Hidden Dynasty Assets: Tight Ends (FantasyFootball)

Benjamin Shwaiko
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Benjamin Shwaiko

Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, I am an avid Cubs, Blackhawks and Packers fan. I am new to writing about Fantasy Football community and joined with Going For 2 in June of 2017.Fantasy Football is my passion and I am looking to get more involved in the community.
Benjamin Shwaiko
Follow me at

In my last segment of Hidden Dynasty Assets, I am going to address the Tight End position and where you will be able to capitalize on hidden value. As mentioned in previous articles, a Hidden Dynasty Asset is not a sleeper or young player to grab before he breaks out. Rather, I will lay out 4 tight ends that are perfect players to target in order to capitalize on their current average draft position and perceived dynasty value. Out of the 21 players who have finished as a top 12 TE over the past 3 years, 5 players have been a TE1 three times, 5 players have been a TE1 twice, and 11 players have been a TE1 once. The players who have only been a TE1 once have seen that season come at early enough in their career where they have the opportunity to repeat as a TE1. What’s more surprising is that 4 out of the 5 players that have done it 3 times are 32 years old or older. This suggests that securing a young tight end before they breakout will be extremely beneficial to your dynasty team if you buy the TE at the right price.

Zach Ertz, PHI (TE10 & 74th Overall)

This Hidden Dynasty Asset might not be so hidden. Ertz is going to cost a decent amount of capital to acquire as he is going in the 8th round of start-up drafts. Even with this price tag, I think he is worth taking a shot on if you want to acquire a TE who has the potential to be in the annual top 5 discussions.

One of the reasons you should take a shot on Ertz is that he is entering his 5th year in the league, but is only 26 years old. Looking back at my opening paragraph, Ertz is the youngest player to have 2 top 12 finishes as he has been a TE1 each of the past 2 seasons. If he is able to produce another TE1 season this year, he would match the mark set Travis Kelce as a tight end who has had 3 TE1 finishes before their age 27 season.

Another reason you should take a shot on acquiring Ertz is that he was able to build chemistry with then rookie QB Carson Wentz towards the end of last season. From week 9 on Ertz was a top 12 TE 7 times, and a top 5 TE 5 times, over his last 9 games. In that same span, Ertz finished as THE top scoring tight end twice.

This rapport that Ertz has built with Wentz should carry over into this season as the 2 have had the offseason to work together. Ertz is also signed through 2022 and could be the lone long term option that Wentz has year in and year out. Best case scenario is that Wentz improves and this chemistry will continue as long as they are both Eagles.

Securing an annual top 5 tight end could be the difference between a playoff team and a yearly contender. As Ertz is on the fringe of the prime of his career, you will not have to sit and hope he develops into a playable tight end like a lot of the younger tight ends going around him such as OJ Howard, Evan Engram and David Njoku. Even though the price tag for Ertz might seem high, investing in this Dynasty Asset now has the potential to be extremely profitable over the next 5 years.

Cameron Brate, TB (TE23 & 163 Overall)

My next Hidden Dynasty Asset is the 26-year-old Cameron Brate, who has lost a lot of value with the Bucs drafting O.J. Howard. Due to the hype of this rookie, Brate is now the perfect price to take a shot on this year. At 163 in startup drafts, Brate can be taken late or even traded for on the cheap as most Brate owners will want out. If you are a contender in need of a TE, his value alone should be reason enough to take a shot on him.

One of the reasons Brate is a good TE to target is because he has proven to be one of Jameis Winston’s favorite targets. Last year he was second on the team in targets behind superstar Mike Evans. Furthermore, he was also a red zone favorite of Winston last year as he turned 17 red zone targets into 8 TDs.

Brate and Winston also seemed to build chemistry as the year progressed. Brate finished the year strong as in 4 of his final 8 games he finished as a TE1, 2 of which were top 3 performances at the position. The strong chemistry that these two have developed will carry over into this season as O.J. Howard is still developing.   

As many in the fantasy community know, it generally takes 3 years for a tight end to adapt to the workload of the NFL. As O.J. Howard was not utilized very much in college, I think it will take AT LEAST this year for him to develop into a fantasy stud. By the time Howard is the starter many view him as, Brate could be long gone. Brate’s contract is set to expire at the end of this year and he could easily find himself in a better situation next year. At his current price tag, Brate is a Hidden Dynasty Asset that can help your team win this year and maybe even bring back some value if everything falls right.

