Breaking down T.J. Hockenson’s fantasy football stat projections

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Fantasy football drafts are starting to fire up, and one of the hot names is Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson. The third-year TE is a top-5 producer at his position based on the average fantasy draft position.

Most of the fantasy stat projections for the Lions top receiving threat are fairly uniform. Take Fantasy Pros, where Hockenson tracks as the fifth TE drafted on average. Their projections for Hockenson’s stat line:

74 receptions, 813 yards, 5 TDs

That would be a slight uptick from his 2020 numbers. Hockenson earned his first Pro Bowl nod by catching 67 passes for 723 yards and scoring six times.

The loss of talent around him, both at QB and WR, waters down Hockenson’s value a bit for the pundits at FTN Fantasy. He is their No. 6 TE with projections of 602 receiving yards and 4 TDs.

At NFL Analysis, the process behind the projection is more transparent,

A 20 percent target share is an easy projection for Hockenson this year. How that will translate to raw targets in a Lions’ offense that’s expected to be worse is hard to tab, but an uptick across the board is in play. Let’s start with 115 targets, and give him 75-80 catches, 840-850 yards and 7-10 touchdowns. That’d be a top-5 fantasy tight end, albeit with downside potential based on team situation and what can be considered a bad schedule. If Goff were to be injured, the outlook for the entire Detroit offense would go in the tank.

Number Fire breaks down each week in catering to the DFS player market. Their aggregate total for Hockenson’s projection (rounded):

80 catches, 815 yards, 5 TDs

At Fantasy Data, the numbers project similarly, with Hockenson expected to get 76 catches for 822 yards and six touchdowns.

Remember, all the projections are now for 17 games with the NFL’s schedule change.