It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the tight ends. Today, we take a look at 2021’s breakout tight end, Mark Andrews. Andrews finished as TE1 in fantasy points last season, but is he the new King of the Hill, or did Travis Kelce merely temporarily abdicate his throne? Let’s take a look at his 2022 fantasy football player profile!
Mark Andrews ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: TE2, 18 overall
Average Auction Value: $34.4
Mark Andrews Statistics:
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tgt||HPPR Pts/Tgt||PPR Pts/Tgt|
2022 Mark Andrews Fantasy Football Overview:
The first thing we have to address: what happened? How did Mark Andrews go from a strong tight end who had 88 targets in 2020 into the offensive juggernaut in 2021, where he finished with 153 targets? Well, the first thing you might think of is that the Ravens prioritized Mark Andrews, which is why he suddenly jumped up in targets. Unfortunately, his target share went up just about 1%, from 25.4% to 26.6%. But what about his air yards? Well, he took a massive step forward, going from 911 air yards to 1,440 air yards in 2021. On the surface, it seems as though his improvement came from those increased air yards and a philosophy change. Except, his average depth of target dropped a yard per target, and his air yards share stayed almost the same, sitting at 28% in 2020, and 29.6% in 2021. He also had 20 red zone targets in 2021, to 17 in 2020 (in three more games). So, all-in-all, nothing changed about Mark Andrews, there was just… more of it.
Injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill on the eve of the season, all in rapid succession, suddenly saw the Ravens scrambling to find a replacement. They cycled through has-beens like Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, and Latavius Murray. Lamar Jackson missing the vast majority or all of six games certainly didn’t help their running game either, as Josh Johnson and Tyler Huntley aren’t quite Lamar. In those games, Mark Andrews went from 8 targets, 5.5 receptions, and 71 yards per game up to 11 targets, 8 catches, and 102 yards per game. While he took a step forward from 2020 for the entirety of 2021, his numbers without Lamar Jackson tell a very different story, where virtually doubled his yardage (50.1 yards per game in 2020), his receptions (4.1 receptions per game in 2020), and targets (6.3 targets per game in 2020) compared to his prior usage.
2022 Mark Andrews Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
To be honest with you, I intended on making this a Mark Andrews fluff piece, about how he smashed all expectations last season and should keep cruising this year. I tell you this not because that’s what I think the takeaway should be, but to show you that I go where the data takes me. And the data took me to a dark place with Mark Andrews. But, there are some rays of sunshine on the horizon. The passing attack will surely collapse around losing Marquise Brown and J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Lamar Jackson all returning at full health. But, the collapse of the passing game won’t necessarily take Mark Andrews with it. I think that Mark Andrews stands tall as everything falls around him, as the centerpiece of the passing game. But, what if the passing game goes back to its 2020 roots? That was 25 pass attempts per game, compared to 35 in 2021. In order for Mark Andrews to keep his massive target volume, you’re looking at a 36% target share. And if the Ravens split the difference and go to 30 pass attempts per game, you’re still looking at a 30% target share or a 3.4% increase in target share.
More-than-likely, Andrews’ passing share stays the same, and he drops down to about 135 targets. While that’s a nice number, it isn’t one that will challenge for the #1 spot. I doubt he falls out of the top five, but given the wobbliness of his production, I would pass on him at his ADP (TE2, 18 overall) because the offensive contraction sucking up Mark Andrews’ opportunities is just over that ridge, and I don’t want to go over there.
In salary cap drafts, the investment is even less palatable. He’s $34.3. That’s literally more than Kyle Pitts ($16) and either Darren Waller or George Kittle ($12) combined. If you want a top-five tight end so bad, then take two cracks at it with those guys rather than spending all your cash on Mark Andrews. It’ll work out for you better in the long run, anyway.
Best Case Scenario:
The Ravens continue their passing game volume, and Mark Andrews benefits and finishes as TE1.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Ravens don’t continue their passing game volume, to Mark Andrews’ detriment, and he finishes as TE5.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Andrews_Ravens2020_(cropped).jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]