Fantasy Football Sleeper: Noah Fant

Noah Fant
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Noah Fant (87) of the Denver Broncos runs after the catch against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter on Sunday, December 28, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

Today we bring you a fantasy football sleeper in Noah Fant. Last week during our tight rankings we briefly touched on Fant and why we think he has fantasy upside. For one he is going into his second year which is very big. Tight ends who normally break out usually need a year or so to do so. He showed promise his rookie season throughout the year and his skill set is very favorable for a tight end in ppr format. Let us break down why we think Noah Fant is a fantasy football sleeper who can be a top 5 tight end.

College Years

            During his time at Iowa Noah Fant was a tremendous player. He was part of a two tight end duo with T.J. Hockenson. Fant had 11 touchdowns in his 2017 campaign and added 7 touchdowns during his 2018 season. His career average was 13.9 yards per catch with was very impressive. He showed quickness, acceleration and he would use his size to overwhelm opposing defenses. Many analyst raved about his athletic ability and said that he could become a starter by his second year. His combine results of a 4.5 forty with a 39.5 vertical jump proved that athletic ability. These traits coupled with his game tape awarded him a first round pick at 20 with the Broncos.

Noah Fant Iowa
Fant was an incredible athlete at Iowa.

NFL Rookie Year

Noah Fant had a successful season for a rookie tight end in fantasy football. He finished 16th in ppr leagues while having two weeks of top 2 tight end numbers. Fant had a team target share of 13.1% and had a catch percentage of 60.6%. It is important to note that the Broncos quarterback situation was a mess last season. The team started with Joe Flacco before he went on injured reserved. They then started Brandon Allen for 3 games before starting Drew Lock for the rest of the season who was coming back from IR. This quarterback carousal to me surely impacted the offense as a whole as they leaned on the run more. Fant did see a team snap share at about 69% which shows his ability to stay on the field. This trend should continue as the Broncos should lean on Fant more next year.

            If we look deeper at his stats we some promising signs for next year. For one he average a whopping 14.2 yards per reception which shows big play ability. We also see an 8.4 yards per target and 1.97 yards per pass route which tells us the team wants to use him on deeper routes. One thing Fant does need to do better is catch the ball. He did have a drop rate of 6% but with further development and a more consistent quarterback that could drop. One thing that did help him was yards after catch. He had 300 yards after the catch or 4.5 per target. Getting that extra yardage is what you like to see especially in an athletic tight end. His ability coupled with his usage could leave reason for optimism heading into next season.

Looking to Next Season

            I fully believe that Fant has the potential and skill set to be a top fantasy tight end. He is an athletic mismatch for defenses who is fully capabale of becoming an elite tight end. Yet the biggest hope for this to happen is the development of Drew Lock. There is no surprise that a player cannot be a fantasy star if they do not a compotent quarterback. Lock missed most of the last offseason and his IR could have stunted his growth. However with an extra year I think he can develop. Back to Fant though with the development of both him and Lock this gives me reason to get excited. I also expect his usage to go up especially in the play action game with Gordan there. This team is finally starting to build up the offense which is the perfect recipe for Fant breaking out.

Noah Fant and Drew Lock
Can Drew Lock and Noah Fant be a force in the NFL?

Noah Fant is one of my favorite players to grab in the 8th to 10th range of NFL draft next year. The team’s usage of him as well as his big play ability could allow him to flourish. The offense of the Broncos is being built up and the tem should be on the rise. Yes again I reiterate the development of Lock as a quarterback will be key to this prediction. If you are a believer in  then Fant is your guy. If not well maybe look at other tight ends as this is a very deep group this year. I really like the upside that Noah Fant gives next year and will be grabbing him in a ton of my leagues. He is a huge fantasy sleeper and my bold take is he will finish top 5.

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