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 fifth round ADP. This year, he has a second round
ADP. The rise in ADP is due entirely to his performance. Waller
gave owners one hell of a positive return on investment. On the
flip side, Zach Ertz also had a fifth round ADP. This year, he
is going undrafted mostly due to his poor performance. 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.
The case for Higbee being undervalued: He has
a proven TE1 ceiling and Gerald
Everett is gone.
The case against Higbee being undervalued: After
his torrid finish to 2019, Higbee was barely a TE2 in 2020.
Verdict: This is less about Tyler Higbee and
more about the other tight ends ahead of him. Travis
Kelce and Darren
Waller both provide fantasy managers with a clear edge at
the position. George
Kittle does as well, but to a lesser extent. Beyond those
three, the separation between TEs is much smaller. Higbee averaged
8.4 FPts/G last season, but also had just a 56.7% route participation
and 11.3% target share. The reason for this was Gerald Everett,
who had a 46.7% route participation and an identical 11.3% target
share. Higbee was splitting the role and being asked to block
a lot. While heís still going to be used as a blocker this season,
it is rational to project an increase in routes run.
The Rams also have an excellent offensive line, which should
allow Higbee to spend more time running routes. We can also expect
a relatively consolidated target distribution, with the focal
point of the passing game being Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and
Following the devastating news about Cam Akers, the kneejerk
reaction was to pencil Darrell Henderson as the primary beneficiary.
While thatís certainly going to be the case, itís
likely the Rams just up the passing volume a bit, especially given
the upgrade at quarterback from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford.
Higbee just needs to increase his FPts/G by one or two points
to get to around 10 FPts/G, which is where the vast majority of
low TE1s lie. I like Noah Fant, Dallas Goedert, and Logan Thomas,
but by no means are they 3-4 rounds more valuable than Higbee.
If you donít take one of the big three, you can wait and
grab Higbee in the double-digit rounds.
The case for Smith being undervalued: Although
heís on a new team, the Patriots have no clear alpha pass catcher,
leaving the door open for Jonnu to ascend.
The case against Smith being undervalued: The
Patriots signed Hunter
Henry, who could just as likely be the primary TE in New England.
Verdict: Iíve seen enough Twitter debates on
Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry over who is more talented, more likely
to be the primary TE, and more likely to be the better fantasy
asset than I care to admit. My take on it is I really donít know.
Both players are talented and both could lead this team in targets.
So why is Smith undervalued? Because for some reason, heís
going 4-5 rounds later than Henry. It just doesnít make
any sense. The Patriotsí top three receivers project to
be Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne. They are
going to run two-TE sets often. It wouldnít shock me if
neither was fantasy relevant. It wouldnít shock me if both
were fantasy relevant. The simple fact is their ADPs should be
much closer than they are. Both have a relatively wide range of
outcomes, but included in those outcomes is being a mid-to-low
TE1. To take the shot on Henry, we have to pay an eighth or ninth
round price. To take the shot on Smith, it costs basically nothing.
Give me the cheaper guy.
The case for Andrews being overvalued: The Ravens
are a run-heavy offense that just beefed up their WR corps.
The case against Andrews being overvalued: He
averaged 13.9 FPts/G in 2019 and the Ravens should see an uptick
in passing volume this season.
Verdict: I couldnít be more out on Mark Andrews
this season. The issue is not his rank amongst TEs Ė heís exactly
where he should be. The issue is his ADP overall. Why would I
spend a fifth round pick on a TE thatís going to average maybe
one or two FPts/G more than a random 10th round TE or a streamer?
Last season, Andrews was the TE4, averaging 12.2 FPts/G. The
worst TE1 typically averages about 10 FPts/G. Is a 2.2 FPts/G
difference worth over five rounds of value? I donít think
Additionally, I donít like Andrewsí potential to
have any sort of spike season. When drafting a TE other than in
the double-digit rounds, I want guaranteed elite production or
I want plausible upside. Andrews is a part-time player (67% snap
share in 2020) on the most run-heavy offense in the NFL (57% run
rate the past two seasons) with the greatest rushing QB of all
time that just added three wide receivers, including selecting
one in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Where is the path
to anything more than 12 or 13 FPts/G for Andrews? Andrews is
still clearly a top 5-6 TE, but heís just not multiple rounds
better than many TEs ranked below him.
The case for Gesicki being overvalued: Heís
a t-shirt and shorts superstar that never plays to his athleticism
on the field.
The case against Gesicki being overvalued: He
posted a respectable TE8 season in 2020 and could conceivably
do it again.
Verdict: There are a lot of factors working
against Gesicki repeating his modest mid-TE1 performance from
2020. Although Gesicki was the overall TE8 last year, he averaged
just 10.6 FPts/G, just 0.6 FPts/G more than the TE12. The difference
between all TEs not named Kelce, Waller, or Kittle was negligible
Gesicki is being drafted six spots lower at the TE position than
where he finished last season. So how exactly is he a bad value?
First, letís look at how Gesicki got to be the TE8 last
season. In Weeks 2, 13, and 14, Gesicki scored over 23 fantasy
points in each week, totaling 74.3 points. That accounted for
46.6% of his total fantasy points on the season. Gesicki played
in 15 games and scored nearly half his fantasy points in just
three of them. He was great for those three weeks where he averaged
24.7 FPts/G. In his other 12 games, he averaged 7.1 FPts/G. You
can stream 7.1 FPts/G with the likes of Dan Arnold. For 12 games
last season, Gesicki was putting up TE24 numbers. You got elite
WR1 level production three times and sub-stream level production
the other 12 times. Is that guy even worth drafting? Maybe the
three spike weeks sway you a bit. Fair enough.
Second, letís look at what the Dolphins did this offseason.
They signed Will Fuller and drafted Jaylen Waddle with the sixth
overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. DeVante Parker remains, and
Preston Williams should return as the teamís WR4. At least
the first three are definitively ahead of Gesicki in the target
hierarchy. You can make a strong case for the running back (presumably
Myles Gaskin) and Williams as well. Gesicki only saw 85 targets
last season and thereís a decent chance he struggles to
surpass that number even with an extra game tacked onto the season.
Finally, we have the quarterback situation. Gesicki averaged
11.6 FPts/G with Ryan Fitzpatrick against just 9.7 FPts/G with
Tua Tagovailoa. Gesicki is not expensive in 2021 fantasy drafts,
but he comes with a very low ceiling and an equally low chance
of hitting it. You should take your shot at hitting on a late-round