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The flip side of succeeding with value players is failing with overvalued players. These players will not put up stats commensurate to their draft spot, and avoiding them is another of the important keys to a successful fantasy team. To point out these players, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should underperform their draft position.
Here are the players who received the most votes:
And here are all of the payers mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 7 Votes
Sigmund Bloom: Although the move was penciled in for the whole offseason, Zach Ertz is still with the Eagles. They could get a deal done before the season or release Ertz, but if either move was going to happen, it was likely to happen before camp opened. There is still a reasonable chance Ertz plays out his 8.5 million deal for this year on the Eagles roster, which would torpedo Goedert's value, and Goedert has to rely on an inaccurate passer - Jalen Hurts - for his value to grow. First-round pick Devonta Smith could also become Hurts' favorite target if he stays healthy. There are too many obstacles in Goedert's way right now to deliver value on ADP.
Ben Cummins: I'm a fan of Dallas Goedert's real-life game. However, he's being drafted too early in fantasy land for my liking. Zach Ertz was unanimously thought to be on the way out of Philadelphia earlier this offseason yet, that hasn't materialized. Ertz is still on the Eagles, but drafters seemingly don't care as Goedert's ADP has remained pretty steady all summer. A devalued onesie position, especially if you don't land one of the big three (Kelce, Kittle, Waller), I'm happy to wait on tight end and much prefer the lower prices of Tyler Higbee, Logan Thomas, Noah Fant, Robert Tonyan Jr, Irv Smith, and Jonnu Smith.
Andrew Davenport: Goedert's ADP seems to be still reflecting everyone's optimism from the end of 2020 that Zach Ertz was moving on. However, Ertz is still in Philadelphia, yet Goedert's ADP hasn't gone down. It's still possible Ertz could be moved via trade or cut, but right now, drafting Goedert means counting on a bunch of factors to line up in his favor. There is a new quarterback, a new coaching staff, and the uncertainty of Ertz. Until things clear up, Goedert is a pass at his lofty ADP.
Pat Fitzmaurice: I still believe in the player, but Goedert's offseason ADP baked in the assumption that the Eagles would move Zach Ertz in the offseason. That hasn't happened, and yet Goedert still has an ADP inside the top 60. He's an easy fade at this price.
Jordan McNamara: With the apparent return of Zach Ertz, I think Goedert is overvalued. Goedert has been good, with 1.75 yards per route run, ninth amongst tight ends last season. However, with a new quarterback in Jalen Hurt, a new coaching staff, and a crowded position, I'll pass on Goedert at his current cost. If Zach Ertz is cut or traded in the preseason, Goedert is appropriately priced.
Ryan Weisse: Listen, all middle-round tight ends are a trap, but Goedert is trending towards being the poster boy. The Eagles are likely to be a low passing volume team. They also have two 1st-Round wide receivers on the roster. Oh, and they have not gotten rid of Zach Ertz. Goedert will not see the volume to finish as a top-10 option at the position, so you are praying for touchdowns, the hardest thing to predict in fantasy football.
Jason Wood: Zach Ertz may still be traded, but with each passing day, it looks less likely. And while Ertz is on the downside of his illustrious career, he's not going to be a non-factor. Through two weeks of training camp, Ertz looked better than Goedert, and either way, sharing time in a low-volume passing offense with a young, inaccurate passer is hardly a recipe for fantasy success. Goedert has a path to elite numbers, but it's one of the lower-probability limbs on the tree.
Player Receiving 6 Votes
Phil Alexander: Thomas was a fun story last year. A quarterback-convert with elite measurables getting an opportunity and running with it was easy to root for, especially in fantasy where Thomas only cost a waiver claim in most leagues. But his unexpected TE4 finish in 2020 was fueled by 110 targets, which trailed only Travis Kelce and Darren Waller among tight ends. If you believe Thomas can once again approach a 20% target share in Washington, go ahead and draft him at ADP. It's more likely, however, that Thomas' hefty volume takes a substantial hit following the acquisitions of Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries, and rookie Dyami Brown.
Victoria Geary: Thomas was one of the most inefficient tight ends in the league in 2020 and still finished as a top-four PPR tight end. From Weeks 13 through 15 playing without running back Antonio Gibson on the field, Thomas averaged a whopping 81 receiving yards per game. He averaged just 33 receiving yards per game the rest of the year. Thomas also tallied 110 total targets in 2020, and the next closest receiver was Cam Sims, with only 46 total targets. With the additions of other capable pass catchers in Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown and new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick not known for hyper-targeting his tight ends, we should not expect another top-tier finish from Thomas this season.
