Would You Rather: Start Darren Waller or Mark Andrews in 2019 Fantasy Football Season
By Max Staley
There are countless instances in which a player's fantasy value got over hyped during the summer, and this year is no different. Players like James Washington and Darrell Henderson had buzzy offseasons, but it doesn't look like that's going to translate into production.
But for each one of those, there's usually a player like Darren Waller or Mark Andrews, who deliver on (and may even exceed) the hype they generated in the offseason. With both tight ends getting off to blazing starts in Week 1, which would you rather have in fantasy football going forward?
Darren Waller Fantasy Outlook
Most NFL fans were familiar with Waller because he was a standout on HBO's "Hard Knocks." But fantasy players were monitoring him for a very different reason – Waller is a freak athlete.
Someone who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 256 pounds shouldn't be able to run a 4.46 40-yard dash, as Waller did at the 2015 NFL Combine.
Beyond his measurables, Waller was not only productive in Week 1 (seven receptions for 70 yards), he also played all 55 of Oakland's offensive snaps and led the team with eight targets. He's clearly going to be an integral part of this offense moving forward, and ranked in the top-5 in fantasy points at the tight end position in Week 1.
His value will inherently be tied to Derek Carr's production, which might not be as daunting as it sounds. Carr played really well in Week 1, and in 2018 he got a career year out of tight end Jared Cook, who finished fifth at the position in fantasy scoring as Carr fed him 101 targets.
Mark Andrews Fantasy Outlook
While Waller was effective in Week 1, he wasn't quite as productive as Andrews, who caught all eight of his targets for 108 yards and a TD. Analysts were pointing to a breakout season for Andrews all summer, and if Week 1 is any indication, he's well on his way.
While Andrews' touchdown came with the game out of hand and Robert Griffin III in at QB, he still caught seven targets from Lamar Jackson for 105 yards. Andrews also ran a route on 64 percent of Jackson's drop backs, so it looks like he's going to be used frequently in the passing game throughout the season.
If you have either one, pat yourself on the back. It looks like you've found a TE1 at a relatively low cost, as neither player had an average draft position (ADP) inside the top 14 at the position.
Still, Andrews is playing in what looks to be the more dynamic offense, and showed flashes last year, so he looks to be the safer bet right now.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.