Mark Andrews knows that outside of their dreadful postseason performance, everything seemed to go in the favor of the Baltimore Ravens, especially on the offensive side of the ball, last season. 2019 League Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson had his breakout year, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown showed why he was a game-changer at Oklahoma (albeit in limited action), and the offensive line saw its two bookend tackles (LT Ronnie Staley and RT Orlando Brown Jr.) help anchor a stout line.
But one of the more under-the-radar breakouts that not many people saw coming was the emergence of tight end Mark Andrews, whose Pro Bowl season helped give Jackson a solid receiving outlet when he needed it the most. 10 touchdowns, nearly doubled his total catch and yardage outputs and did that all while missing a game is quite impressive for the former third-round draft pick.
2019 Fantasy Statistics
Andrews led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns in ‘19, showcasing his full skillset while also raising himself in terms of the tiers of tight ends.
While Andrews is not on the level that both George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers) and Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) are currently on, Andrews is safely entrenched in the second-highest tier of tight ends in the league, mixed in with both Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) and Darren Waller (Oakland Raiders).
Finishing as the TE5 position to end the ‘19 fantasy football season, Andrews broke out early in the year, putting up 108 and 112 yards against the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals, respectively, while also scoring a touchdown in each game. While those were the only two 100+ yard games that he put up for the rest of the season,Mark Andrews produced a 50 percent touchdown rate per games played, including two games of two touchdowns (at Cincinnati in Week 10 & at Cleveland in Week 16).
A surprising fact about Andrews’ production was that he was able to put up big-time numbers while only producing the 40th-highest tight end in snaps, so Mark Andrews was able to capitalize on the playing time that he had, connecting with Jackson often while he was on the field.
Mark Andrews also tied with the New Orleans Saints’ Jared Cook in red-zone targets with 11, and he had a 25 percent target share in passing situations, showcasing that even though he may not have been on the field as much as many top-flight tight ends are, he was a huge part of the offensive game plan each and every week.
2020 Fantasy Projections
More of the same can be expected out of Mark Andrews for the 2020 campaign, as the Ravens only added running back J.K. Dobbins to their offensive skill-set players, so Andrews’ role is very safe as the TE1 in the Ravens’ offense. Nick Boyle is looked at as a potential target vulture to any of Andrews’ production, and the team did just sign former Houston Texans tight end Jerell Adams, but the role that Andrews was able to carve out for himself puts him in very safe and secure company moving forward.
He put up 207.2 fantasy points, according to ESPN’s full-point PPR database, and while the receiving output should stay around the same, provided Mark Andrews remains healthy, his touchdown total is a very tough number to keep in double digits, especially with the flexibility that the offense for the Ravens can pivot to for each game.
Mark Andrews should be seen as one of the top five best tight ends on the fantasy football draft board this year, and while a first, second, and a third-round pick are seen as too high to take Andrews (although the end of the third would not be a bad spot if the remaining players do not offer enough value to take over Andrews), which places him in TE4 range, slotting in (for sure) behind both Kittle and Kelce, and most likely Ertz as well.
Rank at Position
Anywhere from tight end 3 to tight end 5 seems to be the range Mark Andrews fits into, as he is in the positional and draft-range battle with Ertz and Waller. For each of the other two options that are in his drafting range, there are a few caveats that come with each.
For Ertz, his health is a huge factor working against his draft stock this year, as he played through both a lacerated kidney and a cracked rib. Combined with the fact that he is heading into his age-29 season and Dallas Goedert is sitting behind Ertz on the depth chart, ready to take over if Ertz is unable to stay healthy, and that has the makings for a bit of a risk to take within the first three rounds.
Working in favor of Ertz — and against Mark Andrews — is the fact that Ertz has put together three consecutive top-four seasons as a fantasy TE, and he has finished seventh or better in receptions, targets, and yardage ever since the 2014 season. Durability may be a question, but Ertz has proven that pain is not going to stop him, so he can easily be thrown into the top five category.
When looking at Waller, his breakout 2019 season was even less expected than what Mark Andrews produced, and that fact alone contributed to a very low draft stock that, when taken advantage of, helped produce a great late-round value not commonly found among the tight end group.
But the depth chart is certainly going to rear its ugly head this year for Waller, as former long-time Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was brought in as tight end depth, and the team also used its first-round draft pick on Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III, as well as a later selection on Bryan Edwards, on top of needing to give Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfroe targets.
Quarterback Derek Carr is going to have a ton of mouths to feed, on top of needing to give sophomore running back Josh Jacobs the needed touches to make him a viable option in the offense. Waller’s value is going to most likely be higher due to his ‘19 outbreak, but his ‘20 stats have a high likelihood of disappointing, but not hugely.
Andrews is the top receiving option in Baltimore, and until Jackson gets enough on-field time out of either Hollywood Brown, Willie Snead IV, or any other receiving options on the roster, that will stay that way, paving the path for Mark Andrews to produce his second-consecutive top-five tight end season in 2020.