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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

Week 21 Projections

This player does not have a weekly prediction

Rest Of Way Outlook

Week 13
Hockenson had 4 receptions for 49 yards and 1 TD on 8 targets in the Lions’ Week 13 win over the Vikings.
Hockenson was 2nd on the team in targets behind Amon-Ra St. Brown’s 12.
Hockenson benefited from Vikings injuries as both of their stud LBs Eric Hendricks and Anthony Barr missed the game due to injury.
Hockenson has now scored a TD in consecutive games after being shut out from the end zone since Week 2.
Hockenson is an every-week TE1 with consistent volume at a weak position.
Week 12
Hockenson delivered for fantasy owners thanks to a 17-yard score in the 3rd quarter of Thursday’s game vs. the Bears. Otherwise, though, Hockenson was scarily quiet.

He finished with just 3 targets -- 5th on the team and 12% of the team total. His 1st opportunity didn’t come until the 2nd quarter. He saw 2 more on the same 3rd-quarter drive that ended with the TD. And that was it.

For a guy reliant on volume, Hockenson’s volume has been shaky lately. He saw 8 targets 2 weeks ago from QB Tim Boyle. But he’s tallied 1 and 3 targets in his last 2 games with QB Jared Goff.

Hockenson saw 11, 9 and 11 targets in the 3 games prior, so it’s not like Goff has been unwilling to pepper his TE. He remains Detroit’s best weapon in the passing game, especially with RB D’Andre Swift likely to miss Week 13. Stick with Hockenson as a low-end TE1.
Week 11
Despite missing his starting QB, Hockenson rebounded from the 1-target, 0-catch outing in the OT tie at Pittsburgh for more standard production at Cleveland.

Tim Boyle found him 6 times for 51 yards among 8 targets, twice as many as any other Lion. Even his ADOT rebounded to near his normal range, though it still settled as his 3rd shortest single-game average of the season (5.7).

Jared Goff’s return should be good for Hockenson, who remains a solid PPR starter on target volume alone. Detroit’s extreme offensive struggles significantly limit the upside, though.
Week 7
The lack of passing game weapons for the Lions has been a blessing and a curse for Hockenson. He’s seen a solid target share throughout the year, but with defenses keying on him he’s become very inconsistent. After two dominant performances in Weeks 1 and 2, Hockenson has slowed down a bit only finishing better than the TE10 once since Week 3. The good news for Hockenson owners is after 3 bad weeks, he has bounced back nicely, getting at least 9 targets and scoring double digit PPR fantasy points in back to back weeks.
Moving forward there aren’t many TEs that offer the target volume of Hockenson, which makes him a hold. In Week 8, Hockenson should capitalize on that volume vs. an Eagles D that allows the 5th most points to the TE position. This includes big games to Dalton Schultz (6-80-2), O.J. Howard (6-49-1) and Foster Moreau (6-60-1).
Week 6
Loyal Hockenson owners were rewarded in Week 6. Coming off 3 straight duds, Hockenson rebounded for a nice 8-74 line in the loss to the Bengals. His 11 targets led the team and tied for the league lead among TEs on the week.

Hockenson now sits 4th at the position with 43 targets on the season. And despite those duds in Weeks 3, 4 and 5, Hockenson’s usage remained strong. He hasn’t dipped below a 75% route rate all season and has been above 80% in 5 of 6 games. Hockenson is tied for 2nd among TEs in total routes.

There will probably be more duds the rest of the way because the Lions are a bad offense. But Hockenson remains 1 of the top volume bets at TE and an every-week fantasy starter.
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 will miss the final 4 games of the season after undergoing thumb surgery on Thursday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Hockenson is expected to make a "complete recovery in time for the offseason program," Schefter adds. His absence leaves behind a team-high 7.0 targets per game. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, who's tallied 12 targets in 2 straight, looks like the biggest beneficiary.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) remained sidelined for Wednesday's practice. The Athletic's Chris Burke confirms that it "doesn't sound overly" optimistic for Hockenson to play vs. the Cardinals this weekend. TEs Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra split TE duties with Hockenson out last week. Neither is a reliable fantasy play.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) is inactive for today’s game vs. the Broncos. Brock Wright figures to operate as Detroit’s lead pass-catching TE but isn’t a viable fantasy play. With Hockenson, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams all out, the Lions’ WRs should pick up extra targets today.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) is listed as doubtful for this weekend’s game vs. the Broncos. He went from a limited practice on Wednesday to no practice on Thursday and Friday. He won’t play on Sunday, and his availability for Week 15 and beyond is unclear. Hockenson’s absence leaves Brock Wright as Detroit’s likely lead pass-catching TE, but you should be able to do much better in fantasy lineups.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) went from a limited practice on Wednesday to no practice on Thursday. Tim Twentyman of the team's official website tweeted that Hockenson's left hand was "wrapped pretty good." His availability for this weekend's game vs. the Broncos is suddenly in question. Check back tomorrow for another update.

View all T.J. Hockenson Shark Bites »

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