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Mark Andrews - 2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper


We all know that finding a reliable tight end in fantasy football can be a nightmare. There are guys at the top like Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle, but after these top-tier tight ends, the position begins to become more of a crap-shoot. The debate then turns to what type of draft pick do you want to invest in the position. Would you rather spend a mid-round pick on someone like Hunter Henry, David Njoku, or Vance McDonald, all of whom have a lot to prove in the league, or would you rather take a late-round flier on a tight end with upside? If your answer is the latter, then I may just have a tight end for you.

In 2018, Baltimore Ravens' quarterbacks targeted their tight ends a total of 127 times resulting in 86 receptions for 1,071 yards and five touchdowns. The 127 targets equated to 22.8% of all targets last season, and the 86 receptions were 25.7% of all completed passes. These numbers are extremely impressive for the tight end position.

The leader among all tight ends in Baltimore in targets, receptions, and yards was Mark Andrews. He was targeted 50 times resulting in 34 receptions for 552 yards and three touchdowns. In these categories, he ranked 18th, 19th, 16th, and 17th, respectively. While these rankings may not jump off the page immediately, it is important to keep in mind that Andrews was a rookie, and typically rookie tight ends do not perform well when they transition to the NFL. Andrews' numbers are impressive, and he may impress even more in 2019.

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Andrews to Take a Step Forward in 2019

Andrews' advanced metrics jump off the page immediately. The first place we notice this is his air yards. Andrews averaged 33.1 air yards per game, 1.28 air yards per snap, and 11.4% of the Ravens' total air yards. This ranked him in the top 22%, five percent, and 19% among league tight ends, respectively. These air yards also paid off in the form of big plays, as Andrews hauled in eight catches of 20-plus yards and two catches of 40-plus yards.

Another reason Andrews was able to make such big plays in 2018 was due to his yards after the catch (YAC) and average depth of target (aDoT) numbers. He averaged 5.9 YAC and 10.6 yards aDoT. This ranked him in the top 32% and six percent among tight ends, respectively. The YAC stands out simply because of what it means for a receiver/tight end totals as well as what type of speed they may have. Andrews ran a 4.67 40-yard dash, which ranked him in the top 28% of tight ends coming out of college a season ago. One would be able to predict that his YAC should only continue to be at or near the top of league tight end numbers in the immediate future with this type of speed.

One final metric Andrews showed great promise in 2018 was the percent of targets he garnered in the offense. He was responsible for 9.3% of the Ravens' total targets in 2018, which ranked him in the top 24% of the league at the position. With Lamar Jackson being a young and unproven quarterback, it is not out of the question to think he may rely on Andrews on shorter, more accurate routes. Andrews would then be able to use his speed to tack on YAC and improve his overall numbers.

The future for Andrews looks bright in Baltimore. He had a terrific campaign in 2018 as far as rookie tight ends are concerned, and is in great position to thrive again in 2019. He currently has an ADP of around 142, which puts him near the end of round 11 in 12-team leagues. Look to reach up just a little further and snag him ahead of someone like rookie, T.J. Hockenson, who currently has an ADP of 127.

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