With so many fantasy players putting so many hours of research into their drafts, identifying sleepers that are on very few people’s radars are hard to find without it ending up becoming a hot take, which really isn’t my style. In my mind, a sleeper is simply a player who I believe will outperform their ADP to an extent that means they’re both brilliant value at their current draft price, and likely to be in your lineup every week.
When we consider the tight end position, we head into 2021 with the same top three as we did in 2020 with Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Darren Waller the clear best players at their position. Beyond that it becomes a lot harder to rank the position, with a number of young ascending players at the position, any of whom could be the next guy to break out and join the elite tier. When you go even further, there is still value to be had deep into fantasy drafts as your TE2 who can become a TE1.
With this in mind, I’ve identified three players who I believe have the potential to be valuable valuable fantasy pieces for your team in 2021 at rock bottom prices.
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite the wealth of pass catchers in the Steelers’ offense in 2020, Eric Ebron still managed to carve out enough of a role to finish as last year’s TE10 and is currently going undrafted. His scoring was erratic early in the season, but Ebron did score you an average of 9.4 .5PPR fantasy points from Weeks 8 to 16. Not amazing but serviceable, especially if you were a George Kittle owner last year and needed a replacement.
The Steelers did draft Pat Freiermuth in the second round of this year’s draft, but he won’t likely eat into Ebron’s playing time in his rookie year. With the Steelers likely to remain a pass-heavy team in 2021, Ebron should continue to be a decent TE2 option, especially when he’s currently free in most drafts.
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers
Jared Cook has found a nice home on the west coast where he has joined Justin Herbert in another pass happy offense. Cook has been really productive over the past few years, finishing as a top-15 tight end from 2017 to 2019, and even in a down year last year, still finished as the TE19.
Cook has been both super consistent and efficient and steps into the 90+ vacated targets from Hunter Henry’s exit to New England. Going as the TE20 in the 14th round of drafts currently, Cook is a super late option with TE1 upside in 2021.
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears
A third and final veteran tight end to target late. Jimmy Graham continues to be productive fantasy player, and finished as TE11 in 2020 after going undrafted in fantasy drafts last year. His eight touchdown receptions tied for third among tight ends, and whether its Andy Dalton or Justin Fields under center for the Bears in 2022, they will have a reliable pass catcher to target, especially in the red zone.
I’m pencilling in Graham for another 50 catches for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2021, which makes Graham a low risk target in your redraft league, but a weekly upside play in best ball leagues, especially as he’s also going undrafted at the current time.