2022 Positional Tracker: Tight Ends

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2022 Positional Tracker: Tight Ends

The Fantasy Points staff is covering every major offensive transaction from the 2022 off-season in our Off-season Tracker articles. We broke down all the important free agency signings and trades from a fantasy perspective in articles sorted by position. The articles are ordered by players changing teams ("New Homes") and by players sticking with their 2021 teams ("Staying Put"). The players are also ordered by their potential fantasy impact for the 2022 season in each section. Be sure to also check out Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces on the biggest transactions of the off-season.

New Homes

Gerald Everett (LAC, 28) — Everett and the Chargers came to terms on a two-year, $12 million deal that’s worth up to $13.5 million in incentives and included $8 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Points: Everett didn’t have quite the market he was expecting last season when he settled for a one-year, $6 million deal with the Seahawks. It heated up a bit this off-season and he’s in an ideal situation to continue to improve in his sixth year. Everett’s receiving production has improved in each of his first five NFL seasons, but he’s still yet to reach 50+ receptions, 500+ receiving yards, or 5 TDs in a season. He posted career-highs across the board with 48/478/4 receiving (10.0 YPR) on 63 targets (13.3% share) to finish as the TE22 with 7.9 FPG. He also played a career-best 75% of the snaps in 15 games, missing two contests with COVID. Everett sported the third-lowest aDOT (5.5) among 35 TEs who saw 40+ targets last season, and he saw more than five targets just three times in 15 contests. His slot rate soared to 33.6% under Seattle OC Shane Waldron, and he’ll be a versatile option for any team looking for a receiving upgrade at the position. Everett will take Jared Cook’s spot in the offense, and he ​​ran the 11th-most routes (477) and he had the eighth-highest aDOT (8.9) among TEs last season. Everett has some serious target competition from Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Josh Palmer, but he’s in a position to keep ascending for the sixth straight season playing with Justin Herbert in one of the league’s premier offenses. He’s on the radar as a mid-TE2 with some upside if one of the WRs in front of him is unavailable at times next season.

Noah Fant (Sea, 25) — The Seahawks acquired Fant as part of the blockbuster Russell Wilson on March 8.

Fantasy Points: Fant hasn’t quite lived up to fantasy expectations in his first three seasons after the Broncos selected him 20th overall in the 2019 draft. He’s finished as the TE12 in each of the last two seasons with a career-best FPG average of just 10.0 in 2020. Fant has clearly been hamstrung by poor quarterback play and it doesn’t help that Albert Okwuegbunam took on a bigger role in his second season as Denver’s #2 TE. Fant averaged 5.7 catches and 52.0 receiving yards per game in three contests without Albert O in the lineup last season compared to just 3.9 catches and 39.5 receiving yards in 13 contests with Albert O in the lineup. Fant has a path to potentially top his previous career-highs in targets per game (6.2) and routes per game (27.6), but his quarterback play could be dreadful once again if the Seahawks don’t make a significant upgrade over Drew Lock this off-season. The Seahawks also brought back Will Dissly on a three-year, $24 million contract, which caps some of Fant’s upside. Gerald Everett at least ran a route on 80.1% of Seattle’s pass attempts (356 of 444) in his 15 games last season. Check out Graham Barfield’s full fantasy breakdown of Seattle’s trade with the Broncos from earlier this month.

Evan Engram (Jax, 28) — The Jaguars and Engram agreed to a fully-guaranteed one-year, $9 million contract.

