Fantasy football managers saw a light at end of long, dark tunnel as the NFL’s 2021 season began. The Big 3 — Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and George Kittle — were all the rage in drafts, but with Kyle Pitts, Dawson Knox and Dalton Schultz joining usual No. 4 Mark Andrews: There was more to tightening the end position than we used to see.
The return of Rob Gronkowski, and each Hunter Henry touchdown made the excitement even greater. And though not every fantasy team’s tight end burden has been lessened just yet, the emergence of a few more names are certain to help ease the pain.
Consistency at the position is always difficult to achieve, but over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of promise, which starts with the well-traveled Dan Arnold who has found a home in Jacksonville. Arnold’s role as pass-catcher has steadily increased since being acquired by Jaguars. He has received an average of eight targets per week and 65 yards receiving each game. He hasn’t gotten into the end zone yet, but his red-zone opportunities should increase moving forward.
Minnesota’s Tyler Conklin is another name on which to keep tabs as his role in the passing attack has become increasingly steadier as well. While Conklin might be added to the team as someone who is chasing Week 10’s two touchdown performance, he is still a player that is seeing at least six targets per week, receiving between 50-60 yards, and occasionally getting red-zone opportunity. Not to mention, over the past three weeks, he’s moved up to third in target share on the roster.
If you’re looking for a deep dive and some promise on the horizon, look no further than preseason darling Adam Trautman of the Saints. He was a sleeper pick to open the season, but with the team’s quarterback issues and other offensive struggles, he became a forgotten man. However, since Trevor Siemian has taken over under center, Trautman has become a favorite target, seeing six or seven per game — including four red-zone looks in the past three games. The touchdowns will follow if this consistency continues, similar to Arnold.
Although it would be difficult to locate elite tight ends on your waiver wire you will find enough players to keep you occupied. You might also consider a package that contains one of these top tight end if you are short on running backs. It is not the desolating wasteland that it once was.
Howard Bender, FantasyAlarm.com’s VP Operations and Head of Content is his title. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.