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 finally getting contact lenses 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 Colts tight end Trey Burton.
Burton started off his career in Philadelphia where he was stuck behind Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, but he did manage five touchdown receptions in his last season in Philly and was then signed by the Bears to be their starter.
Burton started his Bears career with a positive 2018 season, catching 54-of-76 targets for 569 yards and six touchdowns. The next season, 2019, he only caught 14 passes for 84 yards and no touchdowns as he dealt with a calf injury for most of the year, but ended up having hip surgery in the offseason and was released. The Colts picked him up for the veteran minimum, and hope he can win the role Eric Ebron had the last two seasons.
Frank randomly mentions Trey Burton and says he thinks "he' going to have a really productive year."— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 29, 2020
He's hinted at this a few times now.
The Trey Burton signing flew a little under the radar this offseason.— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) August 4, 2020
But the Colts have big things in mind for the new TE.
"A lot of the things are going to flow, a lot of things are going to be good in this offense because of Trey Burton.”https://t.co/jQjnEFOovl
Is the hype real?
Colts coach Frank Reich is known for his cheery outlook when it comes to talking about his players. Does that mean Burton isn’t going to have a “really productive year”? Of course not, but there is potential.
Burton worked with Reich in Philadelphia, so he knows the offense, which relies heavily on tight ends. Reich was happy to get Burton for cheap coming off an injury marred season and appears more than comfortable giving him the offensive playmaker role that Ebron had with the team. Ebron missed much of last season due to injury himself, but the previous year caught 66 passes for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. That’s a nice chunk of fantasy change to have available.
Is the hype too much?
The negatives for Burton are evident in that he has only had one productive fantasy season and he’s coming off multiple injuries, including hip surgery. Will he be able to stay healthy for a full season? The good news is that the Colts signed him and appear fine with his health, but they didn’t invest much.
In Burton’s best season with the Bears he had only one drop and the ninth-most red zone receptions for tight ends in the league according to Player Profiler. Much of his lack of high end numbers can be traced back to his quarterback’s inability to get him the ball, as he just had a catchable target rate of just 75.3 percent.
In reality, he has yet to be the starter on a team that uses their tight ends well and has a good quarterback. In Indianapolis he’ll get Reich’s tight end friendly scheme and a quarterback in Philip Rivers who is accurate and likes throwing to his tight ends. The situation really couldn’t be much better for a bounce back.
The trouble is, we just don’t know if Burton is going to be able to run with the opportunity. At this point, he’s being drafted as the 41st tight end off the board at 327th overall in half PPR leagues. He’ll likely start rising a bit after Reich’s comments, but he’s got a long way to go before he’s not worth a flier in a strong position for success.