Fantasy Football Final Thoughts: Tight Ends (Video)
Brandon Marianne Lee gives her final thoughts on the tight end position heading into the 2018 fantasy football season.
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A. Hitchens - LB
Hitchens completed 2018 with 135 tackles (81 solo) over 15 games during 2018.
Although Hitchens didn't do much else of note for fantasy purposes, he finished fifth in the NFL in tackles thanks to a move from Dallas to Kansas City last offseason, boosting him onto the fantasy radar. Set for the second year of a five-year deal with the Chiefs in 2019, Hitchens should sit near the top of the IDP options again next season and could top his output from 2018 if he can stay on the field for all 16 games.
Added Yesterday 7:28 pm (EST)
G. Dieter - WR
Dieter snared just one of his three targets for 22 yards over the final five weeks of the regular season after being promoted to the active roster.
Dieter did see the field some down the stretch with Sammy Watkins sidelined, playing a combined 32 offensive snaps in the final three games. He also served as a gunner on special teams and may have played well enough to seize an active roster spot in 2019. He remains under contract for at least one more season and will likely need to fight for a job on the 53-man once again.
Added Yesterday 7:23 pm (EST)
M. Kemp - WR
Although Kemp appeared in all 16 regular-season games for the Chiefs in 2018, nearly all of his work came on special teams.
Kemp hauled in just one pass for seven yards on two targets throughout the campaign and he played more than three offensive snaps in a game just twice all season. The second-year wideout did take the field on special teams to the tune of 299 snaps, but he's far from a lock to be on the Chiefs' 53-man roster next season despite being an exclusive rights free agent.
Added Yesterday 7:18 pm (EST)
A. Sherman - RB
Sherman took the field for just 99 offensive snaps in 2018, recording one carry for two yards and eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Sherman's massive decline in utilization during 2018 could be a signal that the Chiefs will let the veteran fullback walk when he hits free agency this offseason. He still contributed on special teams, playing 344 snaps, so there will likely be a home for him somewhere in the NFL next season.
Added Yesterday 7:14 pm (EST)
J. Barrett - QB
Barrett signed a reserve/future contract with the Saints on Monday, Nick Shook of Around the NFL reports.
Barrett's transaction history reads more like a long receipt than anything else. Drew Brees isn't going anywhere and the Saints seem enamored with the prospects of Taysom Hill. Teddy Bridgewater will likely test the free-agent waters this offseason. Whether Barrett can ultimately latch onto the 53-man roster in August seems hinged on variables out of his control. At the very least, Barrett will have an opportunity to showcase what he can bring.
Added Yesterday 6:51 pm (EST)
M. Stafford - QB
Stafford will work with a new offensive coordinator in 2019 after the Lions hired Darrell Bevell to replace Jim Bob Cooter, ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein reports.
Cooter helped Stafford produce three straight seasons (2015-17) with at least 7.2 yards per attempt and a completion percentage above 65, but the Lions opted not to renew their coordinator's contract after a disappointing 2018 campaign. Personnel seemed to be a bigger problem than coaching, with Golden Tate traded away in late October and Marvin Jones suffering a season-ending knee injury shortly thereafter. It didn't help that the team insisted on giving LeGarrette Blount carries (154) even as he eeked out just 2.7 yards per attempt. Bevell is best known for his run-heavy offenses led by Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson in Seattle, not to mention the infamous Malcolm Butler goal-line interception in Super Bowl 49. The hiring is probably better news for Kerryon Johnson (knee) than Stafford, though general manager Bob Quinn did emphasize his desire to field a balanced offense. Head coach Matt Patricia seems to prefer a conservative approach, though it requires his defense to take a big step forward from 2018.
Added Yesterday 3:55 pm (EST)
C. Keenum - QB
Broncos general manager John Elway recently described Keenum as "probably a short-term fix," Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post reports. "Obviously, we've got to - Case is probably a short-term fix - find the long-term guy for us," Elway said. "When we do find that guy, we've got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there.
Elway seems to have abandoned any hope of Keenum being the franchise quarterback, but that doesn't mean the 30-year-old won't return for the second season of his two-year, $36 million contract. Keenum was at least competent in 2018, completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 6.6 yards per attempt with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. It was a big step back from his breakout 2017 campaign in Minnesota, though he did keep the Broncos in the playoff hunt until they closed out their campaign with four consecutive losses. Picking at No. 10 overall in a draft that appears weak at quarterback, the Broncos may have a tough time landing a clear upgrade on Keenum in the offseason, but they do at least have a decent cap situation to add talent at other positions. New head coach Vic Fangio named former 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello as his offensive coordinator for a unit that will largely rely on second-year players Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.
Added Yesterday 3:05 pm (EST)
E. Swoope - TE
Swoope's contract with the Colts' practice squad expired Monday, per the league's official transaction log.
The fact Indianapolis didn't extend Swoope a reserve/future contract offer suggests Swoope won't be spending the 2019 offseason with the Colts.
Added Yesterday 1:49 pm (EST)