George Kittle, SF (TE40 & 220 Overall)

My deep dive for a Hidden Dynasty Asset at the TE position is a 49ers rookie, who has already generated some buzz this offseason. According to 49ers GM John Lynch, George Kittle “exceeded expectations” at OTAs this offseason. As a free TE in startups, and even some rookie drafts, Kittle is a name you should continue to monitor throughout camp and into the season. As is the case with all of the deep dives I have mentioned in previous articles, this low-cost player has a chance to become a big profit piece to your dynasty team.

The main reason I believe Kittle is worth taking a shot on is the offensive situation he has found himself in. Kittle was taken in the 5th round by the new 49ers duo of GM John Lynch and offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan. As the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl runner up Atlanta Falcons, Shanahan’s success came while using 2-3 TE sets in order to run and set up the pass action. Whether Kittle is able to find playing time this year remains unseen but both Lynch and Shanahan just signed matching 6-year contracts so the foundation is set for the foreseeable future. At the very least, the favored Kittle will have more than enough chances to secure the starting role for an offensive minded coach.

Kittle’s college pedigree suggests that he might be able to adapt to the NFL and secure playing time faster than the average rookie TE. During his 5 year stay at Iowa, Kittle was able to develop above average blocking skills, a trait that many Hawkeyes possess due to their run happy offense.

According to NFL.com, Kittle flashed strengths as a blocker as well as an athletic receiver with good hands while going through the draft process. Kittle needs to improve his route running and ability to get open, but his 4.52 sec 40 suggests that he can be a seem receiver that will exploit defenses through mismatches.

The best part about any late round flier or cheap dynasty asset is that they’re basically free. The hardest part is that you have to be patient enough to hold on to that piece until they return value. This Hidden Dynasty Asset has a lot of upside due to his offensive situation and could pay off sooner than the average rookie TE. George Kittle is worth taking a shot on as a young TE in what could be one of the best TE drafts of all time.

Austin Hooper, ATL (TE15 & 115 Overall)

From the current Shanahan TE to the former one, Austin Hooper is an undervalued Hidden Dynasty Asset. At 22 years old, Hooper seems to be locked in as the starting TE for a high powered Falcon’s offense. What’s even more encouraging is that Hooper graded out to be a top 20 receiving tight end and a top 10 blocking tight end by Pro Football Focus.

One of the reasons that you should consider buying Hooper shares is that he had an encouraging rookie season where he was able to build a rapport with 2016 MVP Matt Ryan. As a rookie Hooper was set to sit and learn behind Jacob Tamme before Tamme went down in week 8. Hooper was able to finish the season with 19 receptions for 271 yards and 3 TDs. While that might not sound impressive, Hooper was not viewed as a passing tool in the regular season but still managed to score on 15% of his targets.

Hooper is also turning into one of Matt Ryan’s favorite targets as he was able to post a 150.2 passer rating when targeting Hooper. Hooper led the Falcon in targets during the Super Bowl where he scored a TD, confirming the increase in looks that Hooper is seeing from last year’s MVP, Matt Ryan.  

Another reason to take a shot on this Hidden Dynasty Asset is that the coordinator change could actually benefit Hooper. The Falcons have added Steve Sarkisian as their new offensive coordinator but still want to run the same offense that Kyle Shanahan did last year. The difference between the two offensive philosophies seems to benefit Hooper. Sarkisian’s fast paced offense should allow Hooper to see an increase in volume in order to raise his weekly floor. Additionally, if Sarkisian uses the TE split out wide like he is known to do, Hooper could see his ceiling rise as he could turn into a devastating offensive weapon at the TE position.

This young and athletic TE is being undervalued in dynasty leagues yet has a clear road to playing time. At a position where you usually have to sit on a young tight end to watch him develop, Hooper offers the upside and youth paired with playing time and a good situation. Investing in Hooper this year could lead to a big return on investment at this time next year if he proves to be an offensive weapon in Atlanta.

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Benjamin Shwaiko

Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, I am an avid Cubs, Blackhawks and Packers fan. I am new to writing about Fantasy Football community and joined with Going For 2 in June of 2017. Fantasy Football is my passion and I am looking to get more involved in the community.

Benjamin Shwaiko

Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, I am an avid Cubs, Blackhawks and Packers fan. I am new to writing about Fantasy Football community and joined with Going For 2 in June of 2017. Fantasy Football is my passion and I am looking to get more involved in the community.

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