Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Gesicki.
- Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki, who was a combine standout, deserves early round consideration in rookie fantasy drafts.
- Don’t forget about Ravens rookies Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, either. Both figure to benefit from playing Joe Flacco’s tendency to throw a lot of passes inside the red zone.
It’s Saturday, in the middle of May. We’ve got heavily favored Justify in The Preakness, a thrilling walk-off walk for the Reds over the Cubs and, oh, the NBA Playoffs tonight. But The Action Network crew rolls deep in the weeds, thus the following exchange in our NFL Slack channel about the fantasy merits of Dolphins rookie TE Mike Gesicki. We’ve excerpted it in full, and added some handy context, so you can beat the rush.
Matt LaMarca: How early is too early to take Mike Gesicki in a TE premium rookie draft?
The former Penn State tight end was a first-round dark horse after blowing up the combine and catching 14 touchdown passes in his final two seasons. Even though he landed on the Miami Dolphins (potentially the worst team of 2018), Gesicki’s ridiculous athleticism and contested-catch ability have deservedly earned him early round fantasy consideration.
Matthew Freedman: In TE-premium leagues, he’s an easy Round 1 guy.
FantasyLabs editor in chief Matthew Freedman has ranked Gesicki — “an uber-athletic productive second-rounder with limited competition for targets in the middle of the field” — as his TE1 in his post-draft dynasty rookie rankings.
Stuckey: I’m interested to see how the Ravens tight end situation plays out. Hard to predict with both Hurst and Andrews potentially cannibalizing each other’s production.
Gesicki might be first in the hearts of some fantasy investors, but the Ravens made Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews the first and fourth tight ends off the board, respectively. Baltimore is currently a very fantasy-relevant situation due to the departures of Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Ben Watson and Danny Woodhead, who combined for 282 targets last season.
Ian Hartitz: Seems like they want Andrews/Gesicki as glorified slot receivers. Hurst might wind up playing the most snaps.
It wouldn’t be hard to confuse Andrews and Gesicki for wide receivers at Oklahoma and Penn State, respectively, as both were major liabilities as run blockers and regularly lined up in the slot or outside. This limitation in their games could theoretically lead to fewer snaps over the course of the season compared to Hurst, who was widely considered the draft’s most-complete tight end.
Stuckey: I’m especially curious about red-zone looks. Both could be super productive in the red zone.
Joe Flacco has ranked among the league’s top-12 quarterbacks in red-zone pass attempts during each of his four fully healthy seasons since 2013. Elite-ness aside, it’s generally a good idea to target skill position players with fantasy friendly quarterbacks.