Dynasty Value: Hunter Henry
Hunter Henry has played two seasons in the NFL missing one game in 2016 and two games in 2017. Despite being a high draft pick for the Chargers, the team has yet to really lean on their young talented prospect. Henry split his redzone targets with Antonio Gates in 2017 and regressed in total touchdowns last season. Is this the year Henry finally breaks out? Or are you selling him in Dynasty leagues while is stock is somewhat high?
- Age: 23
- Height: 6′ 5″
- Weight: 250
- College: Arkansas
- Accrued Seasons: 2
- Entry: 2016 Draft, 2nd RD, #35 overall (Chargers)
- Free Agency: 2020 (UFA)
Gridiron Experts Staff Debate: Buy Low or Sell High
Anthony Cervino Perhaps I was a year too early in my 2017 preseason rankings when it comes to Hunter Henry — I had him ranked as a top-eight tight end. And while he finished as the TE12 with 81.9 points in standard scoring formats, he finished as the TE14 with 126.9 points in PPR hauling in 43-of-68 targets for 579 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games — he missed the final two games of the regular season with a lacerated kidney.
Although Henry accumulated ore receptions and yards in 2017 than he did in his rookie 2016 campaign, he caught four fewer touchdowns, which hindered his overall scoring totals. Why? Well, perhaps it was his usage in the red zone. In 2016, Henry was the No. 1 ranked red zone target amongst the tight end position catching 11-of-17 targets for 110 yards and eight scores, totaling 59 fantasy points in standard formats while in the red area. However, 2017 told a much different story. Catching 5-of-12 targets for 42 yards and three touchdowns, Henry finished as the TE15 with 21.1 fantasy points amongst TEs while in the red.
You may be thinking, why the drastic difference? It doesn’t make sense because Antonio Gates was still the starter in 2016 and took a back set to Henry in 2017. I get it. But the biggest determinant was the fact that Keenan Allen returned last season after missing all of 2016 with a torn ACL. Not only did Allen draw 159 targets — he caught 102 of them for 1,393 yards and six TDs, but 24 of his targets came in the red zone catching 11 of them for 84 years and four scores.
Despite his regression in the red zone, Henry’s fantasy value should increase moving forward even with Allen healthy. Entering year-three, I’m buying Henry low. He has mid-tier TE1 upside in a pass-happy system with a quarterback that has made his living heavily featuring his tight ends in the passing game. With another offseason together to develop their rapport plus with a better-defined role as the clear-cut starter, I believe the Rivers-to-Henry combination is poised to breakout in 2018.
Daniel Lake If you’ve got one of the big 3 TE’s (Gronk, Kelce, Ertz) or possibly even Olsen, you’re happy and keeping them. If you don’t, I’d be trying to buy low on Henry. He had 45 receptions for 579 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games during season 2017, but didn’t really get going until midway through the year and finished the season on IR due to a lacerated kidney. So his asking price should be a pretty low end. Henry recorded 0 targets in 2 of the Chargers first 3 games, with the other being a 7 catch 80-yard day vs Miami. Antonio Gates was the Bolt’s #1 Tight End on the depth chart but is now an unrestricted free agent. He’s said he wants to play another year, which may not be in LA since Henry will make just $1 million in the final year of his rookie contract; a far more friendly deal than what Gates will receive. So if Gates is moved on, Henry sees a big uptick in targets and production. After all, the Chargers went 7-1 when he was targeted 5 times or more.
Mike Rigz It might sound crazy, but I’m selling Hunter Henry if I have him. With old-man Gates possibly returning for yet another season, I feel Hunter’s stock value is far higher than his actual production level. Gates ate into Henry’s workload, racking up 52 targets in 2017. However, even with a more expanded role for Henry, I feel that by the time Gates finally retires, Rivers will be thinking about hanging it up.
The Chargers are underutilizing Henry’s potential and I feel there will be an owner in my league that will be willing to overpay for Henry in hopes of a breakout season. I think I can get more trade value out of him than production. There are far cheaper Tight Ends that can be had that will match Henry’s output.
Eric Mally I’m buying Hunter Henry if I can, but I know the price tag is probably going to be rich for a lot of sellers (and rightfully so). The fact of the matter is that we all know the tight end position is Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, and everyone else. Who is going to be that next TE to make the leap into that discussion? Henry was 10th in receiving yards last year and tied for 6th for receptions of 20+ yards – and that was with splitting time with Antonio Gates. He graded out as PFF’s second-best rated tight end (sandwiched between Gronk and Kelce, mind you), and the arrow is definitely pointing up with Gates either leaving the Chargers in free agency this year or retiring within the near future. Will you be able to find an owner willing to sell for a reasonable price? If you can, grab him before he develops into a yearly top-five tight end.
Dan Ficca If you’re looking for a reasonably priced breakout Tight End candidate, then look no further than Hunter Henry. Yes, he had a very inconsistent season in 2017 with 9 games of 5 targets or less, but still had a productive year before getting injured. He finished his rookie campaign with 36 receptions on 53 targets, 8 touchdowns, and 478 receiving yards. It appeared that Antonio’ Gates reign as the Chargers full-time Tight End was coming to a close. Fast forward to 2017 and the 37-year-old Gates would not go away, cutting into Henry’s targets and playing time. With Gates set to hit free agency, it will be interesting to see if the Chargers re-sign the veteran who played well to close out the season in Henry’s absence. If LA lets Gates walk, Henry should be the #2 option in the team’s passing attack behind Keenan Allen which should be very appealing to fantasy owners.
Andrew Erickson For Hunter Henry, I am looking to buy low for sure. Obviously, Antonio Gates, has a lot to do with this debate, but let’s be honest. How much longer can he really play for? Gates will be 38 years old at the start of the 2018 season and Henry will be 23. And despite Gates’ involvement with the offense over the past two seasons, Henry has been a top 12 TE. I realize being a top 12 is not the greatest achievement, but Henry has set a level of consistency in terms of his fantasy production. This production I can really only see going up as Gates decides to hang up his cleats. Henry also gets tons of red-zone looks. He was second on the team in red zone targets (14) behind Keenan Allen. I think the future of Henry bodes well that even with Allen returning to form, his production just had a slight decrease from year one to year two.
Real Dynasty Trades in 2018 for Hunter Henry
@DFFDynastyDude @TravisNFL @dynasty_beast @DoOrDynasty @DTC_JohnH @FFDynastyTrades #dynastytrades Finally succeeded in obtaining Hunter Henry. 1/2 ppr, superflex, 19' first most likely mid to late considering it was this year's champ's pick
— Ryan (@Rpolzin25) January 22, 2018
12 team ppr, 1 qb league
1.04 for Mariota and Hunter Henry#DynastyTrades
— Phil Pytleski (@PPytleski) February 1, 2018
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