Andy Hicks: Sometimes players come out of nowhere and have a great fantasy season. Logan Thomas is the perfect example. A previous best fantasy rank of 50th and bouncing around the league for his entire career. It all clicked for him in Washington in 2020. His success will not continue this year, and in fact, he should be on the Gary Barnidge route of a one-year wonder. Tight ends who come out of nowhere after the age of 28 have struggled to come close to their previous season numbers. Thomas will be 30 this year, and the team added Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Adam Humphries, John Bates, and other receivers. Ryan Fitzpatrick also does not have a great track record of throwing to tight ends either.
Troy King: Last year, Thomas was a benefactor of fewer receiving options outside McLaurin, Gibson, and McKissic. The addition of Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown is going to hurt his target opportunity. Thomas will be very touchdown-dependent, which will be hard to project from week to week.
Chad Parsons: In the Top 10, I cannot get on board with Thomas this year. Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick offers an uptick at quarterback, but competition for targets is worlds stronger in 2021 than the Terry McLaurin-running backs-Thomas skeleton group a year ago. Washington added Dyami Brown and Adam Humphries notably at wide receiver, with John Bates likely has more (to a small degree) TE2 presence than the wasteland in 2020.
Ryan Weisse: Thomas' ADP is too high bases on his 2020 TE3 finish, but this will be a very different team in 2021. To start, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick prefers to pepper his wide receivers with targets, specifically his WR1. The team also added Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries. Humphries and Fitzpatrick have past rapport and are already making waves at camp. To make matters worse for Thomas, the team will certainly be getting Antonio Gibson more involved in the passing game. All of these signs point to a virtual impossibility that Thomas repeats 110 targets and will not be a top-10 fantasy tight end in 2021.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
James Brimacombe: The Buccaneers are one of the most balanced teams on offense, with every offensive position having plenty of depth. There will be opportunities in certain games for Gronkowski, but predicting when will always be hard. Gronkowski will see more competition in 2021 with O.J. Howard back. Also, there is Cameron Brate in the mix.
Andrew Davenport: It's hard to argue with someone who wants to take Gronkowski as a middling TE2 because the cost isn't that high. But the question is why? His floor is shallow as he had 9 of his 16 games with eight or fewer PPR points last year. His ceiling isn't necessarily there anymore either. He had more than three receptions a scant five times the entire season. Now he's another year older, and O.J. Howard is returning from an injury. What argument is there for the aging Gronkowski to catch more than the 45 passes he caught in 2020? With a loaded wide receiver corps, a crowded tight end room, and a new pass-catching running back, it's better to pass completely and take a chance on another tight end who can pop if things break right.
Ryan Hester: Gronkowski's workload will be managed throughout the regular season as it was last year with Tampa attempting to make another deep playoff run. He also shares a position room with a younger, more athletic, former first-round pick in O.J. Howard and has to compete for targets with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and a number of running backs capable of catching passes.
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Chad Parsons: Gronkowski was more relevant in the NFL playoffs than the great season in 2020. O.J. Howard is returning from injury and had more targets than Gronkowski within the same depth chart in the opening month last year before Howard’s injury. Gronkowski seeing enough volume to be consistently relevant is a deterrent to his early- to mid-teens tight end positional draft pecking order. Add to the equation Tampa Bay is loaded at wide receiver and running back; Gronkowski is the biggest name left out in 2021.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
Sigmund Bloom: Andrews showed last year that he is largely a touchdown-dependent play even though he came at a premium price, just after the elite options. With the addition of Sammy Watkins and first-round pick Rashod Bateman, Andrews' role in the pass offense isn't going to grow. He doesn't profile as a top-five tight end with Kyle Pitts coming into the league and T.J. Hockenson ready to break out.
Ryan Hester: The passing game isn't the place to invest in Baltimore's offense. In the last couple of years, that's been due to low volume. This year, even if volume increases, there are more mouths to feed with the additions of Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman. There are players around Andrews and below Andrews who offer more upside.