Fantasy Points: Engram hit free agency for the first time and he cashed in with a guaranteed deal with the Jaguars. New Jaguars’ HC Doug Pederson watched Engram up close for four seasons with the Giants, and he’ll likely be used in Zach Ertz’s old role as a slot TE. Trevor Lawrence struggled mightily as a rookie under the old regime, but the Jaguars added Engram, Christian Kirk, and Zay Jones at receiver on the unofficial opening day of free agency. Engram ran the 13th-most routes (459) among TEs last season, and he led all of them by running 69.5% of his routes from the slot last season. Playing in New York’s dismal offense, Engram posted career-lows with 46/408/3 receiving (8.9 YPR) on 73 targets (15.2% share) to finish as the TE26 with 6.8 FPG. He missed the first two games of the season with a calf injury before playing 74% of the snaps in the last 15 contests. Engram finished 2021 with the league’s worst yards per route run average (.86), and he had the second-shortest aDOT (5.4) among 35 TEs who saw 40+ targets last season. He hasn’t quite lived up to the hype as a 2017 first-round pick, peaking with 11.6 FPG (TE4) during his rookie season, but his best play could still be ahead of him after being stuck in less than ideal offensive environments the last few seasons. The big question is will Jacksonville’s offensive environment be a significant upgrade after Lawrence averaged a miserable 6.0 YPA. Engram has a better chance to disappoint than to regain his rookie form this season in a below-average offense with too many slot types in Engram, Kirk, Laviska Shenault, and Dan Arnold.

Hayden Hurst (Cin, 29) — The Bengals signed former Falcons TE Hurst to a one-year contract.

Fantasy Points: The Bengals were unable to retain longtime TE C.J. Uzomah so they turned to Hurst to fill the void for at least one season. He went to Atlanta with some hype after the Falcons acquired him from the Ravens for a second-round pick to be Austin Hooper’s replacement in 2020. He left Atlanta this off-season as an afterthought after the franchise drafted generational talent Kyle Pitts at the position last year. Relegated to a much smaller role in 2021, Hurst posted 26/221/3 receiving on 31 targets (8.5% share) for 4.9 FPG while playing 50% of the snaps in 13 contests. He averaged by far a career-low 8.5 YPR and a pathetic 1.00 yards per route run. Hurst was talented enough to be drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft despite losing three years in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, and he’s once again landed in a prime location for fantasy production for the second time in three years. ​​Hurst should step into Uzomah’s spot and he’s competing for playing time with the underwhelming Drew Sample at this point. Uzomah was the fifth-best offensive weapon in Cincinnati’s 2021 Super Bowl run, but he had some fantasy moments playing with Joe Burrow. Hurst could struggle for consistency with limited targets available behind Cincy’s big three WRs, which will make him a frustrating option in re-draft formats. However, he could be an intriguing low-end TE2 in Best Ball formats since he could pop for some big games in Cincy’s potent passing attack.

Austin Hooper (Ten, 28) — The Titans signed the recently cut Hooper to a one-year, $6 million contract.

Fantasy Points: Hooper never came close to living up to the four-year, $42 million deal he signed with the Browns during the 2020 off-season. Cleveland cut ties on March 16, handing the TE duties to Harrison Bryant and David Njoku, and it didn’t take Hooper long to land on his feet with the TE-needy Titans. Hooper’s receiving production has declined in each of his last two seasons after he peaked in 2019 with 75/787/6 receiving while playing with Matt Ryan in Atlanta. He combined for just 84/780/7 receiving on 131 targets over 29 games in his two seasons with the Browns. Hooper will have less target competition at the position with just primary blocker Geoff Swaim behind him, but it’s tough to get too excited about Hooper’s fantasy prospects. He owns a career 10.1 YPR average and a 5.6% TD rate (23 scores on 208 targets) through his first six seasons. He’ll be the #3 receiver behind A.J. Brown and Robert Woods in an offense with the third-lowest pass rate (51%) last season, so he’ll offer limited upside as a low-end TE2 this season.

C.J. Uzomah (NYJ, 29) and Tyler Conklin (NYJ, 27) — Uzomah bolted to the Jets on a three-year, $24 million contract with $15 million guaranteed while Conklin inked a three-year, $21 million contract a few days later.

