Tight end is the most barren position in fantasy football. Outside of a few elite options, it has become a touchdown-dependent dart throw in lineups every week. There have been more tight ends who have underperformed their draft position than those who outperformed it. If you, for example, grabbed one of either George Kittle or Zach Ertz in the draft, you were forfeiting a top 30 pick. That top 30 pick has turned into TE6 and TE7, respectively. If you waited until say, the sixth round and took O.J. Howard, your sixth-round pick has fewer points than Rhett Ellison, Josh Hill, and Ricky Seals-Jones. With that being said, there have been some bright spots at the position. Travis Kelce, Evan Engram, Darren Waller, and Austin Hooper have all produced in big ways. Here are the midseason fantasy football award nominees and winners for tight ends
Mid-Season Fantasy Football Awards: Tight Ends
Pretty simple award to start us off. As previously mentioned, many tight ends have disappointed thus far, but these guys are in a league of their own.
O.J. Howard – Drafted – TE4 – Current Rank – TE40
Previously discussed, Howard has been nothing short of brutal for fantasy owners thus far. There are 39 other tight ends who have put up more fantasy points than Howard, including Vikings backup Irv Smith Jr, Rams backup Tyler Higbee, Raiders backup Foster Moreau and his own backup Cameron Brate. He has just 13 catches this season and zero touchdowns. For comparison, he has fewer catches than the current TE48Trey Burton, and fewer touchdowns than the current TE49, Demetrius Harris. Yikes.
Jared Cook – Drafted – TE7 – Current Rank – TE24
Jared Cook could be a lock for this award if it was not for Howard. After a Pro Bowl season in Oakland, Cook took his talents to New Orleans to hopefully be the threat Sean Peyton had been missing since Jimmy Graham left. Unfortunately, Cook has yet to translate it onto the field, as he has just 168 yards and two touchdowns and has only played six games.
Vance McDonald – Drafted – TE8 – Current Rank – TE25
Vance McDonald has been listed as a sleeper for the past few years now. Following the departure of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, experts thought this would his year to make the leap. Boy were they wrong. McDonald has just 17 catches and two touchdowns this season.
“Winner” – OJ Howard
Breakout player of the year is someone who has seemingly come out of nowhere to take the fantasy football world by storm
Mark Andrews – Drafted TE15 – Current Rank – TE5
Mark Andrews has been the main beneficiary of Lamar Jackson‘s progression as a passer. He has become one of the more reliable tight ends in fantasy. He was barely drafted in most leagues at the start of the year, and now has 450 yards and three touchdowns to his name. Andrews has slowed down over the last few weeks, however, which could cost him this hardware.
Darren Waller – Drafted TE21 – Current Rank – TE3
Waller, or as some experts in the industry call him “Waller the Baller,” has been just that in 2019. After the Antonio Brown drama in Oakland, a huge void was left in the Raiders’ offense. Enter Waller. The former wide receiver turned tight end exploded onto the scene and is now sitting above Evan Engram, George Kittle, Zach Ertz, and others in terms of total points. He has nearly 500 yards receiving and three touchdowns. He is well on his way to a possible Pro Bowl campaign.
Gerald Everett – Drafted – TE33 – Current Rank – TE10
A late addition to this list, Gerald Everett as emerged as a reliable fantasy starter in about the last month or so. After he had just six catches through the first three games of 2019, he has worked his way to 26 for 297 and two touchdowns. If he had had a better start to this season, he would have had a real shot to win this award.
Winner – Darren Waller
An MVP in fantasy football is someone who gives you three things: positive draft value, consistent production, and a sense of security at the position. These three guys encapsulate that best.
Evan Engram – Drafted – TE5 Current Rank – TE4
Engram was the number one tight end in fantasy up until missing Week 6 and having a down Week 7. Besides that, Engram has still produced as a top tier tight end, and will break into the top four of tight ends drafted next year. With a combination of Eli Manning and Daniel Jones throwing him the ball, Engram has managed to snag 38 balls for 419 yards and three touchdowns.
Travis Kelce – Drafted – TE1 – Current Rank – TE2
Yes, technically Kelce is not giving you positive draft return, as he is only the second-best tight end in fantasy instead of the top. However, there is not a single tight end who has been more consistent than Kelce, who has at least four catches in seven of eight games this season and has at least 60 yards in six of eight. He has 604 yards on the season and would be a lock for MVP if it was not for this next nominee.
Austin Hooper – Drafted – TE12 – Current Rank – TE1
What a season it has been for Austin Hooper. Always a trendy sleeper, Hooper came into the season as a lower-tier TE1 due to being on a high scoring offense. He had been productive for fantasy in the past, but he has taken it to another level this year. Currently, Hooper has nearly 30 more points than the next closest tight end(Kelce) and has a touchdown in three straight games(five total touchdowns this season). On top of that, he already has 52 catches and 591 yards. Hooper is potentially winning leagues right now, and that alone should warrant him the midseason tight end MVP award.