Why Mark Andrews Is The Ultimate Buy Now
Alrighty, well in case you didn't notice from this weeks articles, Dom and I were going over "Buys and Sells" at each of the four primary fantasy positions. I happened to get blessed with the TE position. While I was digging into research and all that good stuff, I happened to realize that I have a TON to say about Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews. So much that I would not feel comfortable with having paragraphs of him and then in the same article having a couple sentences on why Zach Ertz is declining. Anyway, this has been one of my favorite pieces I've written in recent time, so I hope you enjoy this mind blowing breakdown as much as I do.
Reviewing The 2019 Season: It's safe to say that Mark Andrews broke out in 2019. Andrews exploded onto the scene, tallying 98 targets, racking up 64 receptions, for 852 receiving yards, and leading all TE's with 10 receiving touchdowns. Not only is he efficient in the red zone, but the man is a big play machine. He happened to tie with George Kittle for the TE lead in 20+ yard receiving plays with 16 a piece. Andrews saw 6+ targets in 11 of the 16 games played. With those targets, he had 6 games where he had 5+ receptions and 5 games where he went 75+ receiving yards. This phenomenal 2019 breakout season featured 9 games where Andrews recorded 12+ fantasy points in PPR leagues, featuring 4 games where he recorded 23+ fantasy points. It's evident that Ravens QB Lamar Jackson loves looking Mark Andrews way whether it's in the middle of the field for the first down or throwing the end zone lob for the TD. If you're not already impressed, the next portion is where it gets really juicy.
Low Snap Counts: You might read above and think "this dude balled out last year, how is he projected to do any better?" I got you fam. It really comes down to the snap count % for me. Did you know that Mark Andrews finished as the TE3 in 2019 and only played a low 41% of the Baltimore Ravens snaps? Let me just say that again, the NFL TE leader in TD's had a 16-game average of 41% snaps played per game for the Ravens. So not only was he averaging less than half the teams snaps per game, but Andrews didn't even exceed 60%+ snaps once in a game in 2019. Why is that a thing you ask? Well the Ravens love running multiple TE's in the offensive formations.
TE Grouping: Here's a look at the Ravens TE group in 2019: Mark Andrews- Snaps Per Game: 41%, 64 Receptions, 852 Yards, 10 TD's Hayden Hurst- Snaps Per Game: 41%, 30 Receptions, 349 Yards, 2 TD's Nick Boyle- Snaps Per Game: 70%, 31 Receptions, 321 Yards, 2 TD's The Ravens trio combined for 155 Receptions, 1,522 Yards, and 14 Touchdowns. Those numbers end up being 58% of Lamar Jacksons completed passes, 48% of his passing yards, and 38% of his passing touchdowns. With that being said, it's very clear that Lamar Jackson loves targeting the TE position. This brings me to my next point. Hayden Hurst was valued very highly during his tenure with the Ravens. Between the 3 TE's, Hurst easily had the highest draft equity, as he was the 28th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Hurst saw the SAME AMOUNT OF SNAPS as the NFL TE leading touchdown scorer. With Hurst now with the Atlanta Falcons, it's safe to say that Andrews will be on the field more, creating more fantasy opportunity. Nick Boyle seems primed to be locked in as the TE2 in this offense and here's a breakdown on the other TE's on the teams roster: Charles Scarff: Undrafted FA signed with the Ravens last year, but was later released then brought back late in the season to join the teams practice squad. January 20th of this year, they upgraded him to the 75-man roster. Eli Wolf: Undrafted and signed with the Ravens May 20th of this year. He's out of Georgia and had a solid pro day, but even the high drafted rookie TE's more times than not don't have fantasy value as a rookie, so I'm not projecting him to do anything in 2020. Jacob Breeland: Undrafted FA and I actually liked his tape out of Oregon. He tore his ACL in October and it was revealed at his combine that he also had a broken leg. Sure seems like he has a long way to go if you ask me. What I'm getting at is that the only TE's that I'm expecting to see the field in 2020 for the Baltimore Ravens is Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle. With Hayden Hurst now leaving a 41% snap rate behind as he cuts town, what is Mark Andrews to get out of this? It's interesting to me because Nick Boyle was already seeing a impressive 70% snap rate in 2019, do we really expect him to get that much of an increase in snap rate? Andrews can honestly go from 41% in 2019 to a huge bump in let's just say 60-70% snap rate in 2020. Now what would the TE3 of 2019 be capable of accomplishing with playing an extra 20%-30% snaps in 2020? Let's talk about it!
The Ceiling: Ok, so I said above that Andrews was playing 41% of snaps in 2019 and still finished as the TE3 right? We all know that Travis Kelce and George Kittle finished as the TE1/2 in fantasy last year, but what was the elite TE's snap rate looking like in 2019? Travis Kelce: 87% Snap Rate For The Kansas City Chiefs George Kittle: 88% Snap Rate For The San Francisco 49ers Andrews was hanging with the best of them despite playing less than half the snaps they were! How impressive is that? Here's where you start blinking in amazement and then you double check to make sure you're reading this correctly. Fantasy Points Per Game TE Leaders (.5 Scoring): Travis Kelce: 13 Fantasy Points Per Game George Kittle: 12.9 Fantasy Points Per Game Mark Andrews: 11.7 Fantasy Points Per Game Yes, your reading that right. Not only did Mark Andrews finish within 2 points of being the most consistent TE in 2019, but he did so playing 41% of snaps while Kelce/Kittle were seeing more than double that!
Dynasty Outlook: While Mark Andrews is currently being valued as the TE3 in dynasty leagues, that is too low for me. The 24 year old is just now scratching the surface in the NFL and he's 2-years younger than Kittle and 6 years younger than Kelce. It's beyond me why he's not in the conversation as the TE1 in dynasty. With that being said, it's even more confusing as to why he is currently going in Round 4 in startups for dynasty at the moment. Let's just say worse case scenario, they for some reason keep Andrews low on the snap count, he still finished in the area of Kelce and Kittle in 2019. If he even gets a modest 10-15% snap increase, his numbers shoot up in every category. Hayden Hurst left behind 40 targets in 2019, could you imagine the numbers Andrews could put up if he even got 20 more targets in 2020? Even though he's priced as the TE3 and comes with a round 4 asking price in start ups, that is honestly too low in my eyes. Go buy everywhere you can in dynasty as he's tied to Lamar Jackson who I mentioned above as loving the TE position. Don't be surprised if he's drafted in Round 2 next year as the TE1. Go ahead and get ahead of the curve! Wanna know which other former TE struggled his rookie year, balled out his 2nd year, then paved way for a remarkable career? Yeah, Rob Gronkowski.