Fantasy Points: The Jets’ offense has been a fantasy wasteland for tight ends for years, and Uzomah and Conklin will try to flip that trend this season. Uzomah was the fifth-best offensive weapon in Cincinnati’s 2021 Super Bowl run, but he had some fantasy moments playing with second-year stud Joe Burrow. He had two regular-season games with 90+ receiving yards and two TDs, which resulted in a pair of TE1 finishes, and he recorded 14+ FP in Cincinnati’s first two postseason contests. It’s not surprising then that Uzomah posted career-highs across the board with 49/493/5 receiving (10.1 YPR) on 63 targets (11.9% share) to finish as the TE21 with 7.9 FPG. He finished with a 77% snap share in 16 games and he ran the 12th-most routes (461) among TEs last season.

Conklin went from being a backup tight end in his first three seasons to being thrust into a pivotal role in his fourth year. Popular fantasy breakout candidate Irv Smith tore his meniscus in late August, which required season-ending surgery. The Vikings traded for Chris Herndon before the season, but they handed Conklin the starting job after totaling just 43 catches and one TD in his first three seasons. Conklin ended 2021 with 61/593/3 receiving (9.7 YPR) on 87 targets (15.6% share) to finish as the TE20 with 8.1 FPG. He saw by far a career-high 81% snap share with Smith missing the entire season.

Both Uzomah and Conklin operated as check-down receivers in their respective offenses last season. Uzomah managed just 1.12 yards per route run and he had the shortest aDOT (4.7) among 35 TEs who saw 40+ targets last season — at least he averaged a career-best 6.0 YAC. Conklin was used slightly better with an aDOT sitting at 5.8 yards. Both TEs will experience major downgrades at quarterback going from Joe Burrow and Kirk Cousins to second-year QB Zach Wilson, who averaged an ugly 6.1 YPA. Jets’ TEs posted league-lows in targets per game (4.5) and target share (13.3%) with the great Ryan Griffin leading the group. Uzomah and Conklin are major upgrades at the position but they’ll be competing for targets with Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Braxton Berrios in a potential bottom-10 passing game. The Jets figure to use two-TE personnel at one of the league’s highest rates, but their fantasy prospects look grim as TE3s. The Jets effectively eliminated two fantasy-relevant options from 2021 with these signings.

Ricky Seals-Jones (NYG, 27) — The Giants signed Seals-Jones to an undisclosed contract.

Fantasy Points: Seals-Jones was a one-time fantasy sleeper with the Cardinals after flashing as a rookie in 2017 and because of his wide receiver background. He latched on with Washington last season and had a couple of fantasy moments when Logan Thomas left the lineup with a hamstring injury. RSJ had a three-game stretch with 4+ catches, 40+ yards, and 9+ FP in Weeks 5-7 with Thomas out of the lineup. He eventually slid back down the depth chart when Thomas returned to the lineup, and fifth-round pick John Bates eventually overtook him in the second half of the season. RSJ totaled 30/271/2 receiving on a 60% snap share in 13 games, and he ended his season on the injured reserve after he suffered an ugly concussion when he collided with a cameraman in Week 17. He ended the year averaging an ugly 9.0 YPR and .96 yards per route run. RSJ landed in an interesting fantasy spot with Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, and Kaden Smith being purged from the roster. He’s currently facing little competition for the starting job and he has an intriguing receiving skill set. With that said, the Giants had one of the league’s worst passing offenses the last two seasons and they're likely to add more bodies in the draft and/or free agency. It’s tough to get too excited about RSJ’s prospects as a fantasy flier just yet but he’s on the radar as a potential low-end TE2 with how everything sits in mid-March.

O.J. Howard (Buf, 28) — The Bills inked Howard to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, which can reach $5 million in incentives.

Fantasy Points: Howard is looking to get his once-promising career back on track after taking a backseat to Rob Gronkowski the last two seasons. He actually paced the Buccaneers’ TEs before rupturing his Achilles in 2020, posting 11/146/2 receiving on 19 targets in his four games. His usage plummeted in his fifth season with the Buccaneers, playing just 14/135/1 receiving (9.6 YPR) on 21 targets (3.0% share). He played a career-low 31% of the snaps in 17 contests as he also found himself playing behind Cameron Brate. Howard has first-round pedigree with ideal size (6’6”, 251 pounds) and speed (4.51) for the position, and he averaged 12.0 FPG (TE6) in eight games during his sophomore season. He’ll step into another backup role behind Dawson Knox on another Super Bowl contender, and he won’t have fantasy value unless there’s an injury in front of him. His signing could be an indicator that new OC Ken Dorsey could be a little more diverse formationally this season after the Bills used 11 personnel at the fourth-highest rate (71%) last season.

