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T.J. Hockenson - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

T.J. Hockenson
DET

TE DET

#6 Tight End

128 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 9
Experience: 2 Yr(s)
Age: 24
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 251
40 Time: 4.70

Weekly Outlook

3d Projection

Med Floor

4.8

DS Projection

7.3

Consensus

38 other sites
8

High Ceiling

11.3

Rest of
Season

7.8

Week 6 Projections
Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
4.3 48.6 0.4 7.3
Weekly Writeup
Hockenson has finished TE36, TE20 and TE34 in half-PPR points the past 3 weeks and is still dealing with that knee injury. The good news is that he's still getting elite-level playing time. Stick with him for Sunday's fine matchup vs. the Bengals.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
4.4 54.3 0.4 7.8
Week 5
For the 2nd time in 3 games, opposing defenses paid significant attention to Hockenson, who is the best overall receiver and weapon the Lions have at WR or TE, resulting in fewer than 25 receiving yards. In addition, he came into this game as a game-time decision with knee soreness, so it’s also possible that his seeing just 3 targets was part of the team’s plan to manage him through the injury while having him on the field to open things up for the other receivers.

Overall, Hockenson has still seen 8-10 targets in the majority of his games, and it’s likely he leans toward seeing heavy target volume than the 2 games within the last 3 when he’s seen 3 or fewer looks. Of course, defenses will look to bracket him at times, but he’s too good of an offensive weapon for the Lions to not prioritize him. Despite the likelihood of a few clunkers, he should be a function weekly starter with clear upside when he finds the end zone.
Week 4
Hockenson caught 4 of 8 targets for 42 yards in the Lions' Week 4 loss to the Bears.
Hockenson had a 21% target share but struggled to produce in the box score for the 2nd consecutive week as teams are certainly trying to take him out of the game with extra attention and double teams.
Hockenson remains an every-week TE1 with consistent volume in this offense.
Week 3
Despite seeing at least 9 targets in his first 2 games and facing a Ravens defense that has given up solid production to the 2 top-end TEs they had previously faced, Baltimore placed a ton of attention on Hockenson. With no serious threats to worry about at WR, the defensive plan was effective, and he was targeted on just 2 of Jared Goff’s attempts. It also didn’t help that for the 1st time this season, the Lions weren’t digging out of a big hole on the scoreboard, and Goff threw a season-low 30 passes.

Games like this one are bound to happen, but Hockenson has a possibility of finishing in the top-3 TEs this season. The main reason is that he’s not just the primary TE on the team, but he’s their best overall receiver. Of course, there will be teams who scheme to take him away, but there’s no guarantee that’s successful, and there will be plenty of games like Weeks 1 and 2 in which he had 10 and 9 targets.
Week 2
Hockenson looks like a fantasy monster through two games. While he was a sought after TE heading into fantasy drafts, it appears as if he has elevated his game to another level. Against the Packers he saw 9 targets, catching 8 for 66 yards and a TD.

This production comes a week after a 10-target game where he also caught 8 passes and scored a TD.

Going forward, Hockenson is looking like he should be much closer to Darren Waller than the George Kittle/Mark Andrews/Kyle Pitts tier.
Week 1
As expected, Hockenson was the most reliable option among the Lions receivers, as he led the team in receiving yards. Going into the game, there was concern about the matchup, as star LB Fred Warner has been a terror against TEs over the years. But the 49ers didn’t play Warner exclusively on Hockenson, which certainly helped him have a big performance. His TD actually came before garbage time, as the score had tied the game at 7 on a pass from deep in the red zone.

Coming out of Week 1 with an excellent stat line in a difficult matchup may indicate that Hockenson could be ready to take the leap to compete with the elite TEs as early as this year. It’s very likely that the Lions will have to throw the ball often due to the poor state of their defense. And if Goff is throwing the ball upwards of 40 times most weeks, then Hockenson, as the defacto #1 receiver on the team, could see an enormous target total.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Hockenson’s total PPR points over his first 2 seasons ranks just 27th all time among TEs, behind active contemporaries:
    • Rob Gronkowski (1st)
    • Jimmy Graham (4th)
    • George Kittle (5th)
    • Mark Andrews (13th)
    • Evan Engram (14th)
    • Noah Fant (25th)
    • Hunter Henry (26th)
  • Hockenson endured a tough rookie campaign. He exploded for a 6-131-1 receiving line in the opener but then saw his targets and playing time waver before a season-ending ankle injury.
  • Hockenson’s playing time steadied in Year 2, and his Pro Football Focus grades improved across the board.
  • Most importantly -- for fantasy -- he climbed from 33rd in receiving grade among 56 TEs with 20+ targets in 2019 to a tie for 12th among 55 TEs last season.
  • Changes at QB -- from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff -- and the coaching staff increase the uncertainty heading into 2021.
  • The QB change might be good for Hockenson’s outlook. Stafford threw 12.7% of his passes deep last season (20+ yards downfield), whereas Jared Goff threw a career-low 7.5% in that range. Among their 5 shared seasons, just 1 has found Goff throw deep at a higher rate than Stafford. So Goff prefers to work shorter.
  • Goff has graded out much better in the “medium” (10-19 yards downfield) and “short” (0-9) ranges. He has graded better than Stafford on “short” passes 3 of the past 4 years and beaten Stafford in the “medium” range 2 of the past 3 -- including 2020 in both cases.
  • With a 7.9 average depth of target through 2 seasons, according to PFF, Hockenson obviously does a lot more work in those ranges than the “deep” area.
  • Lions TEs coach Ben Johnson said in May of Hockenson: “There’s plenty of meat still on the bone. We’re looking forward to getting even more from him. The sky’s the limit for this kid. I really look forward to seeing him take that next step.”
  • The Lions jettisoned Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola this offseason, among others. Overall, returning players accounted for just 35% of last year’s targets -- with Hockenson making up more than half of that.
  • The new WR corps features Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman and Amon-Ra St. Brown fighting 2nd-year incumbent Quintez Cephus for roles.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Hockenson sure looks like the lead receiver for a Lions team that traded a big-armed, long-throwing QB for a guy who prefers to work the shorter ranges. The TE’s progression has been decent through 2 seasons, but the volume opportunity is what really boosts his fantasy outlook here. Just 5 TEs garnered 100+ targets last season, including Hockenson. It’ll likely take an injury to keep him from getting back to that range in 2021. With Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and others gone, he sports target upside into 120+ territory. Hockenson’s #5 position in TE ADP looks fine. The fact that he’s going 2+ rounds behind the top 3, though, adds value to the Lion.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (knee) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game vs. the Bengals after getting in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. He was in the same boat last week and ended up playing 81% of the offensive snaps in the loss to Minnesota. Hockenson is fully expected to play this Sunday.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (knee) returned to a limited practice on Thursday. He seems to be following the same routine as last week, when he put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. Hockenson is fully expected to play vs. the Bengals this weekend, but don't expect him to be at 100%.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (knee) was sidelined for Wednesday's practice. He played through this knee issue last week but mustered just 2 catches on 3 targets for 22 yards. It'd be nice to see him get in a full practice before this weekend's game vs. the Bengals.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (knee) is active for today’s game against the Vikings. He got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday and admitted that he won’t be at 100% today. Hockenson is a riskier fantasy play than usual.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (knee) is expected to play vs. the Vikings today. Hockenson got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday but admitted that he won't be at 100%. We downgraded him a bit in the Week 5 TE Rankings.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

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