Yes, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews are still at the top of the list when it comes to tight ends, and yes, those two will still put up amazing fantasy numbers. However, Darren Waller could join the small group of tight ends that produce wide receiver-type fantasy production. In some cases, Waller is underrated this year when it comes to his ADP, but his stock has skyrocketed recently. Let’s take a look as to why you should draft Waller if you miss out on Kelce and Andrews.
Waller was traded to the New York Giants back in March for a third-round pick. He joined a roster that still does not have a bonafide number-one option at receiver. The Giants have a wide receiver room with potential upside and injury-riddled careers. With Waller’s big 6’6″, 255-pound frame, he is a target that you cannot miss when he is on the field. He presents himself like a receiver at times with his play on the field. Combine his skills with a brilliant offensive mind like head coach Brian Daboll, and this is a match made in heaven.
Certainly, some hesitation to draft Waller is justified due to him only playing 20 out of 34 games the past two seasons, but consider his 2019 and 2020 seasons. In 2019 and 2020, Waller produced back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with over 100 targets in both years. Now that Waller is fully healthy and with a coach who values him and wants to use him, he is ready to take off in New York.
To begin draft season, Waller was ranked around the fifth-best tight end, but he has risen to fourth behind Kelce, Andrews and T.J. Hockenson. There is a real chance that Waller finishes as the TE2 behind Kelce this season though. The Ravens added better wide receivers around Lamar Jackson as well as hired a new offensive coordinator so there may be more opportunities for the wideouts, limiting Kelce’s ceiling. The Vikings did a similar thing by drafting Jordan Addison to line up opposite Justin Jefferson, although Hockenson became the highest-paid tight end in the league this past week so I would have to imagine the Vikings want to make him a larger part of the offense. With that said, Waller is the rare tight end who should be his team’s top target, and the sky is the limit for his fantasy potential, making him a smash pick at his current ADP.