We have seen some big moves so far this offseason. Some understandable. Others? Not so much. No matter what it may look like on the surface, the teams feel like it makes them better.
With many of the largest moves now done and the Draft still a month away, how do we at Fantasyhotread.com feel about the moves?
To find out, we poll many of our writers. Below are the responses we got back from each of them and what it means for the following tight ends’ fantasy value. I mean, that is what it is really all about anyway.
Hunter Henry is one of the unicorns at this position. The phrase unicorn gets thrown around a lot when discussing match-up nightmares, but in this case, it is even more applicable. Henry has displayed a sliver of dominance but has been on the field far less than his owners would hope for the last two seasons (he missed all of 2018). Henry will be on my radar as the position is thin, but I will make sure I throw a dart elsewhere as the presence of a downgrade at signal-caller, and the serious risk of injury leave Henry as a high-upside dart throw.
The big unanswered question concerning the fantasy value of Henry and all Chargers’ pass-catchers is who will be playing quarterback with Phillip Rivers now a Colt. The in-house answer would be Tyrod Taylor, an option that I am certainly higher on than most. If Henry can stay healthy for a full season, he has the talent to produce no matter who is throwing him the ball.
Henry is a talented TE but is the second-best TE on his team behind Mike Williams. He is a fine pick if you wait on TE, but I wouldn’t trust him as my starter, especially with Tyrod tossing the ball. Henry could easily finish as a mid-range TE1, but we are talking touchdowns here, not yards and receptions. There worse picks at the position, but I would look elsewhere.
Huge upside but even bigger questions at QB. I think he’s a top 8 guy that could fall due to injury history.
Hunter Henry Staying with Los Angeles- The Chargers really like Henry. They must franchise a player who hasn’t stayed on the field yet in his career. This shows the minimal number of tight ends. Both already in the league and in a shallow draft class. Depending on the quarterback situation in Los Angeles, Hunter Henry could be the dump-off for a rookie or a third or even fourth option for Tyrod Taylor. This leaves a large range of outcomes for Henry. Even if he is healthy.
Getting a franchise tag from the Chargers could be their way of having Henry prove it. There is so much potential here, but as the possible fourth option in that offense, it will be tough to break out. On top of that, his lengthy list of injuries isn’t promising for a possible contract extension.
Hunter Henry is always a fantasy monster when he does play because he’s targeted so much as he saw 76 targets in only 12 games with the Chargers in 2019. Now with Tyrod Taylor or a young draftee at QB, it’s unclear how Henry will do without his usual Philip Rivers under center.
Hooper was a monster last year and never saw fewer than five targets in a game while averaging 9 points weekly. But, he heads to a Cleveland team that was an absolute dud last season and is already littered with star pass catchers. Prognosis: paying for Hooper may result in disappointment; I will be a buyer at reasonable prices but will not overpay after watching Mayfield repeatedly neglect and miss OBJ last season.
I’m still scratching my head at just what the Browns were thinking shelling out $44 million to Hooper. The primary reason to question the deal is they also have David Njoku, who despite missing last season to injury, is easily the more athletic receiver of the two. But until Baker Mayfield shows me more, I’ll be steering clear of Cleveland pass-catchers regardless.
Good for Mr. Hooper for securing the bag. He is a good, not great TE in a situation where he is the 3rd look at best. When not competing for looks with Landry and Odell, he will be packed in 2TE sets with Njoku. All while seeing pass down specialist, Kareem Hunt on the field for 35-40% of the game. It’s way too messy of a fantasy situation for me to have an interest, and I expect Hooper to go well ahead of where I feel confident drafting him.
That’s gonna be a no from me.
Austin Hooper to Cleveland- In another weird move, Cleveland brings in Austin Hooper. A player just like the tight end already on their roster. Hooper was having a breakout season in 2019 before missing time with injury. Now he will try to do the same with a worse quarterback and someone who likes to spread the ball out a lot. Enjoy the $42 million, though.
Back-to-back Pro Bowl and 70-plus reception seasons are why Hooper is now the highest-paid TE. It will be interesting how he will fit into Cleveland with all the immense talent. Both Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham will most likely see 90 or more targets, Nick Chubb will get 250 to 300 carries, but Hooper won’t see the 97 targets as last season.
Absolutely love the move for Cleveland as they addressed a major flaw in their offensive scheme. Giving Baker Mayfield more targets is the first step in making the Browns a good football team, and signing Hooper sure did the job. Hooper was TE6 last season among tight ends, but his value should increase while with Cleveland as long as Baker figures it out.
Hurst’s pedigree and the massive target hole in Atlanta are about the only things working in positive favor here. Hurst has struggled to stay on the field and has been streaky at best when playing. The opportunity is there, but we honestly don’t know if the player is any good.
Hurst had so much potential coming out of South Carolina that the Baltimore Ravens spent a first-round draft pick on him. He produced in a secondary role last season, but let’s be honest: if it weren’t for Mark Andrews also on the roster, Hurst could easily be a fantasy star already. He will be THE guy in Atlanta and get his chance to shine. Sign me up.
I would love to see what people would think of Hurst if he didn’t have that 1st round value attached to his name. Less of a pass-catcher than Mark Andrews and less of a blocker than Nick Boyle, Hurst found himself as an odd man out in Baltimore. He is a plus athlete after walking away from a promising baseball career after catching a case of the yips, but there simply isn’t anything there that excites me from a fantasy standpoint.
He’s the TE version of the white dogshit they make Brendan lick in “Step Brothers”.
Is he the replacement for Austin Hooper? For the sake of Atlanta fans, I hope not. The disappointing first-round pick from South Carolina, Hurst, is finally free after spending his first two seasons floundering behind Mark Andrews in Baltimore. Although only entering his third NFL season, Hearst is two years older than the fifth-year man he is replacing in Hooper. If he wants to prove this trade worthwhile, he will need to improve. A lot.
Being overshadowed in Baltimore, the former South Carolina Gamecock will get a chance to prove himself. With Austin Hooper in Cleveland, Hurst can flourish in a pass-heavy offense.
Hayden Hurst is a very underrated player in the league at 6’4″ 245 pounds. Now that he’s in Atlanta, a pass-heavy offense that utilizes the tight end position more often than not, he’s in line for a great third season. Being stuck behind Mark Andrews diminished his potential a bit, but he will likely improve on the Falcons.