Rest assured someone at some point during each of your drafts
will utter some variation of the words ďvalue pick.Ē
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, Iím 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
perform at a level above where I drafted him. Last season, George Kittle had a 12th round ADP. This year, he has a third round ADP.
Kittle gave owners one hell of a positive return on investment.
On the flip side, Jimmy Graham had a fifth round ADP. This year,
he has a 13th round ADP. Thatís the type of pick we all
hope to avoid.
Letís take a look at which TEs I expect to outperform their
ADPs and which I expect to fail.
Overvalued: Eric Ebron's unsustainable
touchdown efficiency vaulted him to the TE4 in 2018.
The case for Eifert being undervalued: Eifert
is still an elite athlete under the age of 30 that is a few years
removed from a 13 touchdown season.
The case against Eifert being undervalued: Eifert
hasnít played a whole lot of football since 2015 and likely wonít
be able to stay on the field this year either.
Verdict: For the most part, tight ends are properly
valued this year so I need to dig deep to find the value. Eifert
can be had at the steep price of nothing. You can literally take
him in the last round. Travis
Kelce is in a tier by himself at the top. After Kelce, there
is George Kittle
and Zach Ertz.
Next, we have O.J. Howard, Evan
Engram, and Hunter
Henry. Beyond that, you might as well stream the position.
Rather than spend a valuable draft pick on a replaceable TE, just
take Eifert. If Eifert fails, you drop him and youíre in the same
position you would have been in regardless. Assuming he makes
it through the preseason unscathed, Eifert is going to be starting
for the Bengals in Week 1. Perhaps he regains even 75% of his
old form. Heís still a monster red zone target and capable of
producing mid TE1 numbers if things break right. If not, he didnít
cost you anything to begin with.
The case for Waller being undervalued: Waller
is a super athlete, just 27 years old, and projects to start in
a position where Jared Cook saw 101 targets last season.
The case against Waller being undervalued: The
Raiders may be a low volume passing target and when they do throw,
the bulk of those passes are going towards Antonio
Verdict: The reason Waller is so intriguing is because he is
a converted wide receiver. That makes him more athletic than almost
every TE in the league. At 6í6, he is a legitimate red zone
option and despite the addition of Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams,
the Raiders are seriously lacking in the ancillary passing game
options. Waller could easily slide in as that third option. 80-90
targets are not outside the realm of possibilities. Waller, like
Eifert, is not currently being drafted. There is really no justification
for taking guys like Kyle Rudolph or Dallas Goedert over Eifert
and Waller. Rudolph has no upside and Goedert is literally a backup
TE. Gamble on Waller and if things donít work out, I promise
you can stream players that produce more weekly fantasy points
than most of the current double-digit ADP tight ends.
The case for Ebron being overvalued: Ebron is
coming off career highs in all statistical categories, which is
The case against Ebron being overvalued:Andrew
Luck may throw 40 touchdowns this season and he likes targeting
the TE in the red zone.
Verdict: Ebron posted career highs in targets (110), receptions
(66), yards (750), and touchdowns (13) last season. Just take
a look at those numbers for a moment. Ebron scored a touchdown
once every five receptions. That type of efficiency is absurd
and there is no chance he can repeat it. To be fair, he doesnít
need to score 13 touchdowns again to justify his ADP. The problem
is, I would be surprised if he even got to eight this season.
Luck leaned on Ebron out of necessary as 13 of his receptions,
3 of his touchdowns, and 176 of his yards came in the two games
T.Y. Hilton missed. Jack Doyle only played in six games. The Colts
WR2 was a combination of Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers. Marlon
Mack only played in 12 games. This season, the Colts have a healthy
Jack Doyle, Marlon Mack, and plan on integrating Nyheim Hines
even more into the passing game. They signed Devin Funchess and
drafted Parris Campbell. There are so many more weapons at Luckís
disposal; he just has no reason to lean on Ebron like he did last
season. Ebron could easily lose 30-40 targets and combined with
a decrease in efficiency, he is unlikely to return value anywhere
near his price.
The case for Hockenson being overvalued: Hockenson
is a rookie TE on a run first offense and a team that does not
have a great history of TE success.
The case against Hockenson being overvalued:
Heís very athletic and could shock the world with a productive
Verdict: Full disclosure, it was very difficult for me to say
anything positive about T.J. Hockenson. Heís not a bad player
by any stretch, but he is not this generational talent he is being
made out to be. Heís an above average/good player that will
need time to develop like almost every other tight end in NFL
history. Even Evan Engramís rookie season was a product
of circumstance in him being the only real option in the passing
game. Hockenson is competing with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones
for targets. He is also no lock to see the majority of the TE
snaps after the Lions went out of their way to sign Jesse James.
The TE position is the most difficult position to transition from
college to the pros. Hockenson is a smart kid, but he will need
time to acclimate. Rookie TEs just donít produce fantasy
numbers and it does not make sense to draft Hockenson at all,
let alone as a TE1. Add in the fact that Matt Patricia is secretly
one of the worst coaches in the NFL (wonít be much of a
secret after this season) with his run-first scheme despite possessing
a team built to succeed through the air, Hockenson may be asked
to block more than fantasy owners care to admit. It is very difficult
to paint any realistic picture by which Hockenson is fantasy relevant
as a rookie.