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5 Deep Dynasty Tight End Sleepers for 2020

There are many breakout tight end candidates this year that some consider sleepers. Names like Mike Gesicki, Irv Smith, and Jonnu Smith are all popular picks to outproduce their current dynasty ADPs in 2020. However, these dynasty tight end “sleepers” will likely cost a second-round rookie pick to acquire. I would classify them more as high-upside breakout candidates rather than true dynasty tight end sleepers.

The names we’ll be discussing below are targets to acquire at the cost of a third-round rookie pick or less or as throw-ins as part of larger dynasty trades, and they may even be available on the waiver wire in some shallower bench leagues. Here are some deep dynasty tight end sleepers with a truly cheap price to acquire. July ADPs listed below are courtesy of Dynasty League Football.

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 5 Tight End Sleepers for Deep Dynasty Leagues

Kyle Rudolph – Overall ADP of 253 – TE38

Many are excited by the potential of Rudolph’s counterpart in Minnesota, Irv Smith. However, Rudolph remains atop the depth chart and is one of Kirk Cousins‘s most reliable targets. In 2019, Rudolph played on 77 percent of offensive snaps to Smith’s 60 percent, and both were equally involved as receivers with Rudolph receiving 48 targets to Smith’s 47 targets. But though Rudolph didn’t see a significant advantage in target share, he was incredibly efficient on his targets, as Cousins had a 139.5 quarterback rating when targeting Rudolph and completed 85 percent of his passes to him.

While Smith is the more enticing dynasty prospect due to age and upside, both Vikings tight ends figure to see more targets in the passing game in 2020 with Stefon Diggs having been traded to Buffalo this offseason. Although some expect Justin Jefferson to assume many of these vacated targets, Cousins may rely on his trusted veteran tight end more this year, especially if the rookie wide receiver takes longer than expected to learn the offense in an offseason impacted by COVID. Considering the massive gap in their current dynasty values, with Smith being drafted over 10 rounds earlier in dynasty startups at 120th overall as the TE15, Rudolph is the far better value. He’s a great cheap TE2 option for contending dynasty teams.


Tyler Eifert – Overall ADP of 255 – TE39

A slew of season-ending back and ankle injuries has derailed the former rising star once heralded by some as “Baby Gronk”, but it may shock many to learn that Eifert will turn just 30 years old in September. He’s an injury risk to be sure, but that is more than baked into his current low dynasty value.

Moreover, new Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s offensive scheme has historically garnered fantasy success for his tight ends. In fact, Gruden was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati when they drafted Eifert 21st overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Gruden went on to propel Jordan Reed to fantasy stardom in Washington when healthy. While injuries may have sapped Eifert’s explosiveness, and he may no longer have elite 13-touchdown upside like he had in 2015, a top-12 fantasy finish at his position isn’t out of the question if he can stay healthy in 2020. At his current ADP and dynasty value, Eifert’s potential reward far outweighs his low risk.


Greg Olsen – Overall ADP of 282 – TE43

Like Eifert, Olsen’s ability to play a full season is in question at this point in his career. Having broken his foot in 2017 and re-fracturing it in 2018, Olsen’s back-to-back seasons ended by foot injuries left a bad taste in the mouths of many dynasty owners. However, Olsen actually remained fairly healthy for most of 2019, missing only two games due to a concussion. His lacking production was not injury-related and more so due to Kyle Allen‘s ineptitude and the inefficiencies of Carolina’s offense as a whole.

Having since signed a one-year deal in Seattle, Olsen has an opportunity to bounce back in 2020 catching passes from Russell Wilson. His $7 million salary suggests that he is the favorite for the starting tight end job in Seattle, so health is the only remaining question. Though the Seahawks’ low-volume passing offense and the presence of Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are obstacles for Olsen, Wilson’s hyper-efficiency somewhat mitigates these concerns. And with Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly having combined for 64 receptions for 611 yards and seven touchdowns last year on 86 total targets, there is ample opportunity for Olsen to return to TE1 production.


Logan Thomas – Undrafted

Incumbent starter Jeremy Sprinkle has yet to live up to his potential, having logged just 33 catches in his three years in the NFL. Even with Jordan Reed having missed the entire 2019 season, Sprinkle split time with Vernon Davis last year, playing just 64 percent of the total offensive snaps and garnering only about nine percent of the total targets. While Thomas isn’t a household name, he’s shown flashes of potential throughout his journeyman career and is an athletic freak with measurables akin to those of Rob Gronkowski and Austin Hooper.

And though late breakouts at the age of 29 are rare, we’ve seen other athletic tight ends produce later in their careers with names like Delanie Walker and Darren Waller taking many by surprise. With no established receiving options behind Terry McLaurin going into the season, Thomas could develop into a bigger part of the passing offense, especially now with the news of Kelvin Harmon having torn his ACL and due to miss the entire season. Head coach Ron Rivera recently praised Thomas’s development, and though offseason coach-speak may not mean much, there is opportunity aplenty for whoever seizes the starting tight end role in Washington. Thomas is an intriguing tight end prospect to take a chance on in deeper leagues.


Dylan Cantrell – Undrafted

We’re diving way down deep here, but Cantrell is a prime example of investing in low-risk, high-reward fringe players on fantasy-friendly offenses. Cantrell played wide receiver at Texas Tech and is an athletic specimen. After drafting him in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Chargers waived Cantrell following a shoulder injury, and he subsequently signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals as a tight end convert.

His reunion with head coach Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, who he played under at Texas Tech, makes Cantrell one of the most intriguing dynasty tight end sleepers this year. The tight end convert’s knowledge of Kingsbury’s offensive scheme could help him secure the starting role over another popular sleeper candidate, Dan Arnold, even in an offseason derailed by COVID. While Cantrell has yet to play a snap in the NFL, he’s a free acquisition in most dynasty leagues with incredible fantasy upside if he ever reaches his potential in an ascending Cardinals offense. He remains a worthy stash in deep leagues and is likely sitting on the waiver wire in the vast majority of leagues.

For more fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter @FFA_Meng. Also, check back for more, as we’ll be covering the dynasty football angle all offseason.

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