Show Navigation
Show Menu

Draft Strategy

My TE Shares in Early Underdog Best-Ball Drafts

By Matt Schauf 12:40pm EDT 4/12/22


I’ve already showed which QBs, RBs and WRs I drafted most amid 45 entries into Underdog’s Big Board tournament. Now let’s close out with the TEs.

The primary takeaway here: I’m not high on the price tag affixed to this year’s top TEs. Of the top 5 in ADP, George Kittle carries the highest rostered rate at 6.5%. That’s just 3 teams among 46 drafts (including 1 standalone $3 12-team draft).

You will also see some conviction on some later TEs … though that may also have already changed with free agency.

A quick recap on the format:

– Half-PPR scoring
– 20-round drafts
– Large-field tournament with 14-week regular season, then 3 one-week playoff rounds
– Lineup:

QB
RB
RB
WR
WR
WR
TE
FLEX

Nearly all of these entries included 3 TEs, with a couple stopping at 2. (I might have drafted a 4th one time.)

Dan Arnold, Jaguars – 34.8% (16 of 46 drafts)
Evan Engram, Jaguars – 32.6%
Dallas Goedert, Eagles – 30.4%

I’m not gonna lie, Engram signing with Jacksonville might have hurt me deeper than just about anyone else in the football world. Arnold looked like such a fantasy sleeper going well outside the top 20 after operating as a top target for the Jags shortly after arriving via trade. Why would the team bother spending up or a free-agent TE when so many other roster holes need filling?

Engram was similarly going outside the top 20, which made him easy for me to bet on regardless of free-agent landing spot. The fact that these 2 landed together chips away at the upside for both.

Perhaps the situation with Arnold here should signal me to watch the exposure on an individual player, even with non-obvious downside paths. That said, although I’d alter Arnold’s rostered rate in hindsight, I won’t say I fully regret it. Ten of the 16 times I drafted him were to Lawrence rosters. They still play on the same team, so this end-of-draft TE can still help me – especially if Engram goes down.

Goedert’s rostered rate should stand out more than the other 2, because he has been sitting TE7-8 in ADP. He was – and remains – a common Round 7 selection for me, 3+ rounds after the top 5, behind T.J. Hockenson and with a steep drop-off in upside behind him. That Jalen Hurts has been going at a value level only makes his TE more attractive in these tournament formats.

Noah Fant, Seahawks – 15.2%
Tyler Higbee, Rams – 15.2%
Irv Smith, Vikings – 13.0%
Cole Kmet, Bears – 10.9%
David Njoku, Browns – 10.9%
O.J. Howard, Bills – 10.9%
Hunter Henry, Patriots – 8.7%
Austin Hooper, Titans – 8.7%
Zach Ertz, Cardinals – 8.7%
T.J. Hockenson, Lions – 8.7%
George Kittle, 49ers – 6.5%
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers – 6.5%
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins – 6.5%
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys – 6.5%
Kylen Granson, Colts – 4.3%
Travis Kelce, Chiefs – 4.3%
Kyle Pitts, Falcons – 4.3%
Brevin Jordan, Texans – 4.3%
Trey McBride, ??? – 4.3%
Adam Trautman, Saints – 4.3%
C.J. Uzomah, Jets – 2.2%
Harrison Bryant, Browns – 2.2%
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers – 2.2%
Darren Waller, Raiders – 2.2%
Gerald Everett, Chargers – 2.2%
Dawson Knox, Bills – 2.2%
Robert Tonyan, Packers – 2.2%
John Bates, Commanders – 2.2%
Tyler Conklin, Jets – 2.2%
Mark Andrews, Ravens – 2.2%
Mo Alie-Cox, Colts – 2.2%
Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos – 2.2%

I don’t have a lot of strong feelings mixed up in the rest of the TE group – other than that I’d prefer to wait, stack and collect. That Patrick Mahomes has been going too early all best-ball season only makes Travis Kelce less attractive.

My lack of Albert Okwuegbunam shares could be viewed as a reminder to take more shots on late talent without necessarily trying to figure out the path to production.

Rookie Trey McBride is an interesting case. He opened best-ball season going too high for my tastes (TE20 – ahead of Engram and Arnold, among others). But that has already changed significantly. He’s going 30th among TEs in Underdog’s current tournament, 32nd at the position in FFPC drafting and 31st on Drafters.

I don’t mind taking a shot in that range on the guy who should be the top TE in this class.

Related Fantasy Football

Podcast: WR and TE Prospect Preview 4-20-22

Podcast: WR and TE Prospect Preview 4-20-22

9:50pm EDT 4/20/22

Which likely Round 1 NFL Draft WRs look the best? Who should you be watching on Day 2 and 3? And is any incoming TE going to impact your dynasty roster?

Read More »
Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Trey McBride

Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Trey McBride

8:40am EDT 4/13/22

The Colorado State TE has already seen his fantasy football stock drop in early draft season. Here's why that might just turn him into a rookie draft value.

Read More »
Podcast: Best Ball with Guest Ben Hauver 4-8-22

Podcast: Best Ball with Guest Ben Hauver 4-8-22

8:45pm EDT 4/8/22

Ben Hauver won Drafters' main 2021 regular-season best-ball tournament. He joins Matt to about building championship-caliber rosters and parallels with DFS.

Read More »
Podcast: 2022 Rankings Reveal 4-6-22

Podcast: 2022 Rankings Reveal 4-6-22

1:35pm EDT 4/7/22

The fantasy football rankings are LIVE! Find out who stands out vs. early ADP ...

Read More »
Podcast: Best Ball with Guests Billy Muzio and Bradley Stalder 3-31-22

Podcast: Best Ball with Guests Billy Muzio and Bradley Stalder 3-31-22

1:15pm EDT 4/1/22

A pair of avid drafters and fantasy football streamers stops by to talk draft trends and roster construction.

Read More »
Podcast: March Dynasty Roundup 3-30-22

Podcast: March Dynasty Roundup 3-30-22

12:00pm EDT 3/31/22

Jared and Matt are back together to round up some key movers in the dynasty rankings, some sleepers to target and the EXCITING updates to the fantasy football tools to help optimize your dynasty roster.

Read More »
Podcast: Best Ball with Guest Justin Herzig 3-18-22

Podcast: Best Ball with Guest Justin Herzig 3-18-22

8:05am EDT 3/19/22

Justin Herzig -- champ of the 1st Underdog Best Ball Mania tourney -- joins us to talk about where you can (or can't) find edges on the competition.

Read More »

Dominate your Fantasy League with

the Ultimate Tool Stack

In the heat of a draft, you want as much intel as possible. The key is integrating that into one simple, powerful tool.

Dominate your Fantasy League with

the Ultimate Tool Stack

In the heat of a draft, you want as much intel as possible. The key is integrating that into one simple, powerful tool.
3D Projections

3D Projections

3D Projections: True Dimension of Every Player’s Potential

Based on our award-winning projections, an axis of data points give insights far deeper than a ranking

View Our Accuracy Awards View Our Accuracy Awards »

Advice Draft Strategy

Advice That’s Actionable on Draft Day

Round-by-Round Draft Strategy Guides, Sleepers, Undervalued Players, Busts and Handcuffs

3D Projections

Draft War Room

Draft War Room: Intel Turned Into Killer Picks

Command your entire draft with a dynamic tool synced to your league. Updating and adapting in real time.

3D Projections

Keep Dominating Throughout The Season

Quickly find the free-agent gems, pull the trigger on the perfect trade & make the right start/sit decisions.

Keep Dominating
Draft Sharks

$6/month thereafter, billed semi-annually, one-click cancel anytime.

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play