Every year, 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. Everything is relative.
My goal in every pick I make is to take a player I believe will
have a higher ADP the following season.
Last season, DeAndre Hopkins had a third round ADP. This year,
he has a first round ADP. Hopkins gave owners one hell of a positive
return on investment. On the flip side, DeMarco Murray had a second
round ADP. This year, heís retired, and not because he went
out on top. Thatís the type of pick we hope to avoid.
This yearís value series begins with Tight Ends. Letís take a
look at the players I expect to outperform their ADPs and which
I expect to fail.
With room to grow in the efficiency department,
Evan Engram could improve upon his 2017 season.
The case for Engram being undervalued: He posted
the second greatest rookie season for a TE of all time despite
leading the position in drops (13).
The case against Engram being undervalued: He
will have a difficult time replicating his 115 targets from last
season with a healthy Odell Beckham.
Verdict: Iím going with the basic premise that
elite athletes playing the most difficult position in football
will naturally get better in their second year. Engram has a lot
of room to grow in the efficiency department so even if he loses
an entire target per game, thereís no reason he canít be a top
five or even a top three fantasy tight end this year. Engram is
a monstrous red zone target and a mismatch all over the field
given that heís basically a WR masquerading as a TE. He isnít
asked to block so heís going to spend most of his time running
routes. I am not worried about Sterling
Shepard because Engram is higher on the pass catching hierarchy.
I am not worried about Saquon
Barkley because how many more targets can the running backs
see after the 139 they saw last year? The only player that will
command targets ahead of Engram is Beckham and that is fine. E
Double is going to be an elite tight end in this league for years
and that may start in 2018.
The case for McDonald being undervalued: McDonald
is an athletic and finally has a starting role in a high-scoring
The case against McDonald being undervalued:
Sharing targets with Antonio Brown, LeíVeon Bell, and JuJu Smith-Schuster
could result in inconsistent weekly volume.
Verdict: Vance McDonald should already be considered
a top 15 TE, if not top 12. This is the same guy that saw 16 targets,
on purpose, in a playoff game; one that featured AB, Bell, and
JuJu. McDonald and Jesse
James combined for 87 targets last season. Those should very
easily could go to McDonald this year. The fact that VMD is going
behind low-upside picks like Ricky
Seals-Jones and Ben
Watson is mindboggling. If youíre waiting on the position,
channel your inner high school emo self and ďVance Vance.Ē
The case for Rudolph being overvalued: He was
the PPR TE9 last year and saw a massive drop in volume from the
The case against Rudolph being overvalued: Kirk
Cousins represents an upgrade at QB and Rudolph is the clear third
option in the passing game.
Verdict: Fantasy owners need to realize that
2016 Kyle Rudolph is never coming back. There is a 0% chance he
sees 132 targets. Thereís a 0% chance he sees 100 targets. Itís
not happening. I expect a similar season to last year where Rudolph
saw 81 targets and caught 57 of them for 532 yards. That only
got him to TE9, two spots lower than where heís currently being
drafted, in what was a down year for TE scoring. The eight touchdowns
are very concerning, as they will be difficult to match. That
TD total has to be considered his ceiling and what happens if
he only catches five or six? With a healthy Dalvin
Cook, the Vikings are going to run the ball more near the
goal line and Rudolph is already competing for targets with the
best WR duo (Adam
Thielen and Stefon
Diggs) in the league. It appears Rudolph is being drafted
at his ceiling and after the top six TEs are off the board, I
want a TE with vertical upside. Rudolph only has downside.
The case for Njoku being overvalued: Reminiscent
of Eric Ebron - he has all this athleticism, but doesn’t
really know what to do with it.
The case against Njoku being overvalued: He’s
athletic and the Browns may feature him more in the offense this
Verdict: I do see a world where David Njoku
is a TE1. I just don’t think it’s likely. Njoku is
down the target totem pole, behind Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry,
and Duke Johnson. He is possibly behind Corey Coleman as well.
While the prospect of Baker Mayfield looms, Tyrod Taylor will
start Week 1 and he’s never attempted more than 436 passes
in a season. If Landry and Gordon are commanding over 100 targets
each, while another 100 go to the running backs, where exactly
are Njoku’s targets coming from? And this is notwithstanding
the fact that the Browns still roster Seth DeValve, who saw 58
targets last year while Njoku was on the roster and active every
week. The Browns also signed Darren Fells this offseason. Njoku
may end up being better than I expect and still fail to even get
close to a TE1 in fantasy. Nothing the Browns have done indicates
a desire to push Njoku as their main TE. He may be their best
option at the position, but in fantasy, we have no use for a Browns’
TE that is splitting snaps.