A Few to Fade: Three Tight Ends to Fade in Fantasy Football for 2022

Fantasy Football Tight End Fades

Each year, heading into draft season, we start to settle upon players we love and players we hate, relative to ADP. This article will dive into the latter portion, my fantasy football fades. We never like to see players perform poorly, but we also need to identify players that look to be in disadvantageous situations. Here are three fantasy football tight end fades for 2022.

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Fantasy Football Tight End Fades for 2022

Before we get into these fantasy football fades, I want to preface this by saying that all of these are relative to ADP. Of course, if any of them slip a few rounds, I’ll take a chance on them but that rarely happens. These are all based on Fantasypros PPR ADP data as of this writing.

1. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Coming into the 2019 season, T.J. Hockenson was being talked about as the next George Kittle. The comparison made sense as both played at Iowa and are similar in size. The Detroit Lions even took Hockenson eighth overall in the 2019 draft so the hype was huge. Since then, Hockenson has been solid but hasn’t made that leap into the elite tier of tight ends like people expected. Last year was dubbed as the year Hockenson would make the leap but instead, he was a bit of a disappointment as he finished as the TE7 in fantasy points per game, the same as he finished the year before. TE7 is still a good finish but for an elite prospect like Hockenson, who looked to have a clear path to a huge target share and was being drafted near the top 50 overall and as high as TE4 at times, he did not live up to that. 

Heading into 2022, the situation has changed a bit for Hockenson and the Lions. Unlike last year, it looks like Hockenson has more target competition after Amon-Ra St. Brown broke out in the second half of 2021. D’Andre Swift is also expected to take another step forward this year. The Lions also went out and signed D.J. Chark and drafted Jameson Williams. The big worry for Hockenson at this point is that he may not be great, but just good instead. That’s certainly fine but for those expecting him to take a leap this year, that may not be in the cards. It’s concerning that if he was not able to command a huge target share last year with a huge snap share and less competition, how is he going to do it this year with far better weapons around him? Hockenson’s ADP has barely dipped from last year as he is currently being drafted 66th overall as the TE7 and that makes him one of the better fantasy football tight end fades for 2022. He is in the same tier as guys like Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz and they usually go 1-3 rounds after him. Draft Darnell Mooney, Allen Robinson, or Rashod Bateman instead.

2. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

It wasn’t that long ago that Mike Gesicki was a breakout tight end to target. He’s one of the best athletes at the position with measurables that are off the charts. Gesicki has even been pretty useful over the past three years with finishes as the TE14, TE8, and TE13 in fantasy points per game. Last year he set career highs with 111 targets, 73 receptions, and 780 yards. So why would we want to fade a guy with crazy athleticism on an upward trajectory? Well, life sure comes at you fast.

Heading into 2022, the arrow is pointing down in a big way for Gesicki. Sure he set career highs last year, but that was in an entirely different situation and offense. Gesicki had the most slot snaps and the third-most routes run among all tight ends and was still only able to muster a TE14 finish. Those numbers are almost certainly going down this year. The Miami Dolphins brought in a new coach and then traded for Tyreek Hill. He and Waddle are going to certainly be ahead of Gesicki in the target tree pecking order. Throughout camp, it has also become clear that Gesicki is going to stay in to block far more than he ever has. He’s currently being drafted as the TE12 at 113 overall, and there is no reason to draft him there when guys like Cole Kmet, Kadarius Toney, and Garrett Wilson all can be had in the same range. Evan Engram can be drafted nearly 70 picks after Gesicki. This all makes him one of the easiest fantasy football tight end fades for 2022.

3. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks

From one athletic freak to another, Noah Fant looks like one of the best fantasy football tight end fades for 2022. Fant has been a popular breakout pick for a few years now after being drafted 20th overall back in 2019. He comes from that Iowa lineage of George Kittle and T.J. Hockenson. His athletic measurables are also off the charts. Fant had a promising rookie year and then followed it up with another step forward in his Sophomore year on his way to a TE11 finish in fantasy points per game. Last year, many were expecting him to take another leap. Instead, it seemed like Fant plateaued as he nearly replicated his numbers from the year before on his way to a TE12 finish this time. When Russell Wilson got traded to the Denver Broncos, there was a period of time for about an hour or so where Fant’s value skyrocketed until it was realized that he was part of the package sent back to the Seattle Seahawks.

When it was realized that Fant would not be getting the quarterback upgrade that everyone was hoping for, his stock plummeted back down again. At this point, I think it’s worse than with Denver. It’s possible that Geno Smith could be an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater, but he has more rapport with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett having played with them for years now. They are also wide receivers that have demanded a higher target share than any Fant has played with so far in his career. Pete Carroll has also always been an “establish the run” type of coach and will likely try to continue to do so to keep the ball away from opposing teams. The trends in preseason are also very discouraging as Fant has been splitting snaps with Colby Parkinson. The Seahawks are also projecting as one of the lowest scoring teams in the NFL. It’s all bad news with no real upside for Fant for 2022. Pass on Fant and take guys like Jamaal Williams or Jahan Dotson instead and take a tight end with more upside like Evan Engram, David Njoku, or Austin Hooper later in the draft.

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