by Michael Nazarek (UPDATED 8/26/2020)
Editor's Note: Below you will find a portion of our Fantasy Football Creepers for 2020. If you'd like to read about all 19 creepers, please click HERE to order our 2020 Pre-Season Draft Guide.
Ian Thomas (Carolina) - OVERRATED. I'm uncertain why Thomas is gettting a lot of love from fantasy owners in early drafts this year, but it is certainly the case. I've seen him go as early as the 9th round in the FF Index mock draft back in May. Am I missing something? We are not talking about a clone of TE Greg Olsen. Yes, Thomas has some talent, but I've yet to see him do anything close to what Olsen has done in his career. In addition, the Panthers have a new coach and quarterback in 2020, so Thomas must develop chemistry quickly with QB Teddy Bridgewater if he's to have any chance of producing this season. Bottom Line: There are too many other qaulity TEs with a better resume to draft as your fantasy backup at tight end. Update 8/26: Thomas has produced a fairly decent camp with a few big catches, but remains low on the list of targets for new QB Teddy Bridgewater. As a result, I'm still not thrilled with his prospects as a fantasy backup tight end in any size league.
O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay) - Howard is a very young and talented tight end. Let's get one thing straight. He is not the problem here. The problem is a simply one. He has never been a fit in HC Bruce Arian's system. In addition, the team has acquired the rights to and brought TE Rob Gronkowski out of retirement. And yet Arians refuses to trade Howard to better the team in other areas. He says Howard has a role. Yup, that of a backup! Backup tight ends do not produce enough for fantasy owners to rely upon... period. That is the primary reason Howard is on this list. Update 8/26: Howard has actually looked good in camp, so he may have been pulled from this list, but the simple facts remain that Evans, Godwin, and Gronk will all see most of the targets from Brady, leaving not enough production for Howard in most fantasy leagues for 2020.
Tyler Eifert (Jacksonville) - Eifert has been on this list many times and 2020 is no different. While he made it through the 2019 season unscathed, he showed he is just a former shell on himself, scoring just three times. Now, he's a Jaguar, but is not guaranteed to start. He also has to learn a new system and develop chemistry with QB Gardner Minshew, a young QB who might not hold the job for the entire season. Eifert will also be 30 years old come September. Bottom Line: Why draft an aging, injury prone tight end on a new team when there are plenty of better choices to choose from as a fantasy backup for your roster? My point exactly. Update 8/26: Eifert has looked good in camp, developing quick chemistry with Minshew. That said, he still remains a majoy injury risk for fantasy owners, even as a backup, so he stays on this list for that reason.
Jimmy Graham (Chicago) - Graham was on this creeper list last year, and things have only gotten worse for him. What? How can I say that now that he's the new Bears starter? Perhaps he will see more targets? Yes, that may be the case, but Graham is one year older, and is coming off another disappointing season. His knees just don't allow him to get separation like he used to. Remember, we are talkking abotua rapidly aging TE, as Graham will turn 34 years old in November. Bottom Line: Graham is my deep creeper because I do not think you can trust him at all to produce much of anything as the Bears starter taking his aging knees into consideration. Update 8/26: Graham says he's on a mission to redeem himself, but the facts remain his bad knees won't allow much for separation, making him a liability in a passing game already hurt by inconsistent Trubisky at the helm. AVOID.
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