USFL NETWORK INSIDER TIP: While talking to the Michigan Panther’s edge rusher, Chase DeMoor, we discovered an interesting fact about the Panther’s tight ends. THEY CAN’T CATCH! We had a feeling that this was true from their prior statistics, and our suspicions have now been confirmed that Magnifico and Pettway were drafted primarily for their run-blocking abilities. With that being said, there will be formations with DeMoor actually coming in on goal lines to catch passes. This is the reason why none of the Panther TEs have made this list.
1. Sage Surratt- Birmingham Stallions
There is a lot of mystery surrounding how good the Wake Forrest Alum can be. From his first start, he has been a star to watch by receiving the ACC Rookie of the week. He then went on to be the ACC Receiver of the Week in half of his starts his sophomore year. After producing an impressive stat line of 66-1001-11 in only 9 starts in his junior year before suffering a season-ending injury that effectively ended his career at Wake Forest. This will be the first we have seen of Sage since 2019 and he has had plenty of time to fully recover from his injury.
2. Bug Howard- Philadelphia Stars
The Bug is back! Better late than never is what I always say. The sure-handed tight end out of UNC is a very strong candidate for the top tight end in the league. He only missed two games in his college career and only dropped four passes in four seasons. He is a big receiver, but he is not a big tight end. This means there is not a chance the Stars drafting him for his blocking abilities. He is not only a possession receiver but is also a guy who can stretch the field as he showed many times at North Carolina. This means he can be a boom with no bust. The Stars are already geared up to continue where they left off in the Spring league when Andrus and Bryan Scott won the championship, and I think Howard could be a big key in their success in the new league. Howard was late to show up to training camp, so his spot is not as secure as a fantasy owner might hope, but this risk comes with a high reward.
3. Cary Angeline- Birmingham Stallions
Angeline will be splitting time with Sage Surrat, which lowers his fantasy stock and makes him much more of a blocking option for the Stallions. With that being said there is still a lot to be excited about when it comes to this tight end. He was a basketball player in high school and according to scout reports, it shows in his ball-catching skills. In his final year at NC State he produced an impressive stat line of 27-529-5 and was fifth nationally in receiving touchdowns among all tight ends in the NCAA. Angeline did earn his spot onto multiple NFL teams before finally landing here in the USFL. This means he should still be fresh and well-practiced going into the returning season.
4. Matt Seybert- Pittsburg Maulers
Seybert comes in number four primarily for his potential. He did average almost three catches per game in his senior season at Michigan State, but that is not enough to prove to anyone that he belongs in the USFL. What he did do is explode at the combine. Seybert ranked first in the bench press and third in the three-cone drill among all TEs at the 2020 combine. This was enough to get some NFL attention, but he was shortly released and landed him on the Maulers. There is a very high boom or bust possibility here and it will be interesting to follow his progression throughout the season. In terms of fantasy, I would only take him if it were an 8-team league or there was a TE slot on your roster. Either way, you could get him late.
5. Nicholas Truesdell- New Jersey Generals
To this point, it is still unsure who the starter will be in New Jersey. Personally, I like Truesdell more than Bowman or Williams as a fantasy option, even if he was drafted after. He had some success in the XFL with a promising stat line of 9 catches for 91 yards in three starts. This might mean that he was just getting started and never had a chance to get into his groove. This could make for a productive season in fantasy in the USFL. As of now, I must keep him right in the middle of the pack because of the team’s uncertainty at the TE position.
6. Brandon Barnes- Houston Gamblers
Barnes is a pass-catching tight end out of Alabama State that played for the Wildcats in the XFL. He was a consistent receiver but only amounted to about 3 catches for 30 yards a game. He did suffer a season-ending injury during the XFL season, and his statistics had previously started to improve which can give fantasy owners hope for his success in the USFL. Unfortunately, because of his lack of fantasy value on his previous teams, there is not much hope for his odds in the USFL. But if TEs are a necessity in your league he could be a very consistent low scorer with an average chance of having a respectable day.
7. Cheyenne O’Grady- Tampa Bay Bandits
The Bandits TE room is very similar, and it is still unknown who will start come week one. I like O’Grady more simply for his lack of XFL statistics. Hampton averaged one catch a game in the XFL and that doesn’t excite me for his fantasy value in the USFL. In O’Grady’s last 15 games at Arkansas, he produced 63-772-9 which gives me hope for the Bandits. However, scouts did knock Cheyenne for his weight, height, and speed as a stereotypical tight end, so hopefully the Bandits will be creative with how they use him, and he doesn’t get lost as simply a run-blocker.
8. EJ Bibbs- New Orleans Breakers
This Iowa State Alumni amassed 84-844-10 in two seasons for the Cyclones. This was a very impressive collegiate career that had him bouncing around the NFL for multiple years and eventually landing in the XFL. For the Guardians, Bibbs caught six passes for 55 yards in five starts. This was not a stand-out performance by any means and is the reason he is so low on this list. It does mean that he will most likely be the starter for the breakers over Cannella.
9. Chase DeMoor- Michigan Panthers
This could be a sneaky pick-up. As of now DeMoor is not listed as a TE and is not even an option to draft in fantasy. As he told us here at the USFL Network, he is going to be coming in on goal-line situations. Red zone targets are a goldmine for fantasy owners, with just one catch per game creating flex potential. Still at the bottom of our list, but something to keep an eye on.