Does Mike Gesicki’s name remind anyone else of Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc.? No? Just me? Well, Gesicki certainly isn’t scaring anyone other than his fantasy owners to begin his career. I want to take a look if Gesicki is someone you should be inserting into your lineups to inspire fear in your opponents, or if he makes your team a good candidate for a job at the laugh factory.
It would be underselling it to say Gesicki entered the league with some hype. The Penn State tight end entered the league off a season where he scored nine touchdowns, and his Scouting Combine performance was one that Sully would be proud of. He was on top of the world, being selected as high as 112 in DLF’s June ADP in 2018.
Then the season happened. You know when the season included the words: “five games were started by Brock Osweiler” that what’s about to follow isn’t going to be pretty. Gesicki’s rookie year stat line: 22-202-0 on 32 targets.
I’m not going to lie to you. The list of tight ends who had around the same amount of receiving yards as Gesicki did as a rookie isn’t inspiring. However, it might encourage some of you to know that Eric Ebron and Kyle Rudolph weren’t even 50 receiving yards ahead of him. There may be hope yet.
It’s not exactly surprising that this has caused his ADP to drop by over 50 spots to 165 in DLF’s April 2019 ADP. That finds the sophomore tight end as the 21st tight end taken in the mocks. He’s behind Mark Andrews, Ian Thomas, and Irv Smith Jr. I’m going to make the case for why I believe Gesicki can still be a worthwhile selection for your fantasy team.
Let’s start with Ryan Tannehill. He hasn’t been effective for a few years now, and the Dolphins finally pushed him through the door that leads to Siberia (or, in this case, backing up Marcus Mariota). The last time Tannehill was effective was now four seasons ago. In dynasty terms, that might as well be a lifetime ago. That’s back when we thought that both Mariota and Jameis Winston were going to be the best thing to happen to the quarterback position in a long time. Yeah, that long ago.
In terms of what the team has done to replace Tannehill, they brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick and traded for Josh Rosen. It’s not much of a secret that I’m a big believer in Rosen’s talent. I believe he will start over Fitzpatrick, but it’s possible that he sits. The Dolphins didn’t invest too much in him, but it would behoove them to see if he can be the future of the franchise.
Personally, I think it will be better for Gesicki if Rosen starts. Rosen targeted Ricky Seals-Jones 69 times last season, and had a tendency to look for Caleb Wilson often in college. Regardless of who starts, it’s hard to envision a scenario where neither is an improvement upon Tannehill who couldn’t even put up 2,000 passing yards last season and had a worse than 2:1 TD to interception ratio.
What about the other receivers on the team? You often hear fantasy Twitter arguing over whether Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, or DeVante Parker is the best receiver on the team. I have my own thoughts on the matter, but this receiving group certainly isn’t doing much to fill up the scream canisters. It’s easy to see a path where the Penn State tight end finds himself one of the top targets on this team.
As for the coaching, it’s hard to say what their tendencies are when it comes to tight end. Brian Flores is still the head coach, but the team brought in Chad O’Shea who was formerly the Patriots’ receiver coach. It would be his first time calling plays, so it’s really anyone’s guess as to what he will do. However, I believe he will attempt to find ways to get Gesicki more involved considering my stated feelings about the rest of the receiver corps.
- Gesicki for the 2.06
- Gesicki for the 3.11 and 3.12
- Gesicki for a 2020 third
- Gesicki for the 4.06 and a 2020 second
We do need to keep in mind that this is a limited sample of trades and could just be how these particular leagues are valuing the sophomore tight end. However, if this is the price that it would take to acquire him, you should be interested.
I think we often forget that tight ends take time to develop. It’s why we as a community largely moved on from the likes of Eric Ebron and Austin Hooper before their breakouts. Not every tight end is going to hit though. For every Hooper or Ebron who breaks out later, there are some who never hit and bleed value on your roster. It’s just as important to recognize when to get out as when to buy in cheaply, and that could easily be the case with Gesicki.
Since he could easily be a bust, I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking Ian Thomas, Irv Smith Jr., or Kyle Rudolph over Gesicki. In the case of Thomas and Smith Jr., they haven’t really gotten the opportunity to show what they can do yet so the mystery allure is still there. Rudolph has been a steady performer at the position for years.
I still choose to believe that Gesicki has the highest upside of the bunch. Maybe I’m just buying into the athletic freak narrative which I told myself I wouldn’t do after I bought too hard into Dorial-Green Beckham. Plus, all the players I mentioned have some serious competition for targets. The receiver groups on the Panthers and Vikings are much better than the one on the Dolphins.
Personally, I’d be happy to pay a mid-late second this year or next for Gesicki, because I believe that represents the range of his outcomes. It’s not a price without risk, and one that understandably could make you fill up a scream canister yourself. However, just like the monsters at the end of the movie, I believe he will bring a smile to your face if he is on your team.