Others Changing Teams

Johnny Mundt (Min, 28) — The Vikings signed Mundt to a two-year, $2.4 million contract with $200,000 guaranteed. Mundt tore his ACL last October and his contract suggests he isn’t a lock to make the roster as he competes to be Irv Smith’s top backup. Mundt followed new Vikings’ HC Kevin O’Connell from Los Angeles to Minnesota so he’s at least familiar with the offense.

Jacob Hollister (LV, 29) — The Raiders signed Hollister to a one-year deal. He started his career with the Patriots in 2017-18 under new Raiders’ HC Josh McDaniels before moving to Seattle where he posted 41/349/3 receiving in 11 games in 2019. Hollister owns 42/358/4 receiving in his other 46 career games over four seasons, and he’ll be a depth option at best behind Darren Waller and Foster Moreau.

Eric Tomlinson (Den, 30) — The Broncos signed former Ravens TE Tomlinson to a one-year contract. He owns just two catches in his last 32 games over the last three seasons, but PFF graded him as the second-best run blocking TE out of 70 qualifiers. He played on just 26% of the snaps last season but his presence in two-TE formations is a big plus for Javonte Williams.

Garrett Griffin (Det, 28) — The Lions signed Griffin, who played four seasons under Lions’ HC Dan Campbell when he was the Saints’ TEs coach. He’s a blocking specialist who had just four catches on 235 snaps last season.

Staying Put

Dalton Schultz (Dal, 25) — The Cowboys assigned the franchise tag to Schultz, which will be worth about $10.9 million for 2022.

Fantasy Points: The Cowboys tagged Schultz, waived Blake Jarwin, and traded Amari Cooper in the same week heading into the new League Year. Those three moves by the Cowboys have Schultz’s fantasy stock soaring heading into the 2022 season. He somewhat quietly finished as the TE3 in overall FP (208.8) and as the TE5 in FPG (12.3) after posting a career-best 78/808/8 receiving (10.4 YPR) on 104 targets (16.5% share) in 17 games. Schultz has averaged 4.4 catches and 44.1 receiving yards per game with 12 scores ever since Jarwin tore his ACL in the 2020 season opener. He’s registered 4+ catches in 65.6% of his games in that span (21 of 32) so his track record as a PPR asset over the last two years speaks for itself. Schultz finished a distant third in catches (78) among TEs last season, but he could close the gap to Travis Kelce (92) and Mark Andrews (107) with Cooper vacating 104 targets (19% share) from last season. Schultz is being slept on in early Best Ball drafts with his ADP sitting around 100 picks, but he should be considered with the likes of T.J. Hockenson and Dallas Goedert starting in the seventh round.

Zach Ertz (Ari, 32) — Ertz re-signed with the Cardinals on a three-year, $31.65 contract with $17.5 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Points: Ertz got a new lease on his career when the Cardinals traded for him in mid-October, and he showed he still had some good football left in the tank as he entered free agency for the first time in his 30s. He spent the first eight-plus years of his career in Philadelphia, but he immediately looked right at home playing with the Cardinals after arriving in the middle of last season. He posted 56/574/3 receiving on 81 targets (21.4% share) while playing 81% of the snaps in 11 games with the Cardinals. He ranked as the TE5 with 12.0 FPG starting in Week 7 when he played his first game with Arizona. Overall, he posted 74/763/5 receiving (10.3 YPR) on 112 targets to finish as the TE10 with 10.6 FPG in 17 games. He ran the fifth-most routes (551) at the position despite competing with Dallas Goedert for playing time through the first six weeks of the season. Ertz ran a career-high 57.1% of his routes from the slot last season, the eighth-highest rate at the position. He’s not a difference-maker as a blocker or after the catch, but he’s still a quarterback’s best friend with his short-to-intermediate route running and his reliable hands with his career 66.9% catch rate. Ertz benefitted from DeAndre Hopkins missing seven of the last nine games last season, but he’ll still be a reliable low-end TE1 in PPR formats if you miss out on one of the big names at the top of drafts. The Cardinals re-signed Maxx Williams a few days after they signed Ertz to his three-year deal. It's a slight downgrade for Ertz but he’ll operate as the clear receiving option with Williams working as the blocking TE.

