By Alex Kurpeski
The 2018 NFL Draft was surprisingly loaded at the tight end position, with some of the best tight ends in the league today (Mike Gesicki, Mark Andrews, and Hayden Hurst too) having been selected in this class. Though Andrews seemingly separated himself from the pack in 2019, finishing as a top-five fantasy scorer at his position, it’s Gesicki who is now making his case to be the best tight end in this class.
Andrews or Gesicki?
Before we get into the 2020 numbers for these cats, let’s get a quick overview of what each player brings to the table. Below are the PlayerProfiler portfolios for Gesicki and Andrews.
By almost every metric, Gesicki is the superior athlete, hence why the Dolphins selected him early on in round two, while Andrews fell to the end of round three. While Gesicki’s initial draft stock was tied into his upside as an athlete, Andrews was drafted largely on the basis of his production following a senior campaign that saw him catch 62 passes for 958 yards and 8 touchdowns. Two years into their respective careers, it appeared as though chasing Andrews’ college production was the smart move by Baltimore.
That was until the 2020 season. Ten games into the year, we’ve seen a side of Gesicki that few knew existed. The former Penn State standout has been one of the best playmakers in the league from the tight end spot, checking in with top-three marks in air yards (459), air yards-per-game (57.4), and air yards per-reception (20.7) despite seeing a mere 14.7% target share compared to Andrews’ 21.2% share. Gesicki has also been one of the toughest covers in the league, with the second-highest target cushion in the league (2.97).
All in all, Gesicki has shined this season despite being underutilized within the framework of Miami’s run-heavy offense. Meanwhile, Andrews has continued to be a touchdown-dependent source of fantasy production, as his only three double-digit output weeks, this season has come in games where he’s caught a touchdown. Given the general regression of Baltimore’s offense this season, Andrews’ future may not be as bright as we once thought. As for Gesicki, he continues to make strides as a blocker and receiver, making him a great target for dynasty leagues.
As much as I love Gesicki’s athletic profile and upside, I’m loyal to Andrews, even with his struggles this season. That being said I’d be happy to have either guy on my dynasty squad.