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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 important key 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:
- Logan Thomas - and by an easy margin
And here are all of the payers mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 7 Votes
Phil Alexander: Thomas was a fun story last year. A quarterback-convert with elite athletic 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 his previously hefty volume takes a substantial hit following the Football Team's acquisitions of Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries, and rookie Dyami Brown.
Drew Davenport: There was a perfect storm for Thomas last year in his breakout 110-target, 72-catch season. He played with a quarterback group that sported one of the lowest average depth of targets in the league and a pass-catching corps that was largely devoid of any threats outside of top receiver Terry McLaurin. On top of that, Washington suffered from injuries to their offensive pieces throughout the year, which kept their game plans trending on the conservative side and targets funneled to Thomas. In 2021 Thomas will instead see Ryan Fitzpatrick step in at quarterback and now have to compete with the addition of several noteworthy targets. That should siphon off some of Thomas' value, and while he'll still be a worthy draft pick, it shouldn't be at his current ADP.
Pat Fitzmaurice: As Phil noted, Thomas isn't likely to match his 110 targets from last year now that Washington has more than just one credible wide receiver. I like Thomas, but not at an eighth-round price.
Victoria Geary: Thomas was one of the most inefficient tight ends in the league last year and still finished as a top-4 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 know 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.
Jordan McNamara: For the reasons my colleagues have stated on Logan Thomas, I think he is overvalued. I only have one to add: No tight end ran more routes than Logan Thomas in 2020, but 40 had better yards per route run (for those with at least 20 targets). His situation was entirely based on need, which should change with the additions Washington made this offseason.
Chad Parsons: While I love the Thomas story as a positional convert and late-blooming fantasy-relevant player, 2021 is a tough ask to repeat his usage. Add Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Adam Humphries to a wide receiver depth chart that struggled at WR2+ for all of last season. John Bates (a viable TE2 which Washington did not have in 2020) is an underrated addition. Ryan Fitzpatrick should aid the passing game from a rising tide perspective, but 70-75 targets are more likely than 110 for Thomas this season.
Player Receiving 5 Votes
Anthony Amico: Tonyan was a touchdown-dependent tight end in 2020, securing one on 18.6% of targets. Aside from any expected regression statistically, there are major questions about who will be quarterbacking the Packers in 2021. There is too much downside for Tonyan at his current price.
James Brimacombe: Tonyan is going to be known as a touchdown-dependent type of player. He finished as the TE3 last season, but that was mainly due to his 11 touchdowns in 15 games. He also caught 52 of 59 targets for 586 yards. Catching 11 touchdowns on 59 targets will not happen for Tonyan in 2021, and with the quarterback uncertainty right now, there are extra question marks on Tonyan.
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 ambiguity of the Aaron Rodgers situation adds further risk to a Tonyan investment. He's a value trap at his current ADP.
Ryan Hester: Tonyan earned a significant chunk of his fantasy production on touchdowns last season, and those tend not to be sticky year-to-year. He may also get a downgrade in quarterback from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love.
Jason Wood: Aaron Rodgers quite likely isn't quarterbacking the Packers this year, so why is Robert Tonyan Jr being drafted like 2020 is a baseline? Even if Rodgers and the front office somehow make peace, Tonyan is coming off the board too early given his touchdown rate last year, which was unsustainable. To offset touchdown regression, you have to expect Tonyan's target share to increase confidently, and that seems next to impossible to model unless Davante Adams gets hurt for a prolonged period.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
Jeff Haseley: History tells us to temper expectations with tight ends in their rookie season. The last rookie tight end to reach 800 yards receiving was Jeremy Shockey (894) in 2002. Evan Engram's 722 yards in 2017 stands as the next best yardage total in recent years. Rob Gronkowski finished with 10 touchdowns in 2010 but only 546 yards. If Atlanta uses Pitts strictly as an X- or Z-receiver role, maybe he breaks through the historical ceiling, but you're drafting him based on that belief.
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.
