Darren Waller Fantasy Outlook Includes Top-3 TE Potential in 2020

Max Staley
Darren Waller fantasy value suggests top-5 potential in 2020.
Darren Waller fantasy value suggests top-5 potential in 2020. / Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Darren Waller burst onto the scene last season, finishing as a top-three tight end in PPR formats. Given that he recorded a combined 178 yards in the three seasons prior to his breakout campaign, fantasy owners might be a bit hesitant to take the plunge on Waller in 2020.

But there's little reason to believe his breakout was a fluke. He looks like a great value at his average draft position (ADP) of TE5, per FantasyPros.

Darren Waller Fantasy Football Outlook

Part of the reason Waller was so successful was the ridiculous amount of volume he handled last season. His 90 receptions were the second most among all tight ends, and his 1,145 yards were also second best at the position.

That volume may come down a bit this season, as the Las Vegas Raiders have juiced up their skill-position group, but Waller should be able to make up for it with increased efficiency.

Despite handling all that volume, Waller only scored 3 touchdowns in 2019. That could increase dramatically in 2020. Since 2000, Waller is one of only two tight ends to see more than 115 targets and catch at least 90 passes while scoring three or fewer touchdowns. Ironically, the other is his new back-up Jason Witten (2009, 2012).

Touchdowns are a notoriously flukey, high-variance stat and it's likely that Waller's lack of TDs was more due to bad luck than anything else.

Waller has a real shot to finish as a top-three TE in back-to-back seasons, but he appears to have a pretty solid floor as well. We have him as the TE5 in our 2020 fantasy football rankings.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.