Engram State of Mind: A Case for Top-3 TE
Engram State of Mind
Evan Engram is entering his third season in the NFL with the New York Giants. In his first two years, Engram has only played in 26 games. Entering year three, there is hope that the Mississippi grad can stay healthy and play in all 16 games. Engram could be a value come draft day if you do not want to spend up on one of the “big three.” Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle are all currently going in the first three rounds of drafts. As it stands now, Engram has an ADP of 61.4 (6th round). Let us take a look at why the athletic tight end could pay big dividends for you in 2019.
Obviously, the big news coming out of New York this past offseason was the trade of Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns. Those 124 targets have to go to someone. The Giants did bring in Golden Tate and resigned Sterling Shephard. Outside of those two, the rest of the wideouts leave a lot to be desired. Combined they have a total of 193 catches in the NFL. This should open the door for Engram to be a frequent target for Eli Manning.
Evan Engram has made the most of his opportunities his first two seasons. The stud tight end is right there with Kelce and Ertz when it comes to points per opportunity. In 2018, Engram was actually better than Ertz with his chances and just .09 points per opportunity behind Kelce.
Mike Shula is entering his second year as the offensive coordinator in the Big Apple. In four of the five years Shula held the same position for the Carolina Panthers, the TE1 finished in the top 10. The one year the position finished out of the top 10, Greg Olsen was injured. Olsen was fed often during that span. In the four healthy years, Olsen was targeted over 100 times per year with an average of 121.75 a season.
Despite playing in just 11 games, Evan Engram still finished as the TE14 in PPR formats. The big target averaged 10.97 points per game. Extrapolated out over a 16 game season that puts him at 175.52 points. That would have been good for a finish of TE6 in 2018.
Eli Manning also had a superior passer rating when targeting Engram. Manning had a quarterback rating of 115.6 when targeting number 88. This was best on the team (minimum 50 targets) by a large margin. The tight end position saw 111 targets last year. Expect that to rise with a healthy Engram.
While you may not choose to do it, the case can be made to wait on a tight end this season. You certainly would not draft Engram ahead of Kittle or Ertz, but there is a fair chance that Engram outproduces them. Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their pass-catching groups with early draft picks.
Deebo Samuel was drafted in the second round by the 49ers and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was selected in the second round as well by the Eagles. Both of these players are good in the red zone and may threaten Kittle and Ertz in that area. The Giants lack a big wideout to go to in the red zone and this is where Engram could really feast.
At the very least, Engram should be the TE4 in 2018 and may flirt with TE2 or TE3 status. Grab him with confidence in the sixth round of your redraft leagues and buy low on him in dynasty before he breaks out in a big way and becomes too expensive.