Tom Brady looks to him in the clutch. His floor is not high enough to roster in most fantasy football formats, but boy is he great in best ball.

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings
Another red zone only guy who could get more looks is Irv Smith Jr. Kyle Rudolph has moved on and that means more targets for the Giants’ starting offense. It seemed like that was the only time Kirk Cousins looked Rudolph’s way, but it works. Someone besides Justin Jefferson has to catch the ball, so why not Smith?

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons
The rage will justifiably go towards Kyle Pitts now that Julio Jones is gone. However, Matt Ryan was starting to endear himself to Hurst by the end of the 2020 campaign. Maybe that’ll be enough for Hurst to get some regular looks. Pitts is likely to be the second-leading receiver after Calvin Ridley, so it will come down to Russell Gage and Hurst to clean up. Hurst may be reduced to goal line touchdowns but often times, those six points are enough to satisfy the tight end spot.

Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers aerial attack is not slowing down just because Anthony Lynn is gone. Justin Herbert throws down the seams and all over the field. Cook steps in for the departed Hunter Henry and will try to squeeze more blood out of the turnip. Los Angeles is always looking for someone to step up besides Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler will be an early down, versatile option. But because Mike Williams can disappear at times, Cook should be viewed as a trusty third down target and move-the-chains guy. Cook doesn’t always have the softest hands, but he knows how to get open.