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Tight Ends To Avoid (2022 Fantasy Football)

Tight Ends To Avoid (2022 Fantasy Football)

It is a well-known fact that the tight end position is the most barren of all positions in fantasy football. In 2021 the overall TE1 Mark Andrews scored 103.1 more PPR fantasy points than the overall TE4, George Kittle. This makes it all the more important to make the right decisions when rostering tight ends for your dynasty squad. There is a difference between taking a calculated risk and grasping at straws. Knowing who you should be targeting is essential, but knowing who is fool’s gold can be just as paramount.

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Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA)

Excitement was brewing in the fantasy football community ahead of the franchise tag period when it was rumored that the Los Angeles Chargers would be aggressively pursuing soon-to-be free-agent tight end Mike Gesicki. Alas, the Miami Dolphins had a different idea, placing him under the $10.9 million tight-end franchise tag for the 2022 season. If Gesicki would have had an uptick in fantasy value had he signed with the Chargers is something we won’t know until at least the 2023 season, if ever. Now the question becomes if he can remain a consistent target for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and can take advantage of high-value targets and opportunities.

Mike Gesicki is a high-risk tight end as long as he is in Miami. While Tua showed improvement over the last season, much like Jalen Hurts, there are still questions about his true fantasy football ceiling. His 2021 finish as the overall QB26 despite missing four games – and significant time in two others – is encouraging. However, even if Tua does have a breakout, there is no guarantee that it benefits Gesicki. He will still be competing for targets with DeVante Parker and rookie sensation Jaylen Waddle, not to mention the addition of pass-catching capable running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert.

With the addition of Edmonds and Mostert to compete with incumbent running back Myles Gaskin, Miami feels like a team that will be focusing more on running the ball in 2022. Someone in the receiving corps will suffer a downturn in overall production, and my guess is it will be Gesicki. If this team does go more run-heavy, he becomes a liability as a blocker and will lose out on opportunities for work in the red zone, and with Jaylen Waddle, the clear favorite target for Tua, don’t expect Gesicki to finish higher than a low-to-mid TE2 in 2022.  

Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)

Tight end is a position that is very much boom-and-bust in fantasy football, and Dallas Goedert was a prime example of this last season. Partially to blame was an up-and-down season from quarterback Jalen Hurts. Another part was sharing time and targets with Zack Ertz ahead of him being traded to the Arizona Cardinals. However you want to assign blame, Goedert finished 2021 as the overall PPR TE11. That sounds great, and it is, but Goedert was never a guy who was a smash play in any given week. He only managed double-digit fantasy point outputs in eight games, and only three – two of which were 20-plus point performances against the Jets and Giants – came after the Ertz trade. In addition, he had four performances of under five fantasy points. 

There are plenty of questions about this Eagles team heading into the new season. Jalen Hurts didn’t do much to establish himself as the guy despite leading his team to the playoffs, and his fantasy upside mainly was due to his rushing usage and despite his passing work. Philadelphia also holds three picks in the first round of the NFL Draft in April. They are rumored to possibly be targeting an elite talent at wide receiver with one of those picks, namely Drake London out of USC. None of this makes me have much confidence in Goedert ahead of 2022.

Philadelphia is a team that might be worse in 2022 than last season. If Jalen Hurts continues to struggle with consistency and accuracy in the passing game, we will see more of him on the ground and a likely uptick in carries and targets for Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell. We are in for another boom-and-bust season from Dallas Goedert if this is the case. His targets will again be inconsistent, as will his production. He could finish as a high-end TE1 or fall as far as a low-end TE2. That wide range of outcomes makes Dallas Goedert a risky proposition in 2022.      

Mo Alie-Cox (TE – IND)

Things are getting interesting in Indianapolis. After just one season at the helm, the team recently decided to move on from quarterback Carson Wentz and are now without a starting quarterback. Veteran tight end Jack Doyle also recently announced his retirement, leaving Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson as the TE1 and TE2. At the moment, it would appear the Alie-Cox is the defacto TE1 based on experience, which is no purpose. We’ve seen flashes of what he can do when given opportunities over the last few seasons, and the idea we could see more of him in 2022 is an exciting prospect. 

There is always a chance any player could blow up and have a tremendous season. Cordarrelle Patterson had a massive breakout in Atlanta in 2021 that no one saw coming. Unfortunately, this will not be the case for Mo Alie-Cox. Despite being solidly behind Jack Doyle on the depth chart in 2021, Alie-Cox still had the 22nd most red zone fantasy points among tight ends with 25.9, .3 points ahead of Doyle. Not a bad number considering his lack of usage the majority of the season, but given the team’s tight end usage, this is probably his red zone usage ceiling. In 2021 they were in the bottom half of the league in tight end target percentage at 20.6 percent and near the bottom of the league in tight end targets with 103. 

Unfortunately, this is a situation where talent doesn’t equal opportunity. Mo Alie-Cox is playing in a system that doesn’t target tight ends as often as other teams in the league. Even with Doyle gone and a possible increase in targets, there aren’t many there to be had. He is also looking at a competition at the position with Kylen Granson, a fourth-round pick last season, who will get an opportunity based on his draft capital alone. At best, Alie-Cox finishes 2022 in the mid-to-low TE2 range. At worst, he loses most of his work to Granson and ends well outside of any fantasy relevancy. It’s not a risk worth taking.

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Nate Polvogt is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him @NatePolvogt.

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