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Early Summer ADP Risers at Tight End

Tyler Higbee - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Ah, our old friend, ADP. Average Draft Position indicates the mean position where a player is drafted over more than one fantasy football draft. You can consider it as the price you have to pay to draft and get a player on your team. A high ADP (that is actually a low-numbered ADP) means that a player is getting off draft boards early, and thus you'll need to draft him in the first rounds if you truly want him.

Low or high ADP values, though, are not gospel. Each of us fantasy GMs have our strategies and value players differently depending on what we think is the most important for them to have in terms of abilities. No matter what, though, ADPs are good to know how the "average value" of the "average GM" you'll be drafting against is for each asset (in this case, the players). By now, with free agency and the draft well finalized and just a few players left to be signed, it makes sense to go look at how ADPs are varying during the last month as we get closer to peak draft season.

In this series, I’ll highlight players at each skill position seeing significant fluctuation since the start of May using data from FFPC drafts. Today, it's time to look at three tight end risers.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Tight End ADP Risers

 

Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys

The largest swings in ADP have already taken place. With free agency and the draft well over--pending just this and that small-impact signatures from some players still left out there--it is now just about over/under-hyping players around the league, but that shouldn't come with really large changes in terms of ADP. To find a 33-ADP variation (much more at the tight end position) at this point in the offseason is rather surprising. The man causing havoc? Dallas TE Blake Jarwin.

Jarwin could only play one game last season before getting injured and forced out for the whole year. Not a lot can be extracted from Jarwin's 2020 season, that's for sure. But his absence opened the door to Dalton Schultz and while he struggled a bit playing under QB Andy Dalton, his Week 2-Week 4 games with Dak Prescott still manning the pocket went for a combined 47.8 PPR points. Not bad is what I meant. Schultz went on to close the year as the TE11 thanks to 146.5 FP over 16 games, catching 63-of-89 targets for 615 yards and a low four touchdowns.

Blake Jarwin is now back and healthy and should have retained the no. 1 role at the tight end position even after missing a full year. Jarwin is entering his fourth season as a pro, and he absolutely relegated Schultz to an afterthought in the prior two in Dallas. We last heard from Jarwin in early June and things point in the right direction for him. Fantasy GMs read the news and reacted quickly: from the 14th round to almost a late-10th rounder, Jarwin's price has sky-rocketed. To that, I say: fade the man. Too many questions around Jarwin's health and Schultz popping up in 2020 give me very serious pause.

 

Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans

I was happy to find Firkser in the top-three when I checked the ADP variations of the past few weeks. After doing nothing either in free agency or through the draft to bolster their receiving corps, the Titans went all in and added Julio Jones via trade just a few days/weeks ago. Bold move, but not one overly expensive, and with tons of upside given Julio will be lining up opposite A.J. Brown in this offense.

Those are the two very different parts of Tennessee's offseason, and Firkser's ADP clearly reflects them. Before the trade, Firkser was basically projected to battle with A.J. Brown exclusively for targets. The ADP went all the way up from the 13th round to the 10th in the span of a month, but that figure is now going down and down again without stop in the past few days and weeks. Makes sense with Julio in town.

What to do about this? While it is obvious that Tennessee's offense lives and dies by Derrick Henry, it must be said that Ryan Tannehill kept the receiving unit alive last year. Brown was sublime and some folks had him as the potential WR1 in 2021.

Jones will lower Brown's upside, and undoubtedly Firkser's. Firkser projects (via PFF) to finish as a borderline TE2 with 104+ PPR points while having an ADP of TE18. Not hard to see how overvalued Firkser still is. Unless his ADP keeps cratering from now to the start of the season, Firkser is a clear fade.

 

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

While not the highest-priced of the second-level crop of tight ends, Higbee's ADP has been getting higher by the day for the past month and a half. That has to do with Gerald Everett getting out of LA and with the addition of Matthew Stafford to man the Rams' pocket more than anything. That's all there is to it, really, as the Rams avoided any addition at either TE and WR other than DeSean Jackson (hard to see him completing a full 17-game season) and midget-rookie Tutu Atwell (definitely not one with Higbee's profile).

Fantasy GMs bet on Higbee last summer, drafting him with a TE9 ADP and a 91.3 overall ADP. Higbee returned a low TE17 finish in PPR leagues. That wasn't really good, to say the least. But fantasy GMs are doubling down on Higbee come 2021 as the tight end is now carrying a rather high TE10 and 73-overall ADP by mid-June. Do we trust Higbee, though?

Judging by PFF projections, we definitely should. And you better be fast hitting that "draft" button if you find Higbee available past the 10th round if you don't want to get sniped by a savvy GM. Higbee's TE10 is a bargain compared to his projection to finish as the TE7 of the year. There is quite a jump in the projections from TE6 (194 FP) to Higbee's 163 FP, but there is also a massive gap in terms of ADP (from 37 to 73). Go after Higbee while his price is still affordable.



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