Mark Andrews is coming off the best season of his career, one in which he truly established himself as an elite fantasy tight end. Following his overall TE1 finish, Andrews’ dynasty value is at an all-time high entering the 2022 season. How should dynasty fantasy football managers value Andrews in 2022 and beyond?
Mark Andrews’ dynasty profile for 2022
Evaluating tight ends is always a bit trickier than running backs and wide receivers. When it comes to tight ends, it’s not enough for a player to be one of the best at his position — he also has to be a difference-maker.
Travis Kelce has been the dynasty TE1 for the last half-decade. But being the best doesn’t mean the same thing every season. From 2018-2020, Kelce finished as the overall TE1 in fantasy points per game (minimum eight games played). He averaged 18.4 ppg in 2018, 15.9 in 2019, and 20.9 in 2020. Those are all very different seasons. You can’t just say Kelce was the best tight end in fantasy and convey how well he performed.
In 2021, Andrews finally unseated Kelce for the top spot with an average of 17.7 ppg. Andrews led all tight ends in targets (154), receptions (107), yards (1,361), and touchdowns (9 — tied with Kelce). In addition, three of Andrews’ four best games came in Weeks 14, 15, and 16 — arguably the three most important weeks in fantasy football.
Many factors led to Andrews’ monster 2021 season. For dynasty managers, the challenge in assessing Andrews’ value is figuring out how repeatable his production is.
Fantasy projection for Andrews
I will say I don’t want to paint Andrews as inconsistent. For tight ends, if they can get to double digits, that’s a good week. Andrews did that in all but four games. He was a reliable producer who rarely let you down at fantasy’s weakest position. With that said, I do want to place Andrews’ production in a bit of context.
Andrews scored 297 fantasy points last season. Of those points, 44.5% of them came in four games. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Andrews won you four matchups by himself. At the TE position, you’re lucky if a run-of-the-mill tight end does that once the entire season. It’s just important for fantasy managers to understand that despite averaging 17.7 ppg, Andrews only scored over 17.5+ fantasy points six times.
The Ravens’ defense will be healthier in 2022
Next, we have the issue of the Baltimore Ravens’ defense falling apart. The Ravens allowed opponents to total 6,178 yards and 49 touchdowns against them in 2021. For context, those numbers were 5,376 and 34 the season before and 4,809 and 27 the season before that.
Due to being devasted by injuries, the Ravens’ defense couldn’t stop anyone. As a result, they attempted 611 passes, their highest passing rate since Lamar Jackson took over as starter and their third-highest passing rate since they drafted Joe Flacco in 2008. This is how someone like Andrews, with a previous career-high of 98 targets, suddenly spikes to 154.
Andrews is still an elite fantasy tight end
There’s no denying Andrews was incredible last season. He led all tight ends in air yards share and deep targets while finishing top three in routes run, yards per route run, and yards after the catch. Just understand that 2021 was a perfect confluence of factors propelling Andrews to a career year. The most likely scenario is we just saw the best season Andrews will ever have.
Fantasy managers should still expect Andrews to have his occasional spike weeks and a solid weekly floor. Just acknowledge he probably won’t average 17.7 ppg again. He was at 12.2 in 2020 and 13.8 in 2019 — both top-five seasons at the position. Andrews can still be the most valuable TE in dynasty at around 15 ppg.
What is Andrews’ future beyond 2022?
Dynasty managers need not concern themselves too much with Andrews’ long-term future. Andrews will be 27 years old when the season begins, and he’s signed through his age-30 campaign.
It’s only a matter of time before the Ravens extend Jackson, so Andrews and his quarterback will be playing together for the foreseeable future. And even when Andrews turns 30, that’s not nearly as old for tight ends as it is for running backs and wide receivers. Andrews should remain highly productive for another 7-10 years.
What can fantasy managers expect from Andrews?
Andrews will be an elite TE1 as he’s been the past three seasons. How elite? Well, it depends on the Ravens’ offense. They’re not going to throw as much as they did last season, so fantasy managers need to expect regression.
Andrews went from a guy averaging around 50-55 receiving yards per game to 80 based on volume. He’ll still be Jackson’s favorite target and primary red-zone option. If anything, Andrews should’ve scored more than 9 times last season given his massive spike in volume. He had 10 touchdowns in 2019 on just 64 receptions.
Kelce remains the most valuable tight end in fantasy for the 2022 season. However, Kelce will be 33 years old in October. Due to their respective ages, Andrews is more valuable in dynasty.
Andrews is justifiably the consensus dynasty TE1 due to his age and productivity. Dynasty managers should expect Andrews to provide top-five production for the next several years, albeit at a slightly lower level than we saw in 2021.
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