Every year, rest assured someone at some point during each your
draft will utter some variation of the words “value pick.”
But what exactly is a value pick? What is value? Value is a relative
term that changes based on public perception. When I consider
value, I’m looking for a positive return on my investment.
Just because a player has an a fourth round ADP and is still sitting
there in the sixth round does not make him good value. At the
same time, taking a player a round or two above his ADP is not
necessarily bad value. Again, everything is relative. My goal
in every pick I make is to take a player I believe will have a
higher ADP the following season. Last season, Melvin Gordon had
a fifth round ADP. This year, he has a first round ADP. Gordon
gave owners one hell of a positive return on investment. On the
flip side, Brandon Marshall had a second round ADP. This year,
he has a sixth round ADP. That’s the type of pick we all
hope to avoid.
We begin this year’s value series with a look at which
tight ends I expect to outperform their ADPs and which I expect
The case for Fiedorowicz being undervalued:
After barely playing the first three weeks of the season, CJF
saw no fewer than five targets in each game from weeks 4-17 (with
the exception of the Week 15 game he missed) and had at least
seven targets in nine of those games. He was a safe, reliable
high floor fantasy option.
The case against Fiedorowicz being undervalued:
He only topped 50 yards three times all season and is tied to
a low octane offense with a new starting quarterback and a highly
questionable rookie waiting in the wings.
Verdict: You shouldn’t go into
your drafts targeting Fiedorowicz, but rather treat him as a backup
plan if you decide to wait on the position. With 18 TEs currently
going before him, there’s no real risk he won’t fall to you nor
does his 13th round draft stock present any issues should you
need to replace him. He can literally be the last position player
you take. In his final 12 games in 2016, CJF was a TE1 averaging
a hair under 11 PPR points per game. He did that with Brock Osweiler
as his starting quarterback. CJF should be a safety valve for
Tom Savage, especially early in the season as Savage gets acclimated
to the starting role. If DeShaun Watson ultimately does take over,
it’s not a death sentence. I view Watson is a low ceiling prospect
that doesn’t have the tools to succeed at the NFL level, particularly
due to his incredibly low throwing velocity. That’s bad news for
DeAndre Hopkins on the outside, but shouldn’t be a problem for
Fiedorowicz on check downs over the middle. Fiedorowicz’s ceiling
is somewhere in the TE 8-12 range, but he is a near lock to outperform
his outrageous TE19 ADP and makes for a great, high weekly floor
option if you want to wait on the TE position.
The case for Hooper being undervalued:
He showed flashes as a rookie last year and now enters 2017 as
the starting tight end with Jacob Tamme gone.
The case against Hooper being undervalued:
He saw just 27 targets last season and it’s virtually impossible
for the Falcons’ offense to repeat its 2016 efficiency.
Verdict: I’m a huge fan of
what Hooper brings to the table. He’s the starting TE on
an elite offense without much competition in the passing game
outside of Julio Jones. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are
both outstanding pass catchers out of the backfield, but I imagine
if Matt Ryan could throw to receivers a bit more, he’d like
to do so. Hooper can be one of those guys. Rookie tight ends are
rarely productive but we did see reasons for a bright future.
Hooper caught 70.4% of his targets and averaged over 11 PPR points
per game in the two games where he was targeted at least five
times. His efficiency is likely to take a hit with the increased
volume, but the mere fact that he was efficient proves that Hooper
is a strong pass catcher capable of making an impact. There’s
simply no way there are 21 TEs you can justify taking ahead of
him. If you want a more volatile weekly option with a higher ceiling
than Fiedorowicz, Hooper is your guy.
Oslen has been a model of consistency the
last 3 years but you're buying high at his current price tag.
The case for Olsen being overvalued:
Olsen is now 32 years old on a team that appears to be trending
The case against Olsen being overvalued:
He’s hovered right round 80 receptions and eclipsed 1,000 yards
receiving for three straight seasons.
Verdict: Greg Olsen is an excellent
football player, but an overvalued fantasy player. A common misconception
with the term “overrated” or, in this case, “overvalued,” is the
implication that it means “bad.” Olsen is not bad. He’s actually
quite good and will be a TE1 this season. He just isn’t worth
a fifth round pick and likely won’t be in the top four at his
position. Aside from the fact that I think the Panthers bubble
is ready to burst and they are far closer to falling to the bottom
than climbing back to the top, Olsen is being drafted before TEs
with higher ceilings where his floor cannot justify his draft
cost. Kyle Rudolph and Zach Ertz were ever so slightly better
in PPR fantasy points per game than Olsen last year. Rudolph is
going Round 8 and Ertz is going Round 10.
Here’s a fun fact: in his last 22 regular season games, Olsen
has scored just four touchdowns. He had three all of last season
and he’s pretty much been the primary option in the passing game
for the majority of his Panthers career. The Panthers added Christian
McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel this off-season. If Olsen’s volume
dips even a little, he doesn’t have the touchdown upside to make
up for it and certainly won’t be able to justify a fifth round
price tag. If you’re not going after Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed,
or Travis Kelce, you’re far better off waiting as Olsen is closer
to the Rudolph’s and Ertz’es of the world than he is to the Gronk’s
and the Reed’s.
The case for Henry being overvalued:
He’s talented, but lacks volume in an offense loaded with
The case against Henry being overvalued:
He’s really talented and a huge red zone target coming off
a year with incredible efficiency numbers.
Verdict: I absolutely love Hunter
Henry the NFL player. I expect him to one day be one of the elite
tight ends with a third or fourth round ADP. Here’s the
problem for 2017: His 2016 performance relied largely on touchdowns.
He scored eight of them, which is mighty impressive given he never
had a multi-touchdown game and caught three passes or fewer in
nine of the 13 games he played. He had 20 receiving yards or fewer
in seven games. Do I think Henry should see a significantly increased
target share in 2017? Absolutely. But, the biggest obstacle in
Henry’s way is the surefire future hall of famer that refuses
to die - Antonio Gates. The man is now 37 years old, but he and
Philip Rivers have a connection and that’s not going to
change. As long as Gates is a Charger, he will be involved and
more specifically, involved on third downs and in the redzone,
severely capping Henry’s opportunity and target share. It’s
entirely possible that once Gates breaks the touchdown record,
they phase him out, but the more likely outcome is that he’s
not good enough for consistent standalone value, but is just enough
of a nuisance to prevent Henry from truly realizing his potential.
In the ninth round as the TE10, you’re drafting Henry to be a
TE1. That cost is too high considering the timeshare. Zach Ertz,
Jack Doyle, and Eric Ebron have far more secure roles and are
all available after Henry is typically drafted. I honestly hope
I’m wrong on this one because I like Henry, but I think we’re
going to have to wait one more year for the breakout.