October 1, 2023


The tight finish’s reference to Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has been known as “probably the most constant in camp.”

Hunter Henry may have fantasy upside in 2023, in response to specialists. AP Photograph/Steven Senne

One of many continuous challenges for fantasy soccer managers over the previous a number of seasons has been the shortage of depth on the tight finish place.

Outdoors of a choose few (led by Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce), most obtainable choices have been inconsistent at greatest.

In consequence, it behooves managers getting ready for his or her drafts to verify on each potential possibility, together with Patriots tight finish Hunter Henry.

Henry, 28, appeared poised for a powerful season in 2022. Following his first marketing campaign in New England during which he caught 9 touchdowns (with 603 receiving yards), it was logical to anticipate he would proceed to have a central function as a pink zone goal.

But like the remainder of final yr’s Patriots offense, Henry took a step again. Coming off a yr during which he made simply 41 catches for 509 yards and two touchdowns (TE21 in half-PPR leagues), Henry’s inventory is presently low.

His present ADP in half-PPR leagues is 215, placing him on the very backside of most drafts at greatest. So, in a way, Henry could not even be price drafting.

Nonetheless, amid a dearth of tight finish manufacturing, Henry may change into a value-play both late in a draft or as a free agent pickup.

“I do assume Hunter Henry might be a serviceable week to week possibility on this offense, particularly within the pink zone,” famous Patriots reporter Phil Perry in an interview with the Rotoworld Soccer Present earlier in August. “He clearly, to me, has Mac Jones’s belief.”

NBC Sports activities fantasy analyst Matthew Berry has additionally advocated for Henry.

“I’m going to name it proper now. I feel Hunter Henry has an ideal yr,” Berry informed Perry at the beginning of preseason. “He’s not being drafted as [a top-10 tight end]. Folks really are drafting Mike Gesicki forward of Hunter Henry. Now, the damage could change that, however up till like a day in the past, Gesicki was going forward of Hunter Henry in drafts, and I feel that’s a mistake.”

To Berry’s level, Gesicki — one other tight finish who signed as a free agent with the Patriots in the course of the offseason — remains to be carrying the next ADP (202) than Henry. Gesicki suffered a dislocated shoulder in coaching camp however just lately returned to the follow subject.

“Hunter Henry very quietly led the staff in finish zone targets final yr,” Berry defined. “There’s a connection there. I perceive he’s having a powerful camp. I actually like Hunter Henry this season.”

Earlier in coaching camp, Henry was described as Jones’s “go-to goal” within the pink zone by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, a sign that he may return nearer to his 2021 landing complete than his a lot smaller tally a yr in the past.

Earlier than getting too enthusiastic about the potential of a fantasy-relevant tight finish being obtainable on the finish of the drafts, keep in mind that Henry is tied to the Patriots offense, a unit that completed twenty sixth in yards in 2022 and within the decrease half of the league in most different classes.

The function of Gesicki may additionally show tough from a fantasy standpoint. But when Jones can attain the next stage within the passing recreation within the upcoming season, there must be loads of alternative for Henry. With Jakobi Meyers gone (taking with him a team-leading 96 targets), Jones can be searching for different pass-catchers to step up.

And once more, the phrase from coaching camp is that he’s change into a security valve for Jones.

“His reference to Jones has been probably the most constant in camp,” wrote Boston Herald Patriots reporter Andrew Callahan on Wednesday.