3 Breakout TEs for 2022
3 breakout TEs to target for 2022
One of the most important types of players to identify each season are those who can potentially break out — these are the types of players who can win you leagues. While the field is getting better at identifying these athletes, we often find that they still end up being massive values when they hit.
The Player Comp Projections App is a terrific tool to help identify who these players may be, and will be referenced frequently throughout this series.
So far we have covered:
The series will wrap up at tight end. A position that is typically overrated in terms of depth has some awesome options in 2022 for drafters who decide to pass on the elite tiers. A few of them are primed to break out in a major way.
3. David Njoku, CLE (Underdog ADP 156.9)
One of the rubs of TEs has been that they traditionally take a long time to develop. To wit, NFL teams often prepare a guy to be his best before watching him walk out the door in free agency. Cleveland made sure this would not be the case for them, as they broke the bank relative to Njoku’s production for a four-year, $54.75 million deal.
Njoku immediately enters the top-five of his position in average annual value, and money should certainly talk in terms of his role with Cleveland. It likely already has, as in a subsequent move, they cut Austin Hooper, who played on 65% of Browns snaps in 2021. This paves the way for Njoku to be a featured player in an offense that lacks established pass-catching threats beyond Amari Cooper.
Despite failing to eclipse 500 receiving yards in 2021, Njoku still comes with some impressive comps.
Two things stand out here. First, some of the names: guys like Vernon Davis and George Kittle who went on to become top players at the position. Secondly, note how much these players were able to improve. Six of Njoku’s top-20 comps improved by at least 50% the following year, while the top three more than doubled their production. That lines up Njoku for TE1 and top-five TE status respectively.
Aside from what the data tells us, we know that the Browns are receiving a major upgrade in QB play. Deshaun Watson is (currently) expected to be suspended for only six games, and Cleveland should have improved offensive stability from when it ranked 19th in pass DVOA last season. That could lead to more aggressive play-calling in terms of pass percentage.
Everything sets up well for Njoku to finally take advantage of his impressive physical prowess.