Each year, ESPN fantasy football expert, Matthew Berry, puts out an article containing information he gathered during discussions with coaches and team personnel during the NFL combine. These annual articles have a self-described “pretty good” track record recently. Specifically, Berry cites his very early identification of Darren Waller as a valuable tight end last offseason. Those who took note of this information were likely rewarded greatly in their season long fantasy football leagues last year. Below, we dissect one piece of early speculation mentioned by Berry in his article, and how it may impact individual players and their fantasy value.
Though he did not provide much detail, Berry made it a point to mention that Jordan Akins is a tight end who should be on everyone’s radar, as fellow Texans tight end Darren Fells is likely to move on from the team this offseason. Fells had a decent season in Houston in 2019 and early indications are that Akins is capable of having similar or greater success with the team next season.
The Fantasy Impact
If we were going off of Matthew Berry’s recent track record for tight end predictions, we would be wise to consider his recommendation of monitoring Jordan Akins as the 2020 season approaches. Darren Waller was a steal when his ADP was compared to his production last year, and tight end is a thin position where value is of utmost importance. If Akins pans out as Waller did last year, fantasy owners who draft him will have a hand up on their league-mates.
Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Akins has played in all 36 of the Texans’ games since he entered the NFL. In his 2nd year in the league in 2019, Akins doubled his receptions, targets, and yards from the 2018 season. He finished 2019 with 36 receptions for 418 yards and two touchdowns. If Akins can double his stats once again in 2020 he would be in the TE 1 conversation! While doubling his stats two years in a row may be a stretch, there’s no reason to think Akins numbers won’t improve with the vacancy left by Fells. As a third year member of a powerful offense, Akins may be a bargain tight end to look for in drafts this season.