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Fantasy Football: 3 Deep-sleeper tight ends you should consider drafting this year

Irv Smith Jr.
Irv Smith Jr.
CONTRIBUTOR

When it comes to fantasy football, filling the tight end position is perhaps the most challenging task. Unless you can draft Travis Kelce, George Kittle or Darren Waller, drafting a tight end is like blindfolding yourself and throwing a dart and hoping you hit a bullseye.

That said, some sleepers are currently being drafted outside the top 16 ADP in PPR leagues.

Tight ends to keep an open mind about drafting

#1 Irv Smith Jr. - Minnesota Vikings

Irv Smith Jr. will be entering his third season in the league, but his first season at the top of the tight end depth chart. Kyle Rudolph is now with the Giants and Irv Smith Jr. can finally have a breakout season.

Last season, Vikings quarterbacks had a rating of 134.4 when targeting Smith. Currently ranked as the #17 tight end in PPR leagues, Irv Smith Jr. is a steal that you can now grab near the end of your draft, and he can be your Week 1 starter.

#2 Jared Cook - Los Angeles Chargers

Over the past two seasons with New Orleans, Jared Cook caught 16 touchdown passes and had over 1,200 yards on 80 receptions. He now has a new home with the Chargers in Los Angeles.

The feeling around the league is that the Chargers' young quarterback Justin Herbert is primed for a big season. If that goes to plan, Cook could match, or even better, the numbers he managed in New Orleans.

Hunter Henry is no longer in town, and there isn't another option in Los Angeles that can take targets away from Cook at the moment. The veteran turned 34 in April, but age has yet to stop him from doing his thing. His current ADP is #18.

It's unlikely that anyone would take him, considering he's not an enticing pick, but getting 8-10 points from the tight end position consistently is as good as one can hope for. Don't overthink it and draft him.

#3 Cole Kmet - Chicago Bears

It was clear after the Chicago Bears' bye week last season that Cole Kmet passed Jimmy Graham on the depth chart. Kmet is in his second year in the league out of Notre Dame.

The Bears' projected starting quarterback Andy Dalton does not have a great history of throwing to tight ends. Last season he was well below the league average in terms of targeting tight ends. But he consistently targeted them in the red zone. When you draft a tight end, you hope they are targeted in the endzone if they aren't a big factor in the passing game.

Kmet was a dual-sport athlete in high school, he's athletic, and he can catch almost anything thrown his way. He is more of a wait-and-see prospect, but given time, he could explode and become a top-10 tight end.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar
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