15 Overvalued Tight Ends

Footballguys staff members discuss tight ends who are overvalued

The flip side of succeeding with value players is failing with overvalued players. These are players that will not put up stats commensurate to their draft spot, and avoiding them is another of the important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out these players, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should underperform their draft position.

They gave us 15 names. That's a lot, especially at tight end.

If you want all of the players, keep on reading. If you just want the top vote-getter, he goes by the name of Rob Gronkowski and had five votes. Finishing second was Darren Waller with four.

NOTE: We know all these different opinions can be a lot. And certainly, not everyone agrees on everything.

If you want to cut straight to the chase and get our "Bottom Line" for where we project every player right down to the last yard, you can see that here. That's our Bottom Line and where we plant the Footballguys Flag for all these players.

If you'd like to see more detail about how the staff sees different players, here is every wide receiver who was mentioned and the reasons why.

Player Receiving 5 Votes

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay

Chris Allen: Gronkowski's target share was as high as 23% during his time with Tom Brady in New England. The targets and touchdowns were why Gronkowski was a part of the first-discussion three or four seasons ago. But, his situation (and health) has drastically changed. Instead of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola being the primary receivers, Gronkowski is competing with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin for targets. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate couldn't top 60 targets with Bruce Arians in 2019. Brady might prefer his former teammate in the redzone, but that won't help him meet his current draft cost as his weekly target share will likely take a hit.

Sigmund Bloom: Gronkowski is getting back into football form, but we shouldn't assume he'll be the player we saw before 2018 when his body seemed to break down and his fantasy value went over the cliff. He should still be involved in the red zone and maybe in other high leverage situations, but the Bucs will also use OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, perhaps as much as they use Gronkowski if we believe the guess of Peter King, long time NFL writer who opined this after visiting Bucs camp. Maybe touchdowns will get Gronkowski back in our good graces, but it sounds like without that weekly bump, he might be frustrating after we drafted him to our TE1.

Andrew Davenport: Those predicting a breakout for Smith are missing the key fact that Delanie Walker didn't play most of last season and Smith was unable to take advantage. Now looking at 2020 there are no conditions that have changed in Tennessee that mean he'll suddenly jump into line for targets in their offense. They'll still run it plenty. They'll use A.J. Brown, and they'll feed Smith his 3-6 targets a game. He's an athletic marvel and rational coaching says he should be given more opportunities. But there is nothing from 2019, or this 2020 offseason, that says that will happen. Smith is too hyped as a breakout candidate and should be passed over at his ADP.

Dan Hindery: Gronkowski is arguably the best tight end in NFL history and has a proven rapport with Tom Brady. Given those two facts, he has obvious upside. However, there are also enough glaring risk factors that I am okay passing on him at his current ADP. First, Gronkowski is 31-years old and has been out of football for almost two years. Given the huge number of injuries and surgeries, he is an “old 31.” He also reportedly is not in great shape and was recently called out by Bruce Arians for his conditioning. Speaking of Arians, he is another reason we should be skeptical of Gronkowski’s 2020 fantasy upside. We know Arians’ offenses do not throw to the tight end much and as everyone who drafted O.J. Howard last year can attest, that is not just a personnel issue. Lastly, there is serious competition for targets. Howard, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and others should limit the number of targets Gronkowski will see.

Chad Parsons: After a year off of football, Gronkowski returns to the NFL and reunites with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. Juxtaposed to the previous environment in New England, Gronkowski will compete with 2019 top-5 fantasy receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin plus Round 1-pedigreed O.J. Howard at tight end for targets. Will Tom Brady maintain the high level of fantasy utility in Tampa Bay as Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick? That sounds tongue in cheek, but the pair was electric from a yards and touchdowns standpoint. The interceptions are bound to recede with Brady in 2020, but assuming Gronkowski is A) the same player from his prime to warrant high-level targets and optimize them and B) the offense will be an elite unit feeding 2-3 strong fantasy options, which will include Gronkowski are both leaps of faith. At best, Gronkowski is a neutral value compared to his draft position with plenty of downside and risk.

Player Receiving 4 Votes

Darren Waller, Las Vegas

Sigmund Bloom: Waller had a breakout 2019 and was one of the best values at tight end. This year his price has gone up to match his 2019 production, but there's still a question as to whether his 2019 numbers will be predictive this year when the Raiders added two talented rookie receivers and Tyrell Williams foot issues are rested and feeling better after affecting him for most of the season. Waller was also minimally involved in the red zone, which gives him a much smaller margin of error week-to-week. He's not worth a pick as one of the first tight ends off of the board after the big four.

Ryan Hester: Waller's breakout 2019 was an inspiring story, but it was a product of a dearth of other viable options in the then-Oakland passing game. Antonio Brown was slated to be the team's top target-getter, and we know what happened there. This year, Las Vegas added target competition in many forms. Henry Ruggs III was the team's first-round draft pick; Bryan Edwards was picked in the third; and Jason Witten was added to the team's tight end room. Witten on his own isn't a reason to be down on Waller, but the collective redistribution of targets is.

Chad Parsons: Waller came out of the ether for a monster breakout season. The late bloomer was originally a boom-bust wide receiver prospect with Baltimore who has morphed into a move tight end. Waller had an ideal setting for a huge 2019 with a lack of wide receiver production. Fast forward to 2020 and the Raiders added Jason Witten at tight end and drafted wide receivers in the first (Henry Ruggs III III) and third (Bryan Edwards) rounds of the NFL Draft. Josh Jacobs *should* catch more passes as well in Year 2. Competition for targets will be much higher for Waller in 2020, who saw 46 targets more than any of his teammates a year ago.

Jeff Pasquino: Waller was the lone bright spot for the Raiders in the passing game, building on his potential to lead the Raiders in receptions (90) and yards (1,146) by a large margin. Waller was considered a sleeper last year and he more than met his potential as he became a Pro Bowler in his second season with Oakland / Las Vegas. Derek Carr targeted Waller 117 times last year, a large number mostly due to the dearth of wide receiver talent after the toxic Antonio Brown situation led to his release prior to Week 1. Waller may see a dip in production this year as the Raiders have added talent at wide receiver starting with first-rounder Henry Ruggs III III.

Players Receiving 3 Votes

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