As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. The Atlanta Falcons thought the price was too high for Austin Hooper, allowing him to abscond off to Cleveland and the Browns. Instead, they sent a second-round pick (and a day-three pick swap) to get Hayden Hurst from Baltimore. Is Hayden Hurst worth looking at in your fantasy football drafts?
Hayden Hurst ADP and AAV:
Standard ADP: TE16, 145 overall
PPR ADP: TE11, 105 overall
Average Auction Value: $1
Hayden Hurst Statistics:
Hayden Hurst Overview:
Hayden Hurst went #25 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. To this point, that’s the only thing he’s done that hasn’t been overshadowed by fellow 2018 draftee Mark Andrews. Coming out of college, scouts tagged Hurst as a “dynamic receiving threat” who in the NFL, has a career-high of four catches in a game. He’s also never gotten more than five targets in a contest. That’s likely because of the Mark Andrews factor as well as the Ravens running the fewest pass plays per game last year. Despite the top-level stats looking like bunk, Hurst has a lot of rate stats that show that a more productive player is likely hiding just below the surface.
Last year, Hayden Hurst ranked top-ten in yards per target (8.7), yards per pass route run (2.44), true catch rate (90.9%), and fantasy points per pass route (0.54). That’s a lot of efficiencies wrapped up in a guy who couldn’t beat out Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown for enough targets to matter.
In Atlanta, he should have enough targets to matter. Austin Hooper’s departure leaves between six and seven targets per game in Atlanta. Hurst should be able to swoop right in and scoop up those TE targets, given that his competition for said targets are Khari Lee and Jaeden Graham. He did his undergraduate tight end work in Baltimore and is set to get his masters in fantasy football from Atlanta Football University (go Fightin’ Falcons).
Hayden Hurst Draft Strategy:
Hayden Hurst is going in my money range at tight end. I may not end up with him everywhere, but I am going to get someone from his class. They mark the point where tight end value and perceived tight end production cross. Anyone in this range is palatable and includes not only Hurst, but guys like Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki, T.J. Hockenson, Dallas Goedert, and Jonnu Smith. I’m trying to snag one or two of these guys, depending on price. That way, I get two shots at getting a breakout tight end.
Hurst will be mostly target-based in Atlanta, so we will know almost immediately if it’s worth continuing to use a roster spot on him. I like that kind of immediate gratification for knowing if a pick was worthwhile or not. For Hurst, all we are looking for are those targets. If they dry up quickly, then we aren’t keeping him on our rosters. If he’s getting 5+ targets a game, then we will wait for the production to come around.
Best Case Scenario:
Austin Hooper was a top-five tight end in PPR leagues last year when he played. That type of upside is not out of the question for Hayden Hurst.
Worst Case Scenario:
You over-invest in Hayden Hurst and all your squads die and are transported to the morgue. The year is known as “The Year that Hayden Hearsed.”