Dynasty Value Study: Tyler Higbee, TE LAR

Joseph Nammour

In this series, the writers here at Dynasty League Football will be diving deep into the current dynasty value of a specific player. This can actually be quite a challenge considering player value in a dynasty league can be impacted by everything from weekly production during the season to decisions players make off the field in the spring and summer months.

Luckily for you, we offer a number of valuable tools here at Dynasty League Football to measure a player’s value and we’ll be taking you all through many of them throughout this Dynasty Value Study series. Let’s dig in!

The Los Angeles Rams selected Tyler Higbee in the fourth round (110th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was considered a decent all-around tight end, but his strengths were more as a blocker than as a true pass-catching weapon, especially compared to other tight ends in the class.

As such, Higbee primarily functioned as a blocking tight end for the first three and a half years of his career. Sean McVay hand-picked Gerald Everett in the second round of the draft in 2017, and he was the primary pass catcher of the two players until his injury this season.

After a silent rookie season in 2016, Higbee caught 25 passes for 295 yards and one touchdown in 2017, and followed it up with a nearly identical line in 2018, catching 24 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Ever so consistent, Higbee had 26 catches for 212 yards up through week 12 this season… and then something changed. From weeks 13-17, Higbee went off, racking up 43 receptions for 522 yards and two touchdowns.

Everett was largely out of the way while Higbee exploded, but he returned for the last two weeks of the season without making much of an impact. Going forward, Higbee still has to compete with Everett, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods – I expect Brandin Cooks to be elsewhere in 2020 – but he’s now shown he can produce with all of those players on the field.

His late-season surge in production has caused his value to spike – or has it? Let’s evaluate where Higbee is being valued by the DLF staff, the dynasty community, and the host of tools on the site.


In our top 200 overall dynasty rankings, Higbee currently ranks 133rd overall, with a high rank of 105 and a low of 194 – which seems low or outdated. Higbee is ranked between Baltimore Ravens running back Justice Hill and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

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In our positional rankings, Higbee comes in as the TE19, between free-agent-to-be Eric Ebron and Chris Herndon of the New York Jets. More interestingly, he has a high rank of TE14 (shared between myself and one other ranker) and a low of TE33. Given the landscape at the position, 33 seems extremely low, but Higbee’s late-season surge has been met with some long-term skepticism.

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In our recently released January dynasty ADP, Higbee’s ADP was 119.37, ranking him as the 118th overall player and making him the TE14. This places him between David Njoku and Mike Gesicki at the position and between running backs Damien Williams and Royce Freeman overall.

This is by far the highest ADP of Higbee’s career to date. Higbee’s ADP previously peaked at 172.83 in April 2017, but his current ADP of 119.17 marks a 93.33 spot jump from December and a new career high. In January, Higbee was drafted as early as 98th in one of the six mock drafts held and fell no lower than 142 overall in any of the six.

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Another useful player valuation tool at DLF is the Trade Finder, which pulls trade data from actual dynasty leagues. You can also customize the data based on number of teams, scoring and starting requirements. Each of the following trades are based on typical PPR leagues with just one starting quarterback.

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Unsurprisingly, these trades are all over the map. Higbee, combined with a 2021 second, pulled a 2020 first in one deal, while he’s going for nearly nothing in a handful of other deals. Based on these recent trades from actual leagues, it seems like he would be quite attainable for a mid-to-late second-round pick in most leagues.


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Another useful player value tool is DLF’s Dynasty Trade Analyzer, which shows that Higbee’s value aligns closely with the 2.10 pick. I also compared Higbee with a random 2021 2nd, and those are comparable as well. Other players at other positions that are valued similarly include Damien Williams, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jamison Crowder.


Ryan McDowell often polls his Twitter followers to evaluate how the dynasty community values various players. It is useful when used in conjunction with the tools above, and can be more ‘in-the-moment’ than a tool like ADP.

I decided to go ahead and perform a similar exercise with Higbee and the tight ends on both sides of him in rankings and ADP to see where my followers were at. I had a feeling the results would be all over the place, and they did not disappoint.


















According to the polls – and again, this is a far from perfect evaluation technique – the tight ends polled would rank in the following order:

  1. Dallas Goedert 81%
  2. Mike Gesicki 73%
  3. David Njoku 71%
  4. Jonnu Smith 69%
  5. OJ Howard 63%
  6. Irv Smith Jr. 56%
  7. Tyler Higbee
  8. Jared Cook 34%
  9. Gerald Everett 34%
  10. Ian Thomas 24%

The most fascinating thing about these Twitter polls that I threaded together is that, despite a very small sample size of votes on these polls, there is seemingly no consensus at all on how to value a player like Higbee. This is mirrored in both ADP and rankings, as shown above.


Higbee is clearly a player the dynasty community is uncertain how to value at this point in time. He was an afterthought for the majority of his career before a late-season boom in 2019, and it’s impossible to truly gauge whether his drastic increase in usage was a small sample phenomenon or a sign of things to come.

Higbee is almost certainly pulling less in trades than he was during the fantasy playoffs (if trading was still allowed) as teams may have desperately tried to overpay to add some tight end production for a title run. The strange thing is that his production didn’t really start until after the trade deadline in most leagues had passed already.

He’s not a sure thing because the Rams could easily just revert to how they had utilized him for four years prior to his breakout. However, I think Higbee showed too much potential for him to revert back into a pumpkin. He’s not the sexiest pick as a breakout tight end, but he’s shown he has high-end TE1 upside if things break right. His cost does not reflect that right now.