Jonnu Smith Fantasy Football Outlook Includes Top-10 TE Potential in 2021

Larry Rupp
Jonnu Smith's fantasy outlook comes with substantial upside in 2021.
Jonnu Smith's fantasy outlook comes with substantial upside in 2021. / Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Tight end Jonnu Smith has taken the position over during the last few seasons, showcasing his ability to break tackles and rack up yards after the catch. He signed a massive four-year deal with the New England Patriots this offseason and now looks poised to finish as a top-10 TE in fantasy football.

Jonnu Smith Fantasy Outlook

Smith has the opportunity to really shine with the Patriots this season as a top receiving option for QB Cam Newton. Head coach Bill Belichick has proven that he can get the most out of his tight ends and he hasn't had someone as talented as Smith since the likes of Rob Gronkowski a few years ago.

The signing of Hunter Henry shouldn't scare fantasy managers away, either. Henry has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career and is already dealing with an injury during training camp.

The 25-year-old Smith is coming off a career-best season in which he racked up 452 yards and 9 touchdowns on 43 total touches. Smith tied for fourth among tight ends in red zone targets (17) and steadily created space in the end zone by using his combination of size and speed. On talent alone, Smith probably has the most raw ability of any Patriots pass-catcher this season.

Smith has only gotten better with time. In fact, he has increased his catch total in all four of his NFL seasons and averaged a career-high 29.9 yards per game in 2020. He posted those numbers despite playing in a Tennessee Titans' offense that didn't truly focus on tight ends in the passing game.

The Patriots have built a reputation for using two-tight end sets and Smith should get much more playing time than the 69% of offensive snaps he saw in 2020. The young playmaker's average draft position is No. 17 overall amongst tight ends in PPR leagues, according to FantasyPros.

Smith remains an underrated option in drafts, especially given how weak the position was last year. He checks in as the TE10 in The Duel's 2021 fantasy football rankings.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.