We are officially now in the hype season, or as we call it, NFL training camp. This is a time where you will hear plenty of praise for players from coaches, teammates and beat reporters. Maybe it’s a simple as someone slimming down and adding muscle or a receiver got contact lenses finally or last season a player’s shoes were too tight, but now they’re nice and comfy. Whatever the hype, as fantasy players, we hear it as affirmation about a player we like or hollow praise about a player we don’t like.
Throughout camp we’ll keep an eye out for the hyped player of the day and see if the praise is something we should take notice of or disregard. For today, that player is Jets tight end Chris Herndon.
Herndon had a mini-breakout his rookie year, as he caught 39 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns. He developed a rapport with Sam Darnold in the second half of the season that many were interested to see move forward into 2019, but a four game suspension and injuries doomed his 2019.
Jamison sees 8⃣9⃣ as the offense's x-factor.— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 17, 2020
The Jets can’t wait to unleash Chris Herndon this season. The team had sky-high expectations for their tight end entering last season, but a league-imposed suspension and injuries limited him to just one healthy quarter. Getting Herndon back will be a massive boost to the offense. — Connor Hughes, The Athletic
Gase on Chris Herndon— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) August 16, 2020
“He’s our starting TE ... Chris gives us a lot of flexibility ... It’s rare to have a guy with the ability to be as effective as a pass catcher and a guy that’s explosive when he gets the ball in his hands, and still be an on-the-line TE that can block." https://t.co/F05Zbl6BFC
Is the hype real?
The Jets let Robby Anderson go and brought in free agent Breshad Perriman and rookie Denzel Mims while keeping slot receiver Jamison Crowder. The new faces in camp should help Herndon establish himself, as he’s in his third year with the playbook. Mims is currently dealing with a hamstring injury which is not what you want to see from a rookie receiver with no offseason and a shortened training camp. The hype from Gase, Crowder, and beat reporters isn’t saying Herndon will get 100-plus targets, but that he’ll be a big part of the Jets offense.
Is the hype too much?
There’s no doubt that Herndon is set to have a big role in the Jets offense if he can stay healthy, but the question is, how many targets can he get? Crowder and Le’Veon Bell are likely the No. 1 and 2 targets while Gase has never been one to give tight ends a big share of targets. If Perriman and Mims can win a big chunk as well, that won’t leave much for Herndon.
In the end, we can’t pencil him in as a player with upside for a Top-5 tight end fantasy finish, but we can look at him as someone who is set up for a workload that can help him reach the Top-12 if things go well.