T.J. Hockenson has been a productive player the last two seasons, but he is being overvalued as a fantasy tight end this year?
In 2020, Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson was a top-five fantasy tight end across the board. Last year, he was top-10 by fantasy points per game in full and half-PPR, and just outside that in standard scoring.
Of course points per game is the caveat for 2021. Hockenson missed the final five games after undergoing thumb surgery. Otherwise, with 61 catches and 583 yards in the 12 games he did play, he would have usurped 2020 and set clear career-highs in those categories.
Fantasy Pros gathered some experts to list out 14 overvalued players for 2022, based on current consensus ranking on their site. Hockenson, with a consensus ranking at TE6, was named as the most overvalued tight end by Derek Brown of Fantasy Pros and Frank Ammirante of The Game Day.
"Brown: At TE6, T.J. Hockenson is being vastly overvalued. He’s mustered TE7 fantasy points per game finishes in back-to-back seasons. With the additions of D.J. Charkand Jameson Williams, the continued presence of Amon-Ra St. Brown, and a workhorse workload for D’Andre Swift , Hockenson will struggle to pay off this lofty ranking.”Ammirante: “T.J. Hockenson’s rank is a bit too rich at TE6. The Lions signed D.J. Chark and drafted Jameson Williams, adding more options to a passing game that already includes Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift. Detroit figures to maintain their run-heavy style that they showed towards the end of last season, which caps Hockenson’s upside this year.”"
Fantasy Football: Is T.J. Hockenson truly overvalued for 2022?
Hockenson and Swift were the most reliable targets for Jared Goff for a big chunk of last season, before St Brown emerged late in the season when both were either out or seeing limited work. With all three healthy all season, there are three prominent and capable players lined up for a solid chunk of target share. And that leaves out Chark, and Williams eventually getting healthy.
RotoWire has a fairly aggresive-looking 2022 projection for Hockenson in some respects–74 receptions (112 targets) for 781 yards and six touchdowns. Fantasy Football Calculator has him at TE6 and a fifth-round pick in 12-team leagues by ADP in full and half-PPR, and TE12 (pick 10.06) in standard scoring.
Hockenson will be one of the first 5-10 tight ends off the board in most fantasy drafts. If he falls a bit further than that, then he becomes a potential value. His ceiling is capped if the Lions’ key skill players are all healthy, but there’s a reliable floor no matter what. At the tight end position, where reliable options thin quickly, that floor has value.
There’s something to the idea Hockenson’s current fantasy ADP/consensus ranking is a little too optimistic. But it’s a stretch to place him in a most overvalued category, when a top 10-12 finish (TE1) for the season is absolutely in play.