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. Look, we all got burned by T.J. Hockenson last season. After all, he super-smashed against the Cardinals in week one and was poised to break the rookie tight end curse. Unfortunately, it was the Cardinals who carried the curse. Also, Hockenson cursed our rosters for fare too long and we cursed his name when we dropped him after his big week one. Well, not me. I know rookie tight ends are always a mess, but what about Hockenson in his sophomore campaign? Was his disastrous rookie year a bad omen for things to come?
TJ Hockenson ADP and AAV:
Standard: TE15, 133 overall
PPR: TE14, 126 overall
Average Auction Value: $1
TJ Hockenson Statistics:
TJ Hockenson Overview:
Don’t let T.J. Hockenson’s disastrous rookie year scare you off. The top-three tight ends all had useless-for-fantasy football rookie years. Kelce lost his to a knee injury, Kittle had 43 catches for 515 yards. Zach Ertz’s 36 catches for 469 yards would have loved to have Kittle’s output. That helps to put Hockenson’s 367 yards in an injury-shortened season into context. Don’t jump off that ledge quite yet for Hockenson. Hock’s ending stat line hurts some of us more because we were burned by it. He came out smashing and trashing the Cardinals, leading a lot of people to unload the FAAB cannons on Hock before realizing that it was an Arizona Cardinals problem, not anything with Hockenson, that led to the week one outburst.
I get it, this one stings. But, let’s not forget who T.J. Hockenson is. The first TE off the board in 2019, Hockenson was called Matt Patricia’s Rob Gronkowski. Draft prognosticators compared him to not only Gronk but also the aforementioned Travis Kelce. He had universal first-round grades from the NFL Draft cognoscenti. He’s really good, there just wasn’t anything showing that in his rookie year. That’s not unusual, and we all know that it isn’t unusual, yet we still let it destroy our feelings about Hockenson.
And don’t worry about volume for Hockenson. The Lions have Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Hockenson as their receiving weapons. Running backs D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson will get some targets, too. But Matthew Stafford averages 38 passes per game in his career. Who are you afraid of taking targets from Hock, Danny Amendola? Geronimo Allison? Please.
TJ Hockenson Draft Strategy:
Hockenson is going criminally low, especially when you consider that most of his ire comes from completely illogical sources. Hockenson burned people with his peekaboo performance last year, but he dealt with injuries and never had a chance to build on his week one game. People are upset, people are burned and not looking at Hockenson. Don’t be people. His ADP and AAV are both extremely beneficial price points.
People also let last year sour themselves on what Hockenson could—and should—be. Sure, he fell on his face. The transition to the NFL for tight ends is especially and notably brutal since they’re learning the skills and techniques of both receivers and blockers at the next level. Don’t let the scare you off of T.J. Hockenson. He’s an amazing talent who will have plenty of opportunities to succeed. I’ll throw a double-digit round pick or a couple of bucks down on that bet, especially in leagues where tight ends will be plentiful on the waiver wire.
Best Case Scenario:
Rob Gronkowski 2011 (90 receptions, 1,327 yards, 17 touchdowns).
Worst Case Scenario:
Rob Gronkowski 2019 (zero catches, zero yards, one WWE title).