clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mark Andrews and a healthy Lamar Jackson could return to 2021 fantasy form

Andrews is one of the best fantasy tight ends available this season.

We’re creeping ever closer to the 2023 NFL season, and with its return comes beloved fantasy football! For that reason, it’s time for analysis on one of the NFL’s best tight ends and fantasy producers, Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews.

Andrews has been a solid fantasy contributor for years now, with 2021 being his peak of dominance with a 107-catch, 1,361-yard season that earned him first-team All-Pro and likely earned numerous fantasy owners wins and championships, as he managed to dominate regardless of the quarterbacks he was playing with. But that was two seasons ago, and it’s time to give a refresher on last year to consider if Andrews is the star for your team.

2022 fantasy performance

Last season, Andrews was the No. 5 tight end in the NFL, earning 117.5 points and averaging 7.6 points per game. It was a steep decline from the previous season, and a big factor was due to opponents adjusting to his dominance the year prior. With attention focused on him and no other receiver flourishing in the Ravens’ system, Andrews commanded constant double teams. He battled well in the first half of the season, with four games above 14 points in the first six weeks. But after Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman suffered a season-ending injury, it developed into more defensive attention that couldn’t be shaken from Andrews.

It didn’t help that Andrews was once more on the quarterback carousel, as Lamar Jackson suffered what turned out to be a season-ending injury, missing the final five games of the regular season. With Tyler Huntley and Anthony Brown as his quarterbacks, it was too great a feat to overcome, leaving Andrews with only one game in the double digits after his hot start.

Best-case scenario

The additions the Ravens made in the offseason greatly benefit Andrews. Signing and drafting more weapons will force less attention on Andrews, and though they’ll get more targets, it’s more likely Andrews will get more of his. After all, Andrews has been Jackson’s favorite target since they entered the NFL together. He’s sure-handed, big and strong, and his link with Jackson has worked wonders.

It’s also greatly beneficial to have new offensive coordinator Todd