As bad as the tight end position is, it feels like people are being a little bit too hard on Mark Andrews after his 2020 season. Andrews is the No. 4 tight end in the Fantasy Pros consensus Dynasty rankings, and maybe that sounds right to you. But I have him at No. 2, and he's closer in value to first than he is to third.
While he hasn't yet been a top-two tight end on a per-game basis, Andrews has been top-five each of the past two seasons despite playing the most run-heavy offense in football. And even those numbers are held down by the fact that blowouts and a trip to the Covid list have limited his snap rate. If we're going to expect improvement from any of the consensus top-four tight ends, shouldn't it be Andrews? He'll be 25 at the start of this season. That's two years younger than George Kittle, three years younger than Darren Waller, and five years younger than Travis Kelce.
And that age doesn't matter just because of how many years Andrews has left. It's also important in evaluating his production thus far. Andrews is the fourth tight end since 2000 with 2,000 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns through his Age 25 season. You might recognize the other names:
Since the 2000 season four tight ends have delivered 2,000 receiving yards & 20 TD in their first 3 seasons— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) March 24, 2021
Jimmy Graham (328)
Antonio Gates (296)
Rob Gronkowski (262)
Mark Andrews (236)
While it's true that earning targets is a skill, it's also true that Andrews' target share compares favorably to those guys. He's just in an offense that will keep his targets down. And that worried me a little when the Ravens were allegedly courting to Allen Robinson or JuJu Smith-Schuster or even Kenny Golladay. But they landed none of them.
We should expect Andrews to remain the alpha target hog in Baltimore, which should get him close to 100 targets even if the pass volume doesn't increase. But I would also expect the Ravens pass rate to increase a little as Lamar Jackson ages, especially once they guarantee Jackson real money. It's also worth considering that Andrews, Jackson, and the Ravens may not remain married to each other for the long-term future.
All of this is to say that George Kittle is the only tight end I can rank ahead of Andrews, and I would expect that to change by the end of 2021. Andrews' elite production for his age combined with the age of the other elite options should make him the No. 1 tight end target for any rebuilding team. At least until Kyle Pitts enters the fray.
Here are my updated Dynasty tight end rankings: