Hunter Henry has the chance for a big season in 2018, especially now that the Chargers are moving on from veteran Antonio Gates, who is a free agent this offseason. Henry showed flashes of being a standout Fantasy tight end in 2017 when the Chargers decided to actually use him. He inexcusably had six games with three targets or less, and he scored a combined 10 Fantasy points in a standard league in those outings. In the eight games where he had at least five targets -- he missed the final two games of the season with an abdomen injury -- Henry averaged 8.5 Fantasy points in a standard league, with three games scoring at least 10 points. He could be a top five Fantasy tight end this year with Gates gone, and this should be his breakout campaign. He's worth drafting as early as Round 5 in the majority of leagues.
The Chargers will likely place Henry (right ACL) on IR during final roster cuts, ESPN's Eric D. Williams reports. Per the report, Henry, who suffered his knee injury May 22 and then underwent surgery two weeks later, "is moving pretty well on the field and has been very engaged during practice." While the tight end hasn't officially been ruled out for the rest of the season, we suspect that will eventually be the case, with his long-term future in mind.
Henry (knee) has been placed on the PUP list, Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Henry tore the ACL in his right knee in May and will eventually be placed on injured reserve. He should have plenty of time to get healthy before Week 1 of 2019, at which point he'll step back in as the Chargers' No. 1 tight end. In the meantime, the Chargers are left with an uninspired group, though Antonio Gates may eventually be re-signed to help the situation.
It has been confirmed that Henry, who tore his right ACL on Tuesday, is slated to undergo season-ending surgery, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. Henry, who caught 45 passes (on 63 targets) for 579 yards and four TDs in 14 games last season, appeared poised for an uptick in production this year, with the team's intentions to move on from veteran tight end Antonio Gates, who logged 52 targets in 2017. In the wake of Henry's injury, however, it's conceivable that Gates could return to Los Angeles after all. Moreover, the likes of Julius Thomas, Coby Fleener and Marcedes Lewis, among others, are available in free agency. Offseason acquisition Virgil Green is on hand, but he profiles more as a blocker, thus it seems inevitable that the Chargers will add a tight end with pass-catching prowess to the mix, in short order.
Henry said he's ready to step up after learning that Antonio Gates won't be back with the Chargers, Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times reports. The No. 35 pick from the 2016 draft, Henry was one of the most efficient tight ends in the league on a per-target basis while splitting snaps with Gates the past two seasons. The 23-year-old parlayed 117 targets into 81 catches for 1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns in 29 games, essentially posting a single-season Rob Gronkowski stat line over the course of two years. With Gates replaced by blocking specialist Virgil Green in the Chargers' tight end room, Henry figures to improve upon last year's marks of 42.7 snaps and 4.5 targets per game. The 37-year-old Gates averaged 31.3 snaps and 3.3 targets in 16 games last season, despite looking like his age had finally caught up to him. Henry would push for high-end TE1 status if he were to maintain his impressive efficiency while taking on a sizable chunk of Gates' old workload. Henry is fully recovered from the kidney laceration that ended his 2017 campaign after Week 15.
Henry (abdomen) is healthy and participating in the Chargers' offseason program, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reports. Henry, who's bouncing back from a lacerated kidney, was seen running routes with the Chargers' first-team offense -- which is a unit that no longer features longtime tight end Antonio Gates, whose contract expired after the 2017 season. While there are still plenty of mouths to feed in the passing game -- namely receiver Keenan Allen, but also Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin and running back Melvin Gordon -- Henry is one of the best young talents at his position who already has proven his worth as a dangerous weapon downfield. As a second-year player in 2017, Henry earned 10.9 percent of quarterback Philip Rivers' passes. During Gates' early years from 2004 to 2008, the legendary tight end commanded 24.8 percent of the available targets. While Henry is unlikely to see that kind of usage given the receiving talent around him, he still has plenty of room to grow and is a great bet to make a significant statistical jump in 2018.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
|3||09/23||@Los Angeles Rams||19||6.82|
|4||09/30||San Francisco 49ers||18||6.75|
|15||12/14||@Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||58||40||528||6||31||13.20||88|