Henry will likely remain the No. 1 tight end for the Patriots this season, but he has competition for targets in new addition Mike Gesicki. Henry is only worth drafting with a late-round pick in tight-end premium leagues. In two seasons in New England, Henry has underperformed with 91 catches for 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns on 134 targets, and he averaged just 6.1 PPR points per game in 2022. He should improve in 2023 with a better offensive system under new coordinator Bill O'Brien, but Gesicki should prove to be tougher competition for targets compared to Jonnu Smith. At best, Henry could be a red-zone threat for the Patriots like he was in 2021 when he scored nine touchdowns, and he averaged 9.7 PPR points per game that year. But if he plays to that level, just add him off the waiver wire.
Coming off a down 2022, Henry will look to rebound in a contract season.
New England’s offense looks better, thanks in large part to the addition of OC Bill O’Brien. Henry’s track record shows he can be a TE1 spot-starter, but you’re ultimately targeting him as a waiver wire add outside of deep leagues or best ball.
What We Learned Last YearHenry’s numbers regressed across the board. His 59 targets, 41 catches, 509 yards, and two TDs last year all marked his fewest since his 2016 rookie year.He played a full slate of games for the first time in his career. Henry still saw his target share drop from 14.3% (2021) to 11.3% (2022).Unsurprisingly, Henry wasn’t a major fantasy factor. He finished as a top-12 TE only three times. Among 27 TEs with 50+ targets, Henry sat 13th in catch rate, fourth in yards per catch, and 11th in yards after catch per reception. So it wasn't like Henry showed he's washed up at 28.Henry wasn’t lifted up by a Pats offense that ranked 22nd in pass attempts, 21st in passing yards, and 28th in red zone attempts per game.Mac Jones regressed in several key metrics last year (completion rate, on-target rate, yards per attempt, TD rate).
What to Expect in 2023The Pats moved on from No. 2 TE Jonnu Smith, who saw only 38 targets in 14 games. New England invested in free agent TE Mike Gesicki with a one-year deal ($3.5 million guaranteed). He’s an upgrade on Smith – but not a lock for a major role.In 2022, Gesicki set four-year lows in routes run (379), targets (52), catches (32), and yards (362).Gesicki is more receiver than blocker and has experience playing slot and out wide. He’s not a threat to steal serious in-line snaps from Henry.New England’s No. 1 target projects as JuJu Smith-Schuster, who joined the club on a 3-year deal that includes $16 million guaranteed.New OC Bill O’Brien arrives as an upgrade on a ‘22 staff that featured Matt Patricia in a key offensive role. New England will look for more from third-year QB Mac Jones. We see a rebound given the upgrade at OC.
Henry is entering his third season in New England after what was easily the worst fantasy campaign of his career. Despite appearing in all 17 games for the second season in a row, the 2016 second-round pick finished 24th among tight ends in targets and 27th in fantasy PPG. Henry fell from 12 end zone targets and a position-high nine TDs in 2021 to one end zone target and two TDs in 2022. Henry's most productive games came when Jonnu Smith was sidelined last season, and the team has upgraded to a better pass-catching TE as his running mate in Mike Gesicki. Henry has limited upside (his best fantasy finish was ninth in 2019), and the 28-year-old is no more than a fringe TE2.