As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. The Los Angeles Rams drastically changed how they used Tyler Higbee down the stretch. Was it a fruitful effort, and something we should look forward to repeating when we draft our 2020 fantasy football leagues?
Tyler Higbee ADP and AAV:
Standard: TE12, 106 overall
PPR: TE7, 74 overall
Average Auction Value: $3
Tyler Higbee Statistics:
Tyler Higbee Overview:
Let’s set the scene for Tyler Higbee’s breakout. The Rams had just lost 6-45 against the Baltimore Ravens and sat at 6-5. The team’s once potent offense had spit out just 14.75 points per game over the last four weeks. At this point, Tyler Higbee had played just about 52% of the offensive snaps and was averaging about 2.5 catches for 21 yards per game. He wasn’t anything to write home about, and the Rams offense, stymied by concussion issues to Brandin Cooks, looked primed to fall apart.
Then, Todd McVay flipped the play sheet over to the side that just said “Tyler Higbee, no matter what.” After that Ravens game, Higbee played 92% of the team’s offensive snaps, and things got better for him from there. Over the last five games, Higbee’s targets went up to 11 per game, which allowed him to haul in 8.5 catches for 104 yards per contest over the last five weeks of the season. Granted, this included two games against Tight End Easy Mode (Arizona), but the overall production cannot be ignored. He had over 100 yards in four-straight games and was the league’s hottest fantasy football commodity down the stretch. The Rams went 3-2, and their offense scored 29 points per contest—two whole touchdowns per game more than they did in the four games prior to Higbee’s promotion.
The major question: will they repeat this? I say yes, to the strategy, at least. Brandin Cooks is a Texan, and the two-TE sets that led to this powerful output tell me that more good things are on the horizon for Higbee in 2020.
Tyler Higbee Draft Strategy:
There is some downside to those thoughts but they are baked into Higbee’s 2020 ranking and ADP (in standard scoring, anyway). The Rams traded Cooks, yes, but they drafted Van Jefferson. They could turn to two-TE sets more, correct, but they also have Gerald Everett on the roster. Ultimately, the Rams could just ignore what they did down the stretch and go back to running out three wide receivers, ignoring Higbee entirely.
But that’s the fun part about Tyler Higbee, all of that is baked into his price, and his ADP is not rising unnecessarily like a souffle. Instead, it’s staying exactly where it should be. Like a regular ol’ sheet cake. Higbee is going right around some tight ends that I like more, but I can’t argue with his ADP. I just never end up with him, is all. There’s plenty of reason to believe that he will repeat his torrid pace down the stretch, and there are some very valid reasons why that pace cannot be believed.
Both outcomes are priced into his ADP, and because of his downside, I would recommend snagging two backend tight ends if you plan on calling Higbee’s name on your fantasy football draft day.
Best Case Scenario:
We see Tyler Higbee from down the stretch last year, and he rewards his fantasy owners’ faith with a top-four fantasy football season.
Worst Case Scenario:
The role of Tyler Higbee in the above-referenced best-case scenario is instead played by Gerald Everett. Higbee is left to watch from the sidelines as Everett has all the fun.