Best Tight End Draft Strategy in Underdog Best Ball | Bully Tight End

by Tyler Knaeble · Draft Strategy
Best tight ends

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There have been a number of different draft strategies that have hit Underdog Fantasy draft rooms throughout the past couple years. Drafters have utilized Zero RB, Hero RB, Double Anchor RB, and even Hero WR (shoutout #hitemwiththegriddy). However, one strategy that has been more popular in 2024 is the “Bully Tight End” strategy. I’m here to break down the strategy and whether or not you should be implementing it in your 2024 Underdog drafts.

The simple premise of “Bully Tight End” is taking two tight ends in the early rounds of a draft. A Mark AndrewsTrey McBride or a Travis KelceKyle Pitts pairing would qualify as Bully Tight End pairings. I’m sure the strategy has been implemented in years prior to 2024, but it has been talked about more this year for two very specific reasons. The elite tight end ADP’s have never been lower and there have never been this many elite tight ends.

Top-100 Tight End Underdog ADPs 2023 vs. 2024

August 1 2023

Travis Kelce: 6

Mark Andrews: 26

T.J. Hockenson: 48

George Kittle: 61

Kyle Pitts: 76

Dallas Goedert: 74

Darren Waller: 78

Evan Engram: 96

June 14 2024

Sam LaPorta: 31

Travis Kelce: 38

Trey McBride: 45

Mark Andrews: 50

Dalton Kincaid: 51

Kyle Pitts: 61

George Kittle: 67

Evan Engram: 77

Jake Ferguson: 86

Brock Bowers: 100

ADP Takeaways

The most notable takeaway is just how cheap the truly elite guys are in 2024. LaPorta is the first tight end off the board this year, but last year he would have been TE3 using his current ADP. Last year, you had to spend a first round pick on Kelce. Now you can get him in the fourth round. Andrews was a 2-3 turn pick in 2023, now he’s a 4-5 turn pick. The greatest indicator of the bear market on tight ends is Kittle. The 49er tight end literally paid off his TE4 price tag, finishing 2023 at exactly TE4, but he is now TE7 in 2024 drafts and has a lower ADP than in 2023.

Another thing that stands out is the sheer number of tight end options we have in 2024 drafts. In 2023, there were eight tight ends being drafted inside the top-100. In 2024, there are 10 top-100 tight ends. It doesn’t seem like that big of a difference, but when you consider the fact that only five of the top-100 tight ends in 2024 were also a top-100 selection in 2023, it means we have five completely new tight ends to be excited about – on top of the ones that performed to their excitement level last year.

Implementing the Strategy

Now it’s time for the $1.5 million question: should you actually be implementing the Bully Tight End strategy in your drafts? At the time of writing this article, I have completed 424 drafts since Underdog dropped their first contest back in January. Bully Tight End is 100-percent a strategy I have cautiously utilized.

If you are employing the strategy on Underdog, you are probably rolling with a two-tight end build 95-percent of the time. The hope is one of your two elite tight ends is hitting your flex most weeks. If you are looking at the tight end stats from last year and ranking them among the wide receivers, Laporta’s (TE1) would have finished as the WR19. Kelce (TE2) would have been the WR23 and Kittle (TE4) would have finished as the WR27. So yes, it is possible for a tight end to be hitting your flex most weeks – if you draft the right one.

Don’t Get Left Behind

Obviously the biggest thing in Underdog drafts is not to get left behind at wide receiver, given the fact you have to start at least three of them every week and it’s a lot harder to find production at that position the later you get in the draft. That’s why drafting Kelce in the first round and Andrews in the third was not a strategy that worked in 2023. You were only getting one wide receiver through three rounds, putting yourself way behind at the most important position in the format. That’s not the case this year.

In 2024 drafts, you can start your draft with three wide receivers in the first three rounds, Kelce in round four and then someone like Andrews, Kincaid, Pitts or Kittle in round five or six. Yes, you still need to put an emphasis on draft wide receivers, hit on late RBs and stack your QBs, but you aren’t put in at the same massive disadvantage in terms of draft capital spent like you were in 2023.

At the end of the day, the Bully Tight End strategy is 100-percent going to be something I am implementing from time to time. There is a legit pathway where it could work. That being said, Zero RB or Hero RB are probably still my preferred drafting strategies. Figuring out WR and RB are what matter most in Underdog drafts. But I’ll be damned if I don’t live a little in these summer draft rooms and just absolutely Bully Tight End my way to some really fun and unique builds.

Read Kelly Singh’s favorite sleepers to draft on Underdog here: Fantasy Sleepers to Draft Right Now on Underdog