Darren Waller is a Tight End Draft Steal

SCOUT ANALYST TAKE

Waller is a very deep sleeper at TE in 2019-2020. Since being drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Waller has been suspended for 20 games for substance abuse violations and has just 18 career receptions for 178 yards and TDs. Despite the lack of production from Waller since joining the league, his size (6’6”) and speed (4.46 40-yd. dash) have Jon Gruden and many others excited about his potential. SportsLine projects Waller to have 34 receptions for 376 yards and 2 TDs in 2019-2020. Jared Cook is gone along with his 68 receptions for 896 yards and 6 TDs from a season ago, and Waller now sits atop the Raiders’ depth chart. Waller could be worthy of a last round draft-and-stash in deeper leagues just to see if his hype is real. I would value Waller as a low-end TE-2 in fantasy before he shows anything and put him on your watch list if/when he goes undrafted.

REST OF SEASON OUTLOOK AND POSITION RANK

You can expect Darren Waller to be a good bench player who will start in certain weeks the rest of the season. His 79 projected fantasy points puts him at #18 behind Trey Burton and ahead of Greg Olsen. He has averaged 2.4 fantasy points in his past 4 games, which is less than our projected per game average. His projected per game average is 4.9 fantasy points. His rank based on avg proj (#19) is worse than his rank based on total fantasy points. He is slightly less valuable in PPR leagues where he is the #20 ranked tight end. He is slightly underrated if you compare his ownership based rank with his projection rank. At 42%, he is the #21 most highly owned tight end. In 4 games last season he was the #67 ranked tight end.

REST OF SEASON TE RANKPROJECTIONFANTASY STATS SINCE 2018
#16 Jimmy Graham (56% OWN)83 FP, 5.2 per game76 FP, 16 gp, 4.7 per game (#20)
#17 Trey Burton (58% OWN)81 FP, 5.1 per game93 FP, 16 gp, 5.8 per game (#12)
#18 Darren Waller (42% OWN)79 FP, 4.94 per game93 FP, 16 gp, 5.8 per game (#12)
#19 Greg Olsen (55% OWN)76 FP, 4.78 per game53 FP, 9 gp, 5.9 per game (#10)
#20 Kyle Rudolph (63% OWN)75 FP, 4.71 per game87 FP, 16 gp, 5.5 per game (#16)

DARREN WALLER WEEK 1 AND 2 FANTASY OUTLOOK

Darren Waller is projected for 5.3 fantasy points which is good enough to be the #17 ranked tight end and a starter for most owners. This is projected to be a slightly better than average week with more fantasy points than he is projected to average the rest of the season. He is ranked above Will Dissly but behind Delanie Walker. Week 2 is projected to be slightly better based on projected rank (#15). He is projected for 5.2 fantasy points.

WEEK 1 TE RANKPROJECTIONROS FP PROJ AVG
#15 David Njoku (84% OWN)5.3 FP (48% ST)5.3 FP
#16 Delanie Walker (81% OWN)5.3 FP (51% ST)5.7 FP
#17 Darren Waller (42% OWN)5.3 FP (9% ST)4.94 FP
#18 Will Dissly (6% OWN)5.2 FP (1% ST)4.32 FP
#19 Cameron Brate (20% OWN)4.92 FP (5% ST)4.7 FP
WEEK 2 TE RANKPROJECTIONROS FP PROJ AVG
#13 Jordan Reed (70% OWN)5.3 FP (24% ST)5.5 FP
#14 T.J. Hockenson (71% OWN)5.3 FP (25% ST)5.4 FP
#15 Darren Waller (42% OWN)5.2 FP (9% ST)4.94 FP
#16 Austin Hooper (78% OWN)5.1 FP (36% ST)5.2 FP
#17 Cameron Brate (20% OWN)4.97 FP (5% ST)4.7 FP

DARREN WALLER IS THE #17 TE ON FANDUEL AND IS THE #26 HIGHEST PRICED

He is projected for 6.8 FanDuel points and priced at $4.8K. Using average points per dollar in the player pool, he is expected to produce 6.84 FPs. He is fairly priced and a breakeven value. Below are how he ranks on FanDuel. Look for players with comparable or more fantasy points at a lower or same salary.

FANDUEL WEEK (TE) 2 RANKPROJECTIONSALARY
#15 Trey Burton6.9 FD Points$5600
#16 Noah Fant6.9 FD Points$4900
#17 Darren Waller6.8 FD Points$4800
#18 Austin Hooper6.6 FD Points$5500
#19 Kyle Rudolph6.4 FD Points$5100

FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS

The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and upcoming weeks. Below the projection are actual stats from last season.

DARREN WALLERFPPPRTARRECYDTDRUSHYD
2019 Projection7912755.447.65662.486.9
-- Per Game (16 Proj)4.97.93.52.9835.40.155.4
Week 1 vs DEN5.38.33.53.0370.175.4
Week 2 vs KC5.28.23.53.0360.176.3
2018 Season9.615.66675021
-- Per Game (4 GP)2.403.91.501.5018.80.005.2