Dan Hindery: Andrews is unlikely to see enough targets to make good on his lofty ADP. The Ravens passed the ball a league-low 406 times last year and were also dead last with 2,739 passing yards. If that passing-game pie does not grow substantially, Andrews would need a massive share of the team's targets to put up Top 5 tight end numbers. The road to that type of market share is hard to see, given the additions of Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins and the talk of getting the running backs more involved as pass catchers.
Jeff Haseley: The glass is half full for me when it comes to Kyle Pitts. However, the concern I have is when he will be a top-flight fantasy tight end. The path to greatness for a tight end in the NFL doesn't come easy or fast. We have hashed and re-hashed this thinking for years. The task list requested of rookie tight ends is tall. They must learn and understand the running game, passing game, routes, route adjustments, pre-snap reads, post-snap awareness, blocking assignments, pass protections, etc. I believe Kyle Pitts can be an impactful addition to the fantasy landscape, but it will likely take him some time before he puts it all together and becomes a consistent fantasy juggernaut. If you are drafting him, you're relying on that happening in Week 1 and continuing throughout the year. I'm not sure we're going to see that consistency.
Andy Hicks: This may shock people, but rookie tight ends have been drafted high by NFL teams before. The record is poor for fantasy achievement. In the last 15 years, we have three rookies who have finished as starting fantasy tight ends, Evan Engram, Rob Gronkowski, and John Carlson. Oddly all three were the second tight end drafted in their year. That bodes poorly for Kyle Pitts in 2021. Sure he has the opportunity, but does he have the skills to be fantasy-productive this year? We know the position has a multitude of tasks that are hard to master quickly. Let this be a development year. He could be a bottom-end starting tight end if everything goes well. Be wary of overpaying.
Jason Wood: Stop the madness. Pitts was overdrafted in the fifth round in early best ball drafts, but now he's going in the late-second, early-third in more recent drafts. That's pricing in 110% of the upside and 0% of the downside. While he's unquestionably talented, we're treating him like a once-in-a-lifetime prospect. Even if you think he'll be an all-time great, most Hall of Fame-caliber tight ends failed to achieve fantasy relevance as rookies. It's hard to acclimate to the position. The other issue is durability. People act like Pitts was an iron man in college when he was more like a hothouse flower. Pitts missed five of 13 games for Florida for a variety of reasons, including a concussion. He's the easiest pass in the first three rounds.
Player Receiving 2 Votes
Victoria Geary: Injuries to Miami's receiving corps led to Gesicki commanding a massive 21.9% of the team's total air yards and a 15.5% target share. He was the definition of boom-or-bust in 2020, tallying only three total games with more than seven targets and 50 receiving yards. With the front office investing heavily in new pass-catchers Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle, there won't be enough targets to go around for Gesicki to ascend to another top-tier finish at the tight end position in 2021.
Dan Hindery: Gesicki does nearly all of his damage from the slot, and he is going to get less of those opportunities than in years past, given the additions the Dolphins have made at wide receiver. Jaylen Waddle is likely to be the slot starter, and Albert Wilson, a pleasant camp surprise, should also get some snaps there. With Will Fuller also added as new competition for targets, Gesicki will not see as many targets as he did last season.
Players Receiving 1 Vote
Matt Waldman: If Engram stays healthy, he can be a top-12 fantasy tight end. Trust him to stay healthy through a season, and you're not projecting performance based on history. He's also a sloppy executor of tasks relative to his talent. Combine those two characteristics, and I'll pass on him.
Matt Waldman: I wouldn't be shocked if, by the season's end, Albert Okwuegbunam earns the primary role or forces a split that diminishes or negates the fantasy value of both options. Based on watching Fant's film last year and all the way back to Iowa, he has issues with piecing together compound tasks in an accurate way -- catching and transitioning upfield in the correct way, using correct hands techniques, and running routes that aren't heavily schemed for him to work off delays or straight lines into space. He can provide big plays from heavily-schemed concepts to free him, but he has yet to consistently create one-on-one as the athletic mismatch he should be. He's an athlete who might develop as Jared Cook did, but I'm skeptical and don't have roster space to clog up with multiple tight ends.
Pat Fitzmaurice: Tonyan caught 52 of 59 targets last year for an 88.1% catch rate, and 21.2% of his catches resulted in touchdowns. Neither of those rates is repeatable. The Packers have also reacquired Aaron Rodgers' trusty old slot man Randall Cobb, who will siphon away a few targets. Tonyan is a value trap at his current ADP.