Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews suffered a brutal leg injury on Thursday Night Football in Week 11. He’s likely done for the season at this point. TE is such a hard spot to find consistent fantasy football players on waivers. Is his replacement, Isaiah Likely, a worthwhile waiver addition? Let’s dive in!
Should Isaiah Likely Be a Fantasy Waiver Wire Add in Week 12?
At the TE position, replacing a player like Andrews is nearly impossible. Unless you already rostered a Trey McBride, you’re scrambling to find any kind of a consistent scorer. What was a positional advantage for you is now a massive vulnerability and weak point on the roster.
Enter Likely, the actual replacement for Andrews on the Ravens. First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Likely is not going to be what Andrews was for you. He’s one of just four TEs scoring more than 10 half-PPR points per game in fantasy. A typical replacement-level TE is down in the 6-7 point range. Losing those four points hurts.
Likely, though, has shown to be a very strong TE option when thrust into the full-time role. Last year, he played in three games where he exceeded half the snaps in a game — his worst finish in those three games? That would be TE9. His other two finishes were in the top three at the position.
One thing to note, though, is that last year was a very different team and offense. Rashod Bateman was hurt. Odell Beckham was not there. Zay Flowers was still in college. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken wasn’t there either. All this to say, the team has more alternatives than running Likely directly into the Andrews role.
That’s been reflected in the games Andrews missed time in 2023 and Likely’s performances. Andrews missed Week 1 and a significant portion of last week. In those two games, he saw just three targets, catching one of them for just four yards. If that’s the version of Likely you’re adding off waivers, there are many better options out there.
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That’s such a different utilization than 2022. Likely saw 25 total targets in his three-game sans Andrews. His lowest target total? Five. So far in 2023, he has not shown the same usage in the time spent without Andrews, which is a major red flag.
All that to say, if you need a new starting TE, Likely needs to be rostered and “likely” can be started (pun intended). Just be prepared to be disappointed and be ready to pivot. He should be near the top waiver claim for any manager missing a starting TE, but he’s not all that different from some of the borderline TE1s in 2023.
For instance, guys like Cade Otton, Michael Mayer, Luke Musgrave, and Logan Thomas could all be out there in leagues. They’ve all shown better than Likely in 2023. I’d prioritize all but Mayer if out there, and Mayer is in a similar upside tier. All this to say, Likely needs to be added based on his 2022 production. Yet, he is still a risk.
For me, I’d add multiple players if stuck in this spot. Likely’s upside is worth a shot, but he’s not in my lineup for Week 12 if possible. The players mentioned above are all TEs I’d probably start over Likely and want to add off waivers as well.
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