The San Diego Chargers have two good tight ends in veteran Antonio Gates and rookie Hunter Henry. How will they fare in 2016 fantasy football?
Antonio Gates continues to prove doubters wrong year after year. Every season fantasy owners will write him off, which makes him a value come draft day. Gates may be 36 years old, and he may not be a sexy pick in fantasy, but he produces every season and has proved to be a solid tight end in fantasy football.
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Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Gates is coming off somewhat of a down season to his standards. He had 56 receptions and only five touchdowns in 2015. That was mainly due to the fact that he only played in 11 games. We should see an ascension of Gates’ overall numbers headed into 2016.
Gates only played in 11 games last season and still finished as the No. 11 tight end in standard leagues and No. 12 tight end in PPR leagues. Gates averaged 8.5 fantasy points per week in standard leagues, which put him right behind Panthers’ Greg Olsen at the position. Only the following tight ends averaged more fantasy points per game (FPPG) than Gates in standard leagues:
Rob Gronkowski, 12.2 FPPG
Jordan Reed, 11.2 FPPG
Tyler Eifert, 10.7 FPPG
Delanie Walker, 10.0 FPPG
Gary Barnidge, 9.9 FPPG
Greg Olsen, 9.4 FPPG
Antonio Gates, 8.5 FPPG
In PPR leagues, Gates had a similar overall finish in FPPG:
Jordan Reed, 17.4 FPPG
Rob Gronkowski, 17.0 FPPG
Delanie Walker, 16.3 FPPG
Gary Barnidge, 14.8 FPPG
Tyler Eiefert, 14.7 FPPG
Greg Olsen, 14.2 FPPG
Antonio Gates, 13.5 FPPG
Gates is currently being drafted outside the top 10 at the tight end position in standard and PPR leagues, according to fantasyfootballcalculator.com. Be smarter than that come draft day. Gates is almost a lock to finish inside the top 10 barring he plays 16 games, but even if he plays in 12, he should be a reliable fantasy option week in and week out regardless of format.
Antonio Gates Fantasy Football Projection: 71 receptions, 781 yards, 6 touchdowns;114.1 fantasy points in standard leagues; 185.1 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
Hunter Henry will not have fantasy value in 2016, unless you are in a deep league or if Gates suffers an injury. Henry was drafted to be the successor to Gates, and if you are able to snatch him up late in a keeper draft, it will benefit you come next season.
Aug 28, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Hunter Henry (86) carries the ball as Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) tackles during the first quarter in a preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Henry is a do-it-all tight end who has a bright future with the Chargers. If Gates happens to suffer an injury this season, Henry will be a hot waiver claim.
Hunter Henry Fantasy Football Projection: 34 receptions, 374 yards, 1 touchdown; 43.4 fantasy points in standard leagues; 77.4 fantasy points in PPR leagues.