Mike Gesicki (Mia, 27) — The Dolphins assigned the franchise tag to Gesicki, which will be worth about $10.9 million for 2022.

Fantasy Points: The Dolphins' new coaching staff will get at least a one-year look at Gesicki before they decide if he’ll be a part of their plans moving forward. Run blocking is an important part of McDaniel’s new offense, and Gesicki isn’t exactly known for being a dominant in-line player. He finished fourth in routes run at the position with 539, and he led all TEs with 62.5% of his routes coming from the slot last season. Gesicki looks like a poor fit for their new run-heavy attack but McDaniel wasn’t too concerned about it at the combine. “We’ve had tight ends in our history that have been featured pass receivers and we’ve had featured blockers. On both ends of the system, they are expected and will do both things, majoring or minoring in one or the other, depending on their skill sets. I have no problem, no hesitation, or no concern of Mike being able to contribute as a blocker and we’ll use him the way that’s most appropriate for him.” Gesicki surely isn’t the all-around player as George Kittle so he’ll have to carve out a role similar to the one Jordan Reed had in Shanahan’s system in Washington as a rookie in 2013. Kittle and the 49ers’ TE were targeted at the fifth-highest rate (27%) at the position in 2018-20. Gesicki has a chance to be heavily involved in the passing attack if he can get on the field enough.

Robert Tonyan (GB, 28) — Tonyan will return to Green Bay on a one-year, prove-it deal.

Fantasy Points: Tonyan came out of relative obscurity in 2020 to match Travis Kelce for a position-best 11 touchdown on his way to finishing as the TE5 with 11.0 FPG. He was never going to keep up his blistering touchdown pace or his 88.1% catch rate from 2021, and regression set in before he tore his ACL and missed the final nine games. Tonyan posted 18/204/2 receiving (11.3 YPR) on 29 targets (11.9% share) to finish as the TE28 with 6.3 FPG — he played 60% of the snaps in his eight contests. Tonyan had his best performance of the season in Week 7 with 5/63/1 receiving and he was in the midst of topping it the next week on Thursday Night Football when he tore his ACL on his longest catch of the season. Tonyan was an undrafted free agent out of Indiana State and he doesn’t have a long track record of NFL success. He had to settle for a prove-it deal and it made sense to rehabilitate his career with Aaron Rodgers in a receiving corps that’s been thinned out with Davante Adams and his 32.8% target share heading to Las Vegas. The Packers will make more moves to boost their receiving corps, but Tonyan is a bounce-back candidate as a low-end TE2 in a potentially more balanced passing attack.

David Njoku (Cle, 26) — The Browns assigned the franchise tag to Njoku, which will be worth about $10.9 million for 2022.

Fantasy Points: Njoku is stuck in fantasy purgatory for at least one more season in Kevin Stefanski’s offense. He’s averaging just 2.8 targets per game and 16.5 routes per game in his first two seasons in Kevin Stefanski’s offense. Cleveland has talked about lining up Njoku more as an X-iso receiver like how the Raiders use Darren Waller at times, but he ran just 12.6% of his route out wide last season, which ranked 22nd at the position. The Browns seem content to rotate their talented TEs, which creates an unfriendly fantasy environment for this entire group. Njoku needed the Browns to release Austin Hooper to have a better chance at fantasy relevance, which they did on March 16, but he still has to compete with third-year TE Harrison Bryant for targets and playing time. Njoku has TE1 upside if he could find a clear path to targets, but he’s yet to find that path through his first five seasons and the Browns have already added Amari Cooper to the mix this off-season. The Browns acquired Deshaun Watson on March 18 so Njoku fantasy’s stock is on the rise in March.

Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 29) — The Colts inked Alie-Cox to a three-year, $18 million contract with just $5.8 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Points: Alie-Cox has made steady progress in his first five seasons in the NFL after he spent eights years away from organized football to focus on his basketball career — he starred at VCU in college hoops. He played a career-high 55% of the snaps in 17 games last season, posting 24/316/4 receiving (13.2 YPR) on 45 targets (9.0% share) for 4.7 FPG. Alie-Cox never had more than 50 receiving yards in a game despite tying for the second-highest aDOT (10.9) among TEs who saw 40+ targets last season, ranking behind only Kyle Pitts at 11.2 yards. The Colts have spent the last five years developing Alie-Cox and, with Jack Doyle retiring in March, it made sense that they’d finally give MAC a bigger chance, one that he’s deserved over the last two seasons. Kylen Granson, a 2020 fourth-round pick, also figures to be moved into a bigger role unless the Colts aren’t done addressing the position. MAC will be on the radar as a low-end TE2 unless the Colts fail to upgrade their current quarterback situation after trading Carson Wentz.

Maxx Williams (Ari, 28) — The Cardinals re-signed Williams to a two-year contract.

Fantasy Points: Williams finally looked headed to fulfilling the promise he showed coming out of the University of Minnesota back in 2015, which prompted the Ravens to draft him in the second round. He unfortunately endured yet another injury to stall his career, suffering a torn ACL when he took a helmet to his knee, which prompted the Cardinals to trade for Zach Ertz. Williams played on a career-high 66% of the snaps before his injury knocked him out for the final 12 games. He posted 16/193/1 receiving (12.1 YPR) on 17 targets (10.8% share) to finish as the TE18 with 8.3 FPG. Williams has failed to reach 12+ games in four of his last six seasons, and he hasn’t reached 20+ receptions since his rookie campaign in 2015. He’s still averaged 12.7 YPR and an 84.8% catch rate in three seasons with the Cardinals, and he’s also developed into an excellent run blocker. He’ll be used as a blocking specialist as the team’s #2 TE while Ertz will handle most of the receiving responsibilities.

Donald Parham (LAC, 25) — The Chargers brought back exclusive rights free agent Parham on a one-year contract.

Fantasy Points: Parham is best known for being one of the stars of the short-lived XFL in 2020 before he latched on with the Chargers. The 25-year-old prospect is massive (6’8”, 255 pounds) and dripping with athleticism with 4.67-speed and a 38.5-inch vertical. His role grew a bit in his second season with Hunter Henry bolting for New England in free agency with his snap share (41%) and routes run (154) growing from 2020 (24%, 112). He finished with 20/190/3 receiving on 27 targets in 14 games playing behind Jared Cook. Parham’s season came to an early end when he suffered a scary concussion on Thursday Night Football in Week 15. The Chargers signed Gerald Everett to a two-year deal with $8 million guaranteed so Parham and 2020 third-round pick Tre’ McKitty will stick in reserve roles.

Ian Thomas (Car, 26) — The Panthers handed Thomas a puzzling three-year, $16.5 million contract extension with $8 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Points: The Panthers handed Thomas a pretty nice pay raise to PFF’s worst graded TE from last season. Thomas posted 36/333/2 receiving as a rookie in 2018, but he failed to top 20 receptions and 200 receiving yards in each of his last three seasons. Carolina’s TEs saw the fewest targets per game (3.5) under Joe Brady and Jeff Nixon in 2020-21 with just 116 total targets going to Panthers’ TEs, but that could change with Ben McAdoo running the offense. Giants’ TEs saw the ninth-most targets per game (8.1) from 2014-17 with 520 total targets, and that’s even with the likes of Will Tye and Larry Donnell leading the group until Evan Engram arrived in 2017. Thomas has a chance to be a more active receiver this season, but he’s going to be competing for snaps with Tommy Tremble in an offense that’s likely to use a lot of 11 personnel. Thomas was an intriguing prospect as a 2018 fourth-round pick out of Indiana so we’ll keep the light on for him, but he’ll need a massive QB upgrade to even have a chance at a fifth-year breakout.

