The Minnesota Vikings addressed their tight end depth after trading for New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon. This comes in the wake of Irv Smith Jr.'s preseason injury, however, offers little additional optimism around Herndon's fantasy outlook for the 2021 season.
Chris Herndon Fantasy Outlook
Heading into the season, Smith Jr. owned an average draft position (ADP) of 122.8 overall and TE13, according to PPR data from FantasyPros. While fantasy managers might assume Herndon was brought in to take all of Smith Jr.'s snaps, it's just not that simple.
The Vikings made this move as way to ensure depth for their tight end position. Minnesota's roster still boasts Tyler Conklin on the depth chart and there will be competition for the No. 1 tight end responsibilities to kick off the year. While Smith Jr. did lead all Vikings tight ends in targets last season, it was by a slim margin. The second-year tight end saw 45 targets compared to Kyle Rudolph's 37 and Conklin's 26.
Herndon showed serious promise during his rookie campaign in 2018, catching 39 balls on 56 targets for 502 yards and 4 touchdowns. Those stats ranked as TE15 numbers, but quickly fell off the past two seasons. Last year, Herndon saw just 45 targets despite a clear role as the Jets No. 1 tight end.
Chris Herndon ADP
Heading into the season, Herndon will have an opportunity to increase his playing time with improved play. But, don't expect him to simply gobble up Smith Jr.'s TE12 potential to kick things off. If anything, the chemistry between Kirk Cousins and Conklin will drastically slow down this process.
Before the trade, Herndon owned an ADP of 330.5 overall and TE41 on FantasyPros. He was unlisted on The Duel's preseason PPR rankings. His numbers have a chance to see a big uptick, but this is a situation worth monitoring the waiver wire for as opposed to drafting ahead of your fantasy season.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.