Is Darren Waller a First Round Fantasy Draft Selection?

The year is 2002. It’s my sophomore year in high school. At this point in life my money goes to two things: wrestling and rap. I was still big into buying these things called CDs at the time. This particular Friday, I had my mind set on purchasing Nappy Root’s debut album “Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz”. I go to FYE, or whatever it was at the time. I discover another CD while I was there. For the life of me I can not tell you what the name of that CD was. This is very important to the story.

See, I was a dummy who over-thought everything, including this purchase. I walked out of FYE that night with this easily forgettable album instead of the sure thing. To this day I will still listen to “Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz”. It’s a comforting album, with plenty of hits and a familiarity that I know and love. See, on that day at the mall I overthought a sure thing and, well, I missed on a sure thing. Now, when I apply that unfortunate scenario to my fantasy draft and ask myself “do I draft Darren Waller?”, the answer isn’t to over-think. It’s to just draft.

Waller is going to be that comforting “get out of jail free” card for Daniel Jones all season long. These two have been connecting and building chemistry on, and off, the field since the Giants trade for him back in March. It’s been no secret that Jones enjoys having a good tight end around. Last season he ranked in the top five in quarterback rating, completion percentage, and first down rate when targeting a tight end. Targeting Waller should be no different, and may even help improve those numbers for the second year, Mike Kafka-run offense.

During his stint with the Raiders, Waller surpassed 1,000 receiving yards twice. However, I can’t bring up the past with out talking about the injuries. He’s only played in 20 out of his last 34 games due to injuries. I, too, call out of work more often when I hate it there.

Darren Waller Fantasy Draft Outlook

From the eyes of fantasy football, Waller has been great over the last three seasons.
On average he ran 32 routes per game, with 7.6 targets, 5.3 receptions, and 62.5 yards, which have him ranking as a top four tight end. This is prior to an entire offense being built around him.  

Waller is going to see a lot of targets; I would even step out on the ledge and say he leads all tight ends. This man has been unstoppable so far in training camp. The mad scientists that are Kafka and Brian Daboll have him lining up in every position that isn’t quarterback. 

With a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, it should really be a no brainer to target Waller in your fantasy drafts. I say forget the “If I don’t get Travis Kelce” narrative and draft Waller as your first overall tight end. Don’t be sophomore Dan sitting in the rap isle of FYE overthinking a no-brainer pick of Darren Waller and go home from your fantasy football draft happy.

Leave a Reply