Will Dissly (Sea, 26) — Dissly and the Seahawks agreed to terms on a three-year, $24 million contract with nearly $16 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Points: The Seahawks paid a significant price to keep Dissly as their #2 TE, this time behind Noah Fant instead of Gerald Everett. Dissly managed to mostly stay in the lineup the last two seasons, playing 31-of-33 games (94%) after an injury-marred start to his career. He played in just 10-of-32 games (31%) to open his career because of a torn patellar tendon in 2018 and a ruptured Achilles in 2019. He got off to a roaring start three years ago with 23/262/4 receiving for 12.3 FPG in six games before his Achilles injury, but he’s come nowhere close to that pace the last two seasons. He finished with 21/231/1 receiving (11.0 YPR) on 26 targets while playing 58% of the snaps in 15 contests in 2021. Dissly is a reliable receiver with his career 79% catch rate on 96 targets and he’s excelled as a run blocker. Seattle figures to go with a run-heavy attack based on their recent trade of Russell Wilson and the hefty guaranteed money they paid for a #2 TE.

Juwan Johnson (NO, 26) — The Saints retained exclusive rights free agent Johnson to a one-year contract.

Fantasy Points: Johnson, a converted WR, caught some preseason buzz when The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell wrote that Johnson could step into Jared Cook’s role at TE for the Saints. He then went out and posted 3/21/2 receiving against the Packers in New Orleans’ season opener, and the fantasy football masses flocked to add him off of the waiver wire. His Week 1 performance would be the highlight of his season, though, as he managed just 10/138/2 receiving in his final 13 games. He’ll try to stick in his receiving-TE role in 2022 but the Saints will need to be much more aggressive in the passing game if he’s to sniff fantasy relevance after the Saints averaged a league-low 187.4 passing yards per game.

Other Staying Home

Geoff Swaim (Ten, 29) — The Titans re-signed Swaim to a one-year contract. He’s coming off a career year with 31/210/3 receiving (6.8 YPR) on 40 targets (8.7% share), but he reached double-digit FP in just two games.

Durham Smythe (Mia, 27) — The Dolphins retained Smythe on a two-year, $8 million contract. He’s been a relatively active backup with Mike Gesicki being used more like a WR, and he’s coming off career-highs in receptions (34), receiving yards (357), and snap share (62%).

Pharaoh Brown (Hou, 28) — Brown and the Texans agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with $3 million guaranteed. He registered career-highs in games (15), snap share (65%), targets (34), catches (23), and receiving yards (171), but PFF graded him as the league’s worst TE out of 70 qualifiers.

Brock Wright (Det, 24) — The Lions retained exclusive rights free agent Wright, who posted 12/117/2 receiving in the final eight games of last season with T.J. Hockenson in and mostly out of the lineup.

Jeremy Sprinkle (Dal, 28) — The Cowboys signed Sprinkle to a one-year, $1.0 million contract extension. He made just three catches last season despite playing all 17 games as most of his contributions came on special teams.

Jesper Horsted (Chi, 25) — The Bears retained exclusive rights free agent Horsted.

Blake Bell (KC, 31) — The Chiefs re-signed Bell to a one-year contract after he managed 9/87 receiving on 13 targets in 16 games last season.

Antony Auclair (Hou, 29) — The Texans re-signed Auclair, who started 13 games for the Texans last season. He managed just 5/47/1 receiving on a 32% snap share in 16 games last season, and he’ll continue to be primarily used as a blocker next season.

Nick Bowers (LV, 26) — The Raiders retained exclusive right free agent Bowers

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.