Given the era that we currently reside in where the quarterback is the most essential position in football, it stands to reason that any player that can catch a pass should be worth keeping an eye on. While wide receivers get the majority of the glory as being the quarterbacks best friends, the emergence of pass catching tight ends has allowed the majority of the NFL’s signal callers to become more dynamic passers. This years tight end class is top heavy with the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce as being the most prominent names on a variety of fantasy rankings. However, there are several intriguing under the radar tight ends that could be poised to make an immense splash on your fantasy team this season. Specifically, the New York Giants rookie tight end Evan Engram could quickly become a viable fantasy prospect assuming his coveted skill set pans out in the NFL.
Unlike most tight ends that are currently in the pros, Engram brings a unique combination of speed (4.42 40-yard dash at combine, fastest amongst tight ends) and sheer athleticism. While Engram is a below average blocker at best, he more than makes up for it with his savvy pass-catching abilities, which will be vital for a Giants team that targeted tight ends 19% of the time in 2016. Simply put, Engram will have a prominent place in the Giants offense and will easily be the best tight-end on the 53-man roster come week 1 of the regular season.
Attempting to discern where Engram fits on your fantasy roster is truly a unique endeavor that will require some serious thought if he ends up on your squad. Is he a true TE2 or a unofficial WR3 that could be utilized as a flex player to maximize your line-up with offensive assets(this assumes that your league allows for a flex position)? Gauging the value of Engram is no easy feat, but if he can fulfill his unique potential, he could be a massive steal on draft day and provide an extra boast to your point total on game day, especially in PPR leagues (points per reception).
While Engram had a quiet day in the Giants preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers(one reception for 11 yards on two targets), his effectiveness will become more realized with each exhibition game, particularly as he gets more time with Eli Manning during live-game situations. Although it’s hard to currently pin point where Engram should go in a typical fantasy draft, right now the rookie tight-end is a solid TE2 that could become a underrated TE1 before the start of the regular season.