For those who choose to wait on drafting tight ends to fill other positions first in fantasy football drafts, there are still quality players available once the shelves begin to empty, but they aren’t viewed as “can’t miss” fantasy prospects. They all have some concerns keeping them from being one of the top guys.
We take a look at three of those prospects at the bottom end of the TE1 grouping and where to rank them – Dallas Goedert (Philadelphia Eagles), Mike Gesicki, of the Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills‘ Dawson Knox. Each has some strong selling points, but they also have some cause for pause on draft day.
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The case for and against Dallas Goedert
- He has been a consistent receiver over his last three seasons, catching 58, 46 and 58 passes during that span.
- Goedert shattered his career high in yardage with 830 receiving yards, thanks in large part to averaging almost 15 yards per reception.
- He has remained consistent despite a revolving door at quarterback that included Nick Foles, Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts.
- Goedert blew up after the Eagles traded Zach Ertz to Arizona. In his first six games of 2021 (with Ertz), he caught 15 passes for 216 yards. In the 10 games after Ertz left, Goedert caught 41 passes for 614 yards, including five games with 70 or more receiving yards.
- The South Dakota State alum is a downfield threat who had eight of 16 games last year with at least one reception of 20 or more yards.
- He has consistently dealt with nagging injuries that have cost him time, missing seven games over the last two years and parts of others with lingering injuries.
- Goedert has never been a consistent touchdown threat, having scored just 16 career touchdowns in 57 games over four seasons.
The case for and against Mike Gesicki
- In four seasons, his numbers have improved each year in terms of receptions (22-51-53-73) and receiving yards (202-570-703-780). Gesicki’s targets also spiked – in 2020, he was targeted six or more times six times in 15 games as opposed to being involved that much in 12 of 17 games in 2021.
- In 2021, he had 10 games with four or more receptions and seven games with more than 50 yards.
- Gesicki had eight games last season with at least one reception of 20 or more yards.
- The arrival of Tyreek Hill will markedly change how defenses attack Miami’s pass offense, and it will likely lead to more one-on-one mismatch opportunities for Gesicki as defenses need to respect the big-play ability of Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
- He has proved to be durable, missing just one of 65 games in four NFL seasons.
- He’s not a prolific scorer — just 13 touchdowns in four seasons, including just two TDs on 73 receptions last year.
- Many question the ability of Tua Tagovailoa to be an elite quarterback – fueled by rumors that Miami made overtures to both Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson in the offseason.
The case for and against Dawson Knox
- He exploded on the scene in 2021. After catching 52 passes and scoring five touchdowns in 27 games his first two seasons, he landed 48 passes for 587 yards and nine touchdowns last year.
- Knox was devastating on the road last season, scoring six touchdowns in seven games away from Buffalo.
- Of these three players, nobody has a better quarterback than Knox has in Josh Allen … and it’s not even close.
- Although he has made his name as a threat in the red zone when the Bills get near the goal line, three of his touchdowns in 2021 came from 24, 25 and 53 yards.
- He is entering a contract year and that fact isn’t lost on Allen, who will be looking to help him secure a second contract to stay in Buffalo.
- There are too many other weapons in the Bills offense who can take away the spotlight of Allen’s targets. Knox ranked fourth on the team last year with 71 targets and that number may get impacted by the free-agent signing of O.J. Howard as well as emergence of Gabriel Davis.
- He has never proved to be a volume receiver. He has never caught 50 passes in a season, and what made him valuable last year was scoring an inordinately high number of touchdowns.
Fantasy football outlook
All three of these players are at the back of the TE1 tier. Their rankings can easily flipped, but one needs to consider the unique factors for each when ranking them. Put Gesicki at the top of this comparative list because of his durability and the amount of time he will be roaming over the middle in areas cleared out by the speed of Hill and ability of Waddle.
Goedert comes in second, because he proved capable of thriving when not in a timeshare. His injury history is a minor red flag that dinged him a little bit. The arrival of A.J. Brown should divert a lot of defensive attention away from Goedert.
Knox comes in third as he doesn’t the type of target volume the other two do and is overly reliant on scoring TDs. He had a tremendous season last year, and Allen is the preseason favorite to win MVP. However, Buffalo’s offense is geared much more toward throwing to wide receivers than tight ends and running backs, which drops Knox’s value slightly.