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, Darren Waller had a 13th round ADP. This year, he has a fifth round ADP.
Waller gave owners one hell of a positive return on investment.
On the flip side, O.J. Howard had a fifth round ADP. This year,
he is going undrafted. Thatís the type of pick we all hope
Letís take a look at which TEs I expect to outperform their
ADPs and which I expect to fail.
The case for Goedert being undervalued: He was
a low end TE1 in 2019 despite being a backup to Zach Ertz.
The case against Goedert being undervalued:
Heís still behind Zach Ertz, which could cap his upside.
Verdict: This is a bet on opportunity catching
up to talent. Dallas Goedert is one of the most talented tight
ends in the NFL. Heís a massive human at 6í5, 256
lbs with 73rd percentile burst and 79th percentile agility. Goedert
was the TE10 last season with just a 69.3% snap share and 15.6%
target share. Yet, for some reason, heís currently being
drafted at the very end of fantasy drafts as the TE16. Even if
nothing changes for Goedert this season, thereís no reason
to believe he canít be a back end TE1 once again. Goedert
remains a massive red zone target. He scored just one fewer touchdown
(5) than his teammate, Zach Ertz (6).
The Eagles enter the 2020 season with a lot of questions at wide
receiver. DeSean Jackson is 34 years old and played just three
games last season. Alshon Jeffery may not even make the team.
Greg Ward was signed off the street in the middle of last season.
Jalen Reagor is very talented, but heís a rookie attempting
to learn a new offense and develop chemistry with his quarterback
without a minicamp and preseason games. The Eagles are going to
run a ton of 12 and 22 personnel, keeping Goedert on the field
with Ertz. It would not surprise me if Goedert was third on the
team in targets.
We have a bunch of reasons to believe in Goedert and I havenít
even mentioned Goedertís potential if Ertz were to get hurt.
Goedert is a high end TE1 in any game Ertz misses. If you wait
on tight end this season target guys like Goedert at the very
end of your draft.
The case for Smith being undervalued: After
three seasons behind Delanie
Walker, itís Jonnu Smithís time to shine.
The case against Smith being undervalued: The
Titans remain a run-first offense and the passing game will funnel
through A.J. Brown.
Verdict: Jonnu Smith is entering his fourth NFL season and heís
still just 25 years old. Smith has elite athleticism with upper
percentile speed, burst, and a massive catch radius. Last season,
Smith averaged 3.34 FPts/G in games where Delanie Walker played
and 8.8 FPts/G when Walker did not play. The latter would have
put him at TE13 for the season. Even if he doesnít improve
at all, Smith is a good bet to provide at least some value at
Smith should improve, though. The Titans offense was more efficient
once Ryan Tannehill supplanted Marcus Mariota at quarterback.
Smith scored just three touchdowns last season and recorded an
11.1% target share. For context, Walkerís target share in
the six games he played last season was 18.8%. Thereís every
reason to believe Smithís target share can meet or exceed
Walkerís. Thereís also reason to believe Smith, in
his fourth season, playing the most difficult position in the
NFL to master, with his first full offseason as the unquestioned
starter, will make a leap in ability. The Titans starting tight
end offers considerable upside and zero downside.
The case for Waller being overvalued: The Raiders
added multiple offensive weapons that may reduce Wallerís target
The case against Waller being overvalued: Waller
was the runaway target leader on the Raiders last season and could
retain that role in 2020.
Verdict: If you read this article last year, you may remember
I had Darren Waller in the Undervalued section and he was an absolute
smash. I said he may command 80-90 targets and he ended up with
117. The next highest targeted Raider was Hunter Renfrow with
71. While I still love Waller as a talent and believe he will
be an excellent tight end for the Raiders, Iím not interested
in him as a fantasy option with his fifth round price tag. Aside
from the opportunity cost of passing on the tremendous WR value
where Waller is going, there are just too many reasons to fade
Waller at his cost.
On the macro level, mid-round TEs are typically a bad value.
You either want the elite of the elite (the Kittles and Kelces
of the world) or to throw late-round darts (like Waller in 2019).
Waller broke out at age 27 after converting from wide receiver.
Heís had exactly one productive NFL season. I believe it
is legitimate, but I must acknowledge the chance Iím wrong
making a fifth round pick too rich for me.
Waller seems unlikely to have a better season than he did in
2019. He saw 117 targets and posted a 76.9% catch rate on his
way to being the TE6 last season. He did score just three touchdowns
when five or six shouldíve been the likely outcome.
With that being said, positive touchdown regression would correlate
with a sustained target share. With the addition of Henry Ruggs,
Bryan Edwards, Lynn Bowden Jr., and Jason Witten, itís hard
to imagine Wallerís targets not coming down. With reduced
targets, heís simply not going to be able to replicate his
13.6 FPts. Waller is going to be a fine fantasy TE this year,
but he is being drafted at his ceiling and overvalued in the fifth
The case for Engram being overvalued: The Giants
have an inaccurate quarterback and four other capable pass catchers.
The case against Engram being overvalued: Despite
the abundance of pass catchers, Engram has top three upside if
he could stay healthy.
Verdict: While target competition is a concern for Evan Engram
with the Giants also featuring Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard,
Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton, Engramís production on
the field not my primary concern. I do believe Engram will be
a top six TE when he plays. The problem is the lack of playing
football. Since Week 16 of 2017, Engram has sustained seven different
injuries, with the most recent one being a Week 9 mid-foot sprain
resulting in Lisfranc surgery. Engram has missed 13 of a possible
32 games the past two seasons.
Living in New York and being a previous advocate of Engram, Iíve
watched him play a lot Ė he runs dangerously and does very
little to protect himself from big hits or awkward falls. I hate
throwing the term ďinjury proneĒ around because it
is severely overused, but Engram is definitely a reckless player
likely to find himself on the injury report.
Reiterating the point about mid-round TEs being a bad value,
Engram just isnít worth a sixth round pick. If you put his
eight games in 2019 against final season numbers, Engram would
have finished as the TE6. I wonít say heís being drafted
at his ceiling because I do think Engram has top three upside
if he could stay healthy. He actually averaged 2.1 more FPts/G
last season than he did during his TE4 finish as a rookie. Unfortunately,
I have no confidence in Engram to remain on the field and would
not consider him unless he fell considerably in my drafts.