Adam Trautman Drips in 2021 Fantasy Sleeper Upside as Saints Pass-Catching TE - Roto Street Journal
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Adam Trautman Drips in 2021 Fantasy Sleeper Upside as Saints Pass-Catching TE

The Saints cap is a mess and as a result, the team released two of their top three tight ends from 2020 — Jared Cook and Josh Hill. These two cap casualties proved the team has big 2021 plans for second-year tight end, Adam Trautman. Since those moves, the team has only brought in veteran blocking tight end Nick Vannett to pair with Trautman, meaning Trautman will secure pass-catching duties and should be one of the top targets for either Taysom Hill or (hopefully) Jameis Winston. Either way, Adam Trautman has some serious 2021 fantasy sleeper potential in the post-Drew Brees era.

The Saints utilized three tight ends pretty evenly in 2020. Cook registered 466 snaps, Trautman was on the field for 393 snaps, and Josh Hill finished third with 359 snaps. Thus, that leaves roughly 825 snaps between Trautman and Vannett to share in 2021.

More importantly, Cooks’ 60 targets and Hill’s 10 targets will be available at the tight end spot. Then there are also Emmanuel Sanders’ 82 vacant targets that will now be up for grabs.

Trautman came out of Dayton as one of the most polished pass-catchers at his position. He recorded 2,295 yards and 31 touchdowns on 178 receptions during his four years as a Flyer. At 6-foot-5, 255 lbs, he ranks in the 95th percentile in agility and the 82nd percentile in catch radius, which will be needed with Winston or Taysom Hill throwing him the rock.

Our friend of the program, Nick Underhill, said Trautman excelled in intermediate routes, such as hitches and crossing routes, making him a viable option in the passing game.

Although Trautman drips in pass-catching potential, he’ll need to develop a rapport with the two quarterbacks. He was ninth on the team with 16 targets and finished with 171 yards and one touchdown on 15 receptions. It’s also important to note he lost Dan Campbell, his positional coach.

But just because he has reliable hands and should make plays in the passing game, he’ll prove his worth as the team’s TE1 because he surprisingly proved to be a phenomenal run blocker. PFF graded Trautman the highest run-blocking tight end in the league last season, with an 86.9 run-block grade. The next highest was Dallas Goedert at 81.0.

“It takes a lot to learn how to play in this league as a tight end, you got to know everything,” Trautman said after Week 15. “Coach (Dan) Campbell says it all the time, we have to know more than everyone but the quarterback. They kind of eased me into it and as I got more comfortable, and playing better, I was able to gain their trust. Gain the trust of the coaches and teammates so that they feel comfortable with me out there.”

Whether it is Winston or Taysom at quarterback, Adam Trautman should shine as one of the team’s top targets in the passing game. Thus, he comes in at TE23 (+12 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2021 Fantasy Rankings and Big Board.

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