So the question is asked of this fantasy football analyst, “Who would I draft first – Evan Engram or Hunter Henry?” Lets dive into this situation, and see if we can come up with a good answer for those you who may face this decision in your drafts. I hope I can help make your choice more clear.
Last year was certainly a disappointing season for Engram, whether you want to place the blame on an aging Eli Manning who game has been on the decline for the last few years, or Engram hitting the wall with injuries, or maybe the bad play of the Giants offensive line, or all the above. However, toward the end of last season when Engram got healthy, he was seventh among fantasy football tight ends over the last four games of 2018, which showed his game was coming around.
Going into this season things could be different for Engram. There is no Odell Beckham as he is now a member of the Cleveland Browns. This alone should give Engram an up tick in his numbers. Golden Tate, who the Giants signed in the off season, will be serving a four game suspension to start the season. The new number one receiver in Sterling Shepard has a fractured thumb, which could linger into the beginning of the regular season, hampering his effectiveness. How much do the Giants want to have Saquon Barkley involved in the passing game and take a huge risk of your best offensive player getting hurt because of being overused?
If Engram stays healthy he should bounce back and have a nice season. I believe that he will be used more this season around the redzone. He just might have the best hands among all receivers, not including Barkley.
Henry’s third season was cut short during camp because of a torn ACL, so things can only go up for this tight end. He had a good rookie season scoring eight touchdowns in 2016. However, there was a lot of opportunity for Henry as Keenan Allen tore his ACL in week one that season, meaning more was thrust upon the rookie. He responded well.
This season he will battle for those targets. Allen is healthy (though currently dealing with a small leg issue, he should be ready for week one), the Chargers still have the deep threat in Travis Benjamin around as well as the emerging third year wideout in Mike Williams, and the recent signing of Dontrelle Inman. Then you must factor in Austin Ekeler catching his share of passes out of the backfield.
You could make a case that the Chargers just might throw the ball more. Due to the holdout of Melvin Gordon the running game will likely suffer. I do not have too much faith in the combination of Ekeler and Justin Jackson. They need Gordon to comeback. Teams will not fear the running game and they will gear up to stop Phillip Rivers, which could help Henry’s cause just because he will get some targets.
The case could be made that you would rather have the TE Rivers throws to than Manning. The Chargers have the better offense than the Giants. All of that is true, but without Gordon the Chargers running game will not be feared. The Giants have Barkley.
Henry just might get more targets because they are going to have to throw the ball more. But touchdowns will decide for me who I would rather have. And the choice..
Engram finished with 115 targets, 64 receptions, 722 yards, and 6 TDs in his rookie year. I really believe that we could see a similar season from him in 2019. Henry will have to fight for red zone targets because of the emerging Mike Williams (who I believe will lead in red zone targets this season for the Chargers).
So I give a slight advantage, ladies and gentlemen, toward Engram. Best of luck fellow fantasy football players. I hope I made your decision easier.
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