It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the tight ends. Today, we take a look at a tight end who might have gotten Wally-Pipped by a fourth-round wide receiver! What the heck are we supposed to do with T.J. Hockenson for our 2022 fantasy football leagues?
T.J. Hockenson ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: TE7, 60 overall
Average Auction Value: $4.6
T.J. Hockenson Statistics:
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tgt||HPPR Pts/Tgt||PPR Pts/Tgt|
|Year||Air Yards||aDOT||YAC||YAC/Tgt||YAC/Rec||AYMS||Tgt MS|
2022 T.J. Hockenson Fantasy Football Overview:
One of the major knocks on Amon-Ra St. Brown is that he can’t produce with T.J. Hockenson around and that Hockenson deserves targets over Amon-Ra St. Brown in 2022. I submit to you: what if that’s wrong? The Lions invested major draft capital in Hockenson (#9 overall in 2019) but to this point, he’s failed to produce in any sort of consistent way. Through three seasons, Hockenson averages 81 targets per season at 6.9 yards per target. Only eight tight ends in NFL history have 80+ targets per game with a yard per target under seven. There’s only one successful consistent fantasy option in there (Greg Olsen), though others like Jermaine Gresham and Chris Cooley flashed here & there thanks to volume.
But, Amon-Ra St. Brown already has 119 targets (about halfway to Hockenson’s total) and he averages 7.7 yards per target. He also has a much higher catch rate (76% vs 66%) and ARSB had a higher yard per reception last season, as well. What if, and hear me out… Amon-Ra St. Brown showed that he deserves targets more than T.J. Hockenson, and moved him down the pecking order? With a profile like Hockenson’s, the difference between fantasy relevance and irrelevance is about the difference between 81 targets per season and 64 targets per season… or a loss of one target per game. That one target per game can make all the difference in the world.
Hockenson won’t become irrelevant, he also doesn’t have a major case for being much different from the rest of The Blob, despite being the first player in it. What’s The Blob? Glad you asked.
2022 T.J. Hockenson Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
T.J. Hockenson is the first player in The Blob. Technically, it’s Dalton Schultz (TE6, 56 overall), but Schultz’s guaranteed target floor gives him a little nod over Hockenson as the end of The Blob because The Blob being top-five is more of an idea than a hard and fast rule. So, T.J. Hockenson (TE7, 61 overall) is the beginning of The Blob.
If you’re new to Football Absurdity, let me explain The Blob to you. What is the tangible difference between T.J. Hockenson and Dallas Goedert? Goedert and Knox? Knox and Freiermuth, Gesicki, and Ertz? Those three and Hunter Henry? Or Cole Kmet or Irv Smith Jr.? You can see how we just slid down from TE7 to TE15, without much effort. The blob could go further, but it’s traditionally around TE15 (though Noah Fant, Albert O, and Gerald Everett have a case to be part of The Blob).
So here’s my plea to you: don’t invest in the top player in The Blob, whoever it may be. Find a couple of guys you like going later and target one or two of them. If you want T.J. Hockenson, can I offer you, Zach Ertz and Cole Kmet, going 30 and 69 (nice) picks later, on average? It’s the same in salary cap drafts, where the $4.5 you spend on Hockenson could instead go toward an Ertz ($2.2) and a Kmet ($1.1). Or a whole mess of a combination of players who are a smaller investment than the top of The Blob, with no real differentiator between their upside. So, save yourself the trouble and don’t invest in the top of The Blob, dig a little deeper.
Best Case Scenario:
T.J. Hockenson fulfills all of his potential and upside in the Lions’ offense, and breaks free of The Blob, finishing as TE5.
Worst Case Scenario:
T.J. Hockenson fails to fulfill all of his potential and upside in the Lions’ offense, and breaks down into The Blob, finishing as TE15.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: TJ Hockenson on Twitter]