Let’s be honest, the tight end position is a bit of a crapshoot in terms of fantasy value. You have your big three in Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle. From there, you see a drop off to a handful of serviceable options, dig any deeper, and you’re putting yourself in prime position to be burned at any moment.
With Rob Gronkowski retiring, fantasy owners are looking for someone to assert themselves within the upper echelon at the position. Look no further than New York Giants tight end Evan Engram.
With the speed to blow past linebackers and safeties, along with the size to out duel cornerbacks, the sky is the limit for Evan Engram.
Odell Beckham Jr. now resides in Cleveland, OH. Beckham leaves behind nearly 146 targets on average per season in years that he played at least 11 games. It’s hard to say the Giants did much to fill the major void left behind by their former perennial all-pro wideout. GM Dave Gettleman brought in an aging veteran in Golden Tate who seems to be entering the downward slope of his career. Even if Tate recaptures some of the magic that made him a nightmare to guard in the slot during his tenures with Detroit and Seattle, the Giants will have to wait four games for him to even suit up. Tate will serve a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancement policy.
Sterling Shepard will undoubtedly be slotted as the suede WR-1 within the offense, but expect Engram to be the receiving option targeted the most in the passing game. After Beckham Jr. went down with a season ending injury late last season, Engram’s usage rate catapulted to new heights. Engram saw his target count nearly double, approaching close to nine per game with OBJ out of the lineup.
Without Beckham Jr. lined up out wide, expect the Giants to run their offense through Saquon Barkley, and the short-to-intermediate passing game. This makes Engram a prime candidate to build off of his numbers from a season ago.
We are all clearly aware of the specimen that is Evan Engram. Standing at 6’3 and nearly 240 lbs., the former first round pick out of Ole Miss is a mismatch nightmare. Engram’s 4.4 speed, and ability to move like a wideout, had many scouts wondering if he would be just that at the NFL level, a wideout. He may not be a wide receiver by designation, but he’s a hell of a target for whoever is slinging the rock in New York this season.
Engram, entering his 3rd NFL season, is well aware of the importance he holds within the Giants offense. Engram has taken valuable steps to ensure that his body will hold up with the added usage he is undoubtedly going to receive. The tight end has hired a personal chef to fuel him with the proper nutrition, and put a newfound emphasis on sleep and recovery.
Engram is itching to get the ball rolling in what could be an exceptional season for the young pass catcher, starting with the Dallas Cowboys in week 1.
Engram finished the final four weeks of 2018 with the second most receiving yards (320) by a tight end in the NFL. If all goes well this year, he may be able keep that ranking and span it over a 16-game season.
Evan Engram went off the board between round five or six in most fantasy leagues, a far cry from the top tier players at his position. At this time next year we may be pondering who to select in our fantasy drafts, George Kittle or Evan Engram. Get Engram while you can, as we will be salivating looking back at the opportunity we had to grab an elite tight end with such a low draft pick.