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Dynasty Price Check - Mike Gesicki

Last year, the Miami Dolphins spent a second-round pick on Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki. Tight end had long been a rough position for the Dolphins, as the team hasn't had a player at the position hit the 500-yard mark since Charles Clay in 2014, but the move to pick Gesicki seemed like a move to fix that issue.

Through one season, though, there's not much evidence to suggest that Gesicki is going to change that. He finished his rookie year with just 22 catches for 202 yards, failing to find the end zone and receiving just six targets in the red zone.

But rookie tight ends always fail, right? Should you be looking to buy low on Gesicki this summer, or trying to sell him while he still has some value in the hopeful eyes of dynasty owners?

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Mike Gesicki
Team: Miami Dolphins
College: Penn State
Height/Weight: 6'6", 245 pounds
2018 NFL Draft: Round 2, Pick 42


Case to Buy

The Dolphins offense wasn't very good last season, as they finished 30th in the league in passing yards, ahead of just Buffalo and Arizona, but a new coaching staff means we can likely expect some positive movement on that front. That would help Gesicki out.

Last year, I took a look at production from rookie tight ends, and while there were some numbers to suggest rookie tight ends were improving, there was a good argument to be made that those improvements were just a blip on the radar. Generally, the track record of rookies at the position has been pretty bad, and Gesicki lived up to that track record last year. It makes sense; tight ends essentially have to learn two roles -- offensive lineman and receiver -- when they enter the league, and the linebackers they often find themselves matched up with are a lot bigger than the linebackers they face at the college level.

Gesicki should improve in his second season. Even the highly-touted 2013 tight end class -- which featured Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Jordan Reed, and Tyler Eifert -- didn't produce any TE1 fantasy finishes in 2013, but those players have shown significant improvement (when healthy for the latter two) in subsequent seasons. In standard scoring, just two rookie tight ends since 2005 have finished in the top-10 at the position.

Gesicki is still the same player he was coming out of Penn State, which is to say that he's a tall tight end who can make leaping catches, and his size will allow the Dolphins to create mismatches when they flex him out wider. He can work out of the slot, and while that's not as big of a deal now as it was when the Dolphins coaching staff was the same one that made Jarvis Landry's slot role into one of the best PPR roles there was, it's still a good sign for his usage moving forward.

Also, his workout metrics, per PlayerProfiler, are... pretty good:

Like...those are winning numbers. That's a player who can put up huge numbers, especially with a coaching staff that's coming from the Patriots tradition, where the team spent a decade putting Rob Gronkowski in great positions.


Case to Sell

Remember that stat about the Dolphins being 30th in passing? Well, they added the quarterback for the team that was 32nd in passing, and while Josh Rosen is also just a second-year player, there's definitely reason to worry about him and his development. So, there's the first reason to worry about Gesicki -- his quarterback situation is extremely unsettled. Maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the job, which would be good in the short term. Maybe Rosen does, which is probably bad in the short term. Maybe the team drafts a quarterback next year, which is even more uncertainty added to the situation.

There's also the fact that Gesicki's rookie year was...pretty bad even by rookie standards. Of the five rookies taken in the first three rounds last year, he had the worst fantasy finish. In fact, Gesicki's finish as the TE63 in standard is the worst finish for a rookie tight end taken in the first three rounds since Nick Vannett in 2016. That's a pretty good reason to worry about his development, but a bad rookie finish doesn't necessarily mean too much. Jared Cook and Jermichael Finley both finished outside the top-50 as rookies, but it is...pretty rare to see a player go from the level Gesicki was at to becoming a top fantasy player.

There's also the fact that because Gesicki's not in a great position heading into the 2019 season -- the quarterback issues, the team's addition of Dwayne Allen -- he's likely going to have even less trade value after the 2019 season, even if his overall stats improve. Year three for Gesicki is probably when a breakout would occur -- if one does -- but another year on his wheels and another fresh crop of tight ends entering the league means you're probably not getting more for Gesicki than you will now.


Final Verdict

I'm kind of in a hold onto Gesicki if you have him, but don't trade for him state of mind. I've got Gesicki in two dynasty leagues and I don't think I'm going to be able to deal him for anything of great value. Gesicki is probably worth a late-second-round pick or a backup running back and I think Gesicki's overall upside is higher than dealing him for either of those.

On the other hand, if I don't have Gesicki in a league, I don't think I place enough value on tight ends to deal someone at a position like running back where I need more depth. Maybe I'd deal a late second for him if my rookie draft hasn't happened yet, but I wouldn't feel particularly good about it unless I really need help at tight end.

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