Fantasy TE Sleepers 2017: Dynamite Doyle is about to explode

End-zone stretches could become a common occurrence for Jack Doyle this season. (AP)
End-zone stretches could become a common occurrence for Jack Doyle this season. (AP)

“Sleeper” is a seducing fantasy term with multiple definitions. For the purposes of this column and clarity’s sake, we’re featuring undervalued players largely available outside the overall top-60. To ensure full accountability, we also included our biggest hits/misses from 2016. Friday’s topic: Tight Ends.

[Now’s the time to sign up for Fantasy Football! Join for free]

A.J. Derby, Den (N/A ADP, TE40+)

Drafted by New England in 2015, Derby entered the league with just one year of experience at the tight end position. A natural pass-catcher who previously played quarterback and linebacker, the 6-foot-five and 255 pound Razorback flashed towards the end of 2016. Leap-frogging Virgil Green on the team’s depth chart between Weeks 12 through 15, Derby caught at least four balls in three of those four contests. Unfortunately, a concussion prematurely ended Derby’s ascending season. Expected to remain in the Broncos plans this coming fall, Derby figures to be deployed from the slot. Considering Mike McCoy’s history with and friendliness towards the tight end position, the former Razorback has must-track sleeper potential. (Liz Loza)

Liz’s big sleeper TE hit in ’16: Jason Witten; Big whiff: Clive Walford

Kyle Rudolph, Min (85.6 ADP, TE7)

Rudolph’s current draft price is disgusting. He’s going outside the top 100 picks after leading all tight ends in total targets and red-zone targets last season. Rudolph is a security blanket player for a quarterback who only ever looks to complete short-range passes. He finished as the No. 3 fantasy scorer at his position last season, and he has a clear shot at, say, a top-five finish in 2017. (Andy Behrens)

Andy’s big sleeper TE hit in ’16: Antonio Gates; Big whiff: Eric Ebron

Eric Ebron, Det (104.8 ADP, TE12)

Ebron managed 61 catches and 711 receiving yards in just 13 games while playing hurt through numerous others last season, so the former top-10 pick clearly has potential. Of course, he scored only one touchdown, thanks to seeing just six red-zone targets (and none inside the five-yard line). He’s reportedly feeling 100 percent healthy now, and with Anquan Boldin (who saw 23 RZ looks, including nine inside the five) gone, it’s safe to expect Ebron to be much more heavily involved from in close (Detroit’s No. 1 wide receiver, Golden Tate, is 5-10, 195). Among tight ends who saw at least 75 targets last season, Ebron’s 8.4 YPT ranked No. 3 in the NFL, behind only Jimmy Graham and Travis Kelce. Ebron is still just 24 years old, and he’s going outside the top-10 tight ends, so he’s a bargain. (Dalton Del Don)

Dalton’s big sleeper TE hit in ’16: Jimmy Graham; Big whiff: Jared Cook

Jack Doyle, Ind (112.7 ADP, TE13)

His name sounds like vaudevillian character, but Doyle is about to take centerstage in Indy. Luck targeted his tight ends 27 percent of the time last season, the third-highest amount in the league. Those plays resulted in a 64 percent success rate, which ranked No. 2 in the NFL according to Sharp Football. Doyle’s reliable hands (78.7 catch%), notable red-zone presence and expected increased role sans Dwayne Allen (3.7 targets per game in ’16) point to a top-12 outcome. A final line in range of 65-650-6 is very attainable. (Brad Evans)

Brad’s big sleeper TE hit in ’16: Kyle Rudolph; Big whiff: Coby Fleener

Austin Hooper, Atl (136.6 ADP, TE16)

Rookie seasons basically don’t count for tight ends. All we want the kids to do is gain experience and show some upside for future consideration. Hooper did that last year, putting some splash plays on tape (over 14 yards a catch) and even giving us a nifty touchdown grab in the Super Bowl. If you’re going to wait at this position, all we care about is plausible upside. Hooper, who’s earned Matt Ryan’s praise all spring, has it. Let the other guy take a rookie who hasn’t been around the block (O.J. Howard, such a sucker play.) You understand the flow of this position much better. (Scott Pianowski)

Scott’s big sleeper TE hit in ’16: Jason Witten; Big whiff: Gary Barnidge

Follow the Yahoo fantasy gang on Twitter: Brad (@YahooNoise), Andy (@andybehrens), Scott (@scott_pianowski), Dalton (@DaltonDelDon) and Liz (@LizLoza_FF)