Dynasty’s Most Overvalued & Undervalued Tight Ends
Tight End is such a unique position in fantasy football. Everybody you ask seems to have a different approach when it comes to trying to secure the Tight End position in a startup. Whether you take the early shot to get the positional advantage by taking Travis Kelce or George Kittle, or you prefer the cheap upside players like Blake Jarwin, this article should give you some insight on who to buy at value and who to stay away from.
This is my final article on the dynasty overvalued/undervalued series so be sure to check out my thoughts on all the other positions here.
Undervalued: Kylen Granson, Indianapolis Colts – ADP: TE40
(Picture Credit: Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports)
Granson was drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 draft by the Indianapolis Colts out of SMU. The fact that he was undersized led people to believe he would go later in the draft, but the Colts saw things differently. His speed and burst are frankly being underrated. Matt Terpening who is the assistant director of college scouting for Indy talked about Granson on the Colts' official podcast stating that “he’s a total mismatch Tight End… The Kid’s got big-time speed” (Colts Official Podcast, 2021). Granson is a former wide receiver and has shown some struggles with his blocking ability which could take him off the field at times, but the Colts have said they plan to use him to create mismatches downfield against man to man. Frank Reich himself even shouted his praises this spring as he had an impressive rookie camp. The biggest reason I view Granson as undervalued is mostly because of his ADP as I am more than willing to pay TE40 prices as he can just sit on my bench (or even my Taxi) to see how he progresses in the NFL. Another important thing to mention is that the Colts lack receiving weapons big time, and Carson Wentz loves throwing to Tight Ends as he has supported a top-six tight end every season except 2020 and he was even able to support two top 10 tight ends in 2019. Wentz also led the entire NFL in targets to the Tight End position in 2019 (32.4%). Go buy Granson because he is so cheap that he is on 51% of waivers on the sleeper app. He may be my favorite stash of 2021.
Overvalued: Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team – ADP: TE10
Despite finishing as the TE4 in 2021 (PPR), the 30-year-old Tight End is being drafted too high. For starters, the big reason Thomas had his breakout year in 2021 was purely volume-based as the Washington Football Team had no other option but to throw him the ball. Outside of Terry McLaurin, they were very limited at receiving options, and Alex Smith has been known to favor Tight Ends his entire career (just ask Travis Kelce and Vernon Davis). With Ryan Fitzpatrick now at the helm and new weapons Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries, the massive volume he needed to succeed simply will not be there. Samuel and Humphries might not seem like huge threats, but Thomas was first among Tight Ends in routes run last year and played a ton of those from the slot which is where Humphries and Samuel thrive. My advice would be to sell high on the TE4 season and move away before the regression inevitably burns you.
Undervalued: Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots – ADP: TE17
(Picture Credit: Jim Mone / AP Photo)
The New England Patriots are going to look like a whole new team this season after going crazy during this free agency. One of those shiny new additions is Jonnu Smith who will play alongside the other new Tight End Hunter Henry. The fact that they have two high-profile Tight Ends is not something that makes me nervous because we know how dangerous a talented two-tight end set can be and the Pats have very little wide receiver talent. No offense to Nelson Aghalor or Kendrick Bourne, but this offenses passing game is going to run through Jonnu and Henry. Cam Newton (who will presumably be the starter) has also been very friendly to Tight Ends as we saw what Greg Olson was able to do with him in Carolina. In 2019 Cam Newton was 4th in the NFL in the percentage of passes going to the Tight End position (24.7%). The most important factor in this is that I believe in the talent of Jonnu Smith as he is extremely efficient with his targets finishing 6th in fantasy points per route run, and 3rd in fantasy points per target despite being 31st in target quality.
(Picture Credit: Player Profiler)
If I have not convinced you yet, Smith is only 25 years old and with an off-the-charts athletic profile, he can give you a TE1 week with just a single play. His ability to run after the catch is among one of the best in football and he will undoubtedly have big weeks. Let everyone else be scared off by the two tight-end packages and go buy Smith at his discounted price.
Overvalued: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – ADP: TE9
Do not get me wrong, there are a lot of things to like about Mike Gesicki. But one thing I do not like is the amount of competition for targets he is now facing in Miami. Devante Parker, Will Fuller V, Jaylen Waddle, Preston Williams, and Myles Gaskin will all get targets, so what would be left over for the Tight End? Last year with Tua at the helm, the Dolphins were only passing the ball 29 times per game. At best we are looking at about a 13% target share coming off his 15% season which I think is fair. That would leave Gesicki with around 64 targets (3.77 per game), and in a position where volume is so important, I do not think that is enough to get it done. Even if the passing volume increases, the number of mouths to feed on the offense caps his ceiling tremendously. His ceiling on this offense is the TE9 and drafting at a player's ceiling is a fool’s game. The upside is so important when drafting Tight Ends and although his floor might be safer, I want to spend my draft picks on guys who can win me weeks and give me that positional advantage. One thing I do want to note is that he will be a free agent next year and he could find himself making big money to be a primary weapon somewhere and I do still believe in his talent. I still hold out hope, but I do not like the price tag, and the time to buy him could be next year if we see a dip. I am worried about Gesicki’s ceiling in 2021 and for that reason, I do not feel good about spending TE9 prices on him in my next startup.
Undervalued: Evan Engram, New York Giants – ADP: TE12
I can guess that I am in the minority when it comes to believing in Evan Engram. Plenty of people have put their faith in him only for him to let them down year after year. We have all seen the clips of Engram dropping passes all over the field last season, and social media tearing him apart. Despite that, Engram has a lot to like this season. He has an off-the-charts athletic profile, and his lack of touchdowns last year (1) is guaranteed to go up as Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay are going to give the giants a lot more red zone opportunities. Engram also demands a lot of targets in this offense seeing the fifth most among any Tight End in football. His down year was also a down year for the entire Giants offense as it struggled to move the ball as they were 29th in passing yards, 26th in attempts, and dead last in passing touchdowns. Daniel Jones has another year to improve, and the team is just better as a whole in 2021. This will help take some eyes off Engram while also giving him more opportunities. I expect a big year from Engram this year and if Daniel Jones takes any sort of leap, I expect this offense to be much more efficient. Engram’s ceiling is a top 5 Tight End and that is what is important to me when taking my late round shots.
Overvalued: Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons – ADP: TE3
(Picture Credit: Randy Sartin / USA TODAY Sports)
Every overvalued and undervalued article I have written to date has a rookie on it who I think is overvalued. This is no exception because Kyle Pitts might be the most overhyped player in recent memory. I literally could not write this article without calling him overvalued because the hype train has gone so far that he is being drafted above Darren Waller. Yes, the same Darren Waller who has back-to-back top-three finishes, outscored the next closest Tight End by OVER 100 points and scored the 23rd most points among any position including quarterback. The hype has gone far enough, and although I think Pitts is most likely going to be a stud, I am not ready to dub him into the “Big 3” (Kittle, Kelce, Waller). Despite being one of the best prospects we have seen in years, there are still too many variables to instantly dub a rookie top three at his position. On top of that, we do not know what Atlanta’s future looks like as we can presume that Matt Ryan’s replacement is coming sooner rather than later which just adds another question mark. Do not count your eggs before they hatch, and do not count your fantasy points before someone ever steps on an NFL football field.