Matt Nein / @mnein9
Noah Fant was one of my favorite preseason breakout candidates for the 2020 season and through the first three games, he has not disappointed.
Week 1 Stats:
- 6 targets with 5 receptions for 81 yards and 1TD.
- 73% Snap Percentage
- Drew Lock was the QB.
Week 2 Stats:
- 5 targets with 4 receptions for 57 yards and 1TD.
- 78% Snap Percentage
- Jeff Driskel was the QB, they played against a tough Steelers defense, and Fant still produced.
- Fant is matchup proof.
Week 3 Stats:
- 10 targets with 5 receptions for 46 yards.
- 85% Snap Percentage
- Dirskel and Rypien both played.
- Fant is 2nd on the team for targets with 21, only behind Jeudy who has 24.
- Fant leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs.
- Fant is tied for 1st for red-zone targets and leads the team in red-zone receptions and TDs.
- Fant leads the team in end-zone targets and also had a play designed for him on a 2pt conversion.
- Through three weeks, Fant is commanding an 18.9% TS.
- Fant ranks 6th in the league for targets (21), 5th in receptions (14), 3rd in receiving yards (184), and tied for 2nd in receiving TDs (2). (These are TE ranks.)
- Fant is 1 of 9 TEs to play 70+% in all 3 games this season.
Fant is no question the focal point of the Denver Broncos offense. The injury to Sutton is unfortunate for many reasons but I do believe the injury hurts Fant some. Having Sutton and Jeudy on the is a huge help when scheming because it pulls the defense to the sidelines which leaves the middle of the field open which is where Fant does most of his damage. Now that Sutton is out for the year, defenses will be able to focus a little more on Fant than they were able to before. I believe Fant is elite and should have no problem continuing to thrive. Another thing that Fant has had to deal with through the first 3 weeks, which no other TE has had to deal with, is that there has already been 3 different QB changes. Even with the changes, Fant still produced.
Fant is the 'WR1' for the Broncos as of right now. Jeudy does have 3 more targets than Fant but Jeudy also leads the team in drops with 3. Until Jeudy can become a more reliable target, Driskel, Rypien, or Lock should continue to treat Fant as the 'WR1'.
Some analysts will say that Fant's stats are/will be inflated because the loss of Sutton, but that simply isn't the case. With a healthy Sutton in week 1, Fant had 5 catches for 81 yards and a TD. Fant was being discussed as the focal point of the passing offense all offseason and the staff made it a point to get him the ball during training camp. What happened week 1? Fant was the focal point of the passing offense. Unfortunately the staff didn't feel the need to continue to get get him the ball in the second half of week 1 for whatever reason. I am not convinced that Fangio is a good head coach and I would wager this is his last year in Denver.
One of my bold predictions before the season started was that by the end of the 2020 season, Fant's value will be similar to what Travis Kelce's has been for the last 5 years. As we know in fantasy, TE is the slowest position to develop and you usually don't see guys take off until they are in their 3rd or 4th year. Fant is 22...think about that...he is 22 and he is already producing to tier TE numbers. With Lock being for the next few weeks, a buy window has opened for Fant. Do not miss this chance.
For week 4, Fant goes up against the Jets who have a bottom 10 pass defense and bottom 12 defense in covering the TE. Start Fant with confidence regardless of who is at QB; not only this week but moving forward.
Week 4 Projection:
7 catches for 72 yards and 1TD