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7 Tight Ends Who Won the Preseason

Seven tight ends gained value over the preseason and are on rosters heading into the season, with a chance to be fantasy relevant!

Greg Dulcich, DEN

The Broncos seemed cursed this season with the injuries they have seen in their wide receiver room. As sad as that has been, Dulcich benefits a ton. He moves from possibly the fourth option to competing with rookie Marvin Mims for the second-most targets while Jerry Jeudy rehabs from the hamstring injury.

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

The fantasy community was down on him, but now, with the injuries and the team trading away Albert Okwuegbunam, Dulcich is in store for a huge bump in production. He can build early chemistry with Russell Wilson and show value to the new head coach. 

Tyler Higbee, LAR

The Rams are paying the price for trading away all of their picks to get Matthew Stafford and a Super Bowl. They have struggled to draft top-end receiving talent. After Cooper Kupp, it’s a game of who might be the best guy. Who is often forgotten about is Higbee. He has had over 50 targets in the past four years; in three of them, he had over 80, including over 100 last season.

If Stafford struggles to connect with some of the younger, newer guys, then Higbee should be considered a steal in drafts. He finished as a top 10 tight end last season because of the targets and receptions. Higbee only had three touchdowns. He should be more of a red-zone threat this year. 

Michael Mayer, LVR

The Raiders have reworked their receiving core, and part of that was drafting Mayer in the top of the second round. Yes, they brought in Austin Hooper in free agency, but we saw Mayer playing with the first team in preseason and Hooper playing with the backups. He is on a team with an offensive scheme that fits the tight end and a quarterback who loves throwing to the tight end. It should be wheels up for Mayer this year and as a top dynasty asset. 

Albert Okwuegbunam, PHI

It was first reported that the Denver Broncos cut Okwuegbunam but then quickly turned into a trade to the Philadelphia Eagles. He goes from being an afterthought on a poor team to being the backup on a Super Bowl contender. He would be in line for many targets if Dallas Goedert went down. You can’t win more than going from a 5-12 team to a Super Bowl runner-up.

Mo Alie-Cox, IND

It’s crazy that at age 29, Alie-Cox is the elder statesman on the Indianapolis Colts. The six-year veteran was rumored to be on the roster bubble, with Jelani Woods and Kylen Granson playing well last season and the team drafting Will Mallory. Alie-Cox lost his height advantage with the addition of Woods last season. That was the one thing going for him. He is probably only a blocking tight end, but being on a team is better than not. Alie-Cox has the experience advantage over the other guys but will have to work hard to find a role in the passing game. 

Durham Smythe, MIA

The Dolphins released Tyler Kroft and Elijah Higgins on cut day, leaving only Durham Smythe and undrafted free agent rookie Julian Hill on the roster. Smythe wasn’t great last year, but with Mike Gesicki also gone via free agency, there are targets to be had. Gesicki had 50 targets last season, and most will now go to Smythe. He had 19 last year, so if he inherits those 50, it gets him close to the 80 target mark that is crucial for Tight ends to be fantasy stars. He also won because no big names were hitting the market to be signed by the Dolphins to compete.

Jimmy Graham, NOS

The 36-year-old tight end might win Comeback Player of the Year. He made the Saints’ 53-man roster after having a good preseason game. Graham finds himself on a team with a quarterback in Derek Carr, who favors the tight end. He has to fight for playing time behind Juwan Johnson and Foster Moreau, but he could be a touchdown vulture due to his height and experience. Did you know he used to play basketball? So he can box guys out and get positioning in the red zone.

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