Tight Ends to Avoid (2021 Fantasy Football)
Lofty production from a TE will likely win you weeks, if not seasons. Last year, Travis Kelce (TE1) scored more than 10 points per game than the TE12 (Hunter Henry).
Now, everyone wants the next Darren Waller, George Kittle, or Mark Andrews — someone you can target in the mid-to-late rounds who rises to a league-winning level of consistency. However, because the thirst for these players is so great, many TEs are being drafted way too early. Here are three TEs to avoid in your fantasy draft.
Average Draft Position (ADP) referenced is based on FantasyPros Consensus ADP for half-PPR formats.
Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA)
Overall ADP: #104 (TE11)
Last season, Gesicki finished as the TE7. That’s his ceiling in 2021. The Dolphins added electric WRs Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller in the offseason, giving QB Tua Tagovailoa a plethora of proven receiving options to target. The problem for Gesicki is that Tagovailoa, in his rookie season, finished 33rd in the NFL in passing yards per game (181.4). This number is bound to improve, but unless you’re banking on a miraculous season and complete offensive scheme change, it likely won’t see a big enough boost to offset the additions of Fuller and Waddle. Lastly, even as TE7 last season, Gesicki averaged 10.6 points per game. The TE17, Tyler Higbee, averaged 8.6. Two fantasy points per game is not enough to warrant his being selected rounds ahead of TEs with higher upside.
Robert Tonyan (TE – GB)
Overall ADP: #122 (TE13)
Tonyan’s ADP will likely rise in the coming weeks, given the recent news of QB Aaron Rodgers’ commitment to playing one last season in Green Bay. This makes Tonyan the perfect candidate to fade. Despite the Packers having notably thin depth at WR, Tonyan didn’t finish top-3 on his team in targets last season. You wouldn’t know it by how highly-touted Tonyan is, but the Packers actually have a ton of depth at TE (Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, Josiah Deguara). Despite playing 16 games last season, Tonyan was on the field for more than 67% of the Packers’ snaps once and never more than 73%. Repeat after me: TOUCHDOWNS FLUCTUATE. Do not chase his TD total from last season.
Rob Gronkowski (TE – TB)
Overall ADP: #105 (TE10)
There are way higher ceilings to be found when picking a TE late. Gronk will definitely have one or two multi-touchdown games, but good luck predicting when those will be. The Bucs offense features a multitude of talented WRs, TEs, and RBs for QB Tom Brady to feed. Where Gronkowski is being selected, I’d rather take a TE who will likely be their team’s #3 option with the potential to be #2, such as Tyler Higbee, Irv Smith Jr, Evan Engram, Jared Cook, or Adam Trautman.
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