Dave Kluge: Pitts is arguably the best tight-end prospect to come out of college in the last 20 years. Julio Jones is out of Atlanta and vacating a lot of targets. The stage is set for a monster rookie year for Kyle Pitts. However, history has shown how difficult it is for a rookie tight end to make an impact. As a matter of fact, you need to go back to 1961 to find a rookie tight end that was able to rack up over 900 receiving yards! Drafting Pitts where he’s being drafted expects him to buck a trend that we have seen for generations. The tight-end landscape is frustrating, but don’t get duped for a shiny new toy. If you miss out on Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, or George Kittle, wait it out.
Ryan Weisse: Before I am taken to the cleaners for this opinion, my real thought is that all tight ends not named Kelce, Kittle, or Waller, drafted before the 10th Round, are overvalued. Basically, these guys will score roughly the same amount of points, won't be consistent from week to week, and could easily be replaced with a last-round tight end. So, why pick on Pitts? Because he is a rookie at a position that notoriously disappoints in its first season. He might be good, but not top-three good. He could also be bad, and you are spending a fifth-round pick on him—too much risk, not nearly enough reward.
Player Receiving 3 Votes
Sigmund Bloom: Gesicki is a fine pick in best-ball leagues where you bank his ceiling games, and someone else covers for his floor games. In leagues where you set a lineup, Gesicki is more likely to be a liability than an asset in any given week. The Dolphins added Will Fuller V and Jaylen Waddle this offseason to further split an already smallish passing production pie, which will probably create more famine and fewer feast weeks for fantasy players using Gesicki in their tight end spot.
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 defined 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 V 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.
Jason Wood: I have doubts about Tua Tagovailoa, and this year is a key litmus test for his NFL future. Even if you don't share those concerns, Gesicki's role is assuredly decreasing with the offseason additions of Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller V. The bolstered wide receiver corps means more 3- and 4-wide-receiver sets. And Waddle will step into the slot role immediately, where Gesicki made most of his plays.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
James Brimacombe: The Buccaneers are among 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 is always hard to do. Gronkowski will see more competition in 2021 with O.J. Howard coming back and Cameron Brate also in the mix.
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 shares a position room with a younger, more athletic, former first-round pick in O.J. Howard and also has to compete for targets with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and a few running backs capable of catching passes.
Drew Davenport: The narrative around Smith is that he will benefit greatly from the departure of Kyle Rudolph. He will, but it won't suddenly be a one-person show. When Rudolph missed the final four games of 2020, fellow tight end Tyler Conklin out-targeted Smith 21-20 and played just one less snap over those four games. This could be dismissed if it weren't for the coaching staff already emphasizing Conklin's utility this summer. It doesn't seem as though the Vikings plan to feature Smith going forward despite heightened involvement. Smith may be the guy fantasy drafters want for his use in the red zone, but at his current ADP, he is being overvalued.
Jeff Haseley: The fantasy tide is shifting with Irv Smith. Minnesota loves to use two-tight end sets, and Tyler Conklin is not going to disappear in 2021. This was evident when Kyle Rudolph missed Weeks 14-17 last season. The Vikings' tight end duo of Smith and Conklin each had 15 receptions in that 4-week span. Smith had three scores, while Conklin had one. Smith may wind up being the better fantasy tight end, but this won't be a monopoly of fantasy riches that some suggest.
Players Receiving 1 Vote
Sigmund Bloom: Andrews was TE4 on a points per game basis last year, but he was a distant fourth from the top three. The Ravens added Sammy Watkins and first-round pick Rashod Bateman at wide receiver, which could help increase the value of Andrews' targets, but will likely lower his target share. Without a repeat of his 2019 touchdown spree, Andrews will be a disappointment at his current ADP.
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 will likely give Fant a higher ranking this summer, but I'm not a fan of his overall game. 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, Fant 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'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.
Chad Parsons: With a price near Darren Waller, Kittle has far more downside considering his team dynamics. The 2021 49ers version has Brandon Aiyuk, who instantly surged to alpha status and produced as a late-arriving (injury to delay his season start) rookie. Deebo Samuel returns from injury. Trey Sermon added on Day 2. Jalen Hurd a wildcard if he is actually healthy. When Kittle peaked, he was easier the most exciting piece on the offense. Also, if Trey Lance gets under center during the season, the quarterback run game will be an element of the offense that Jimmy Garoppolo does not provide. Other reasons to fade Kittle include his price and him being viewed as part of the Big 3, which is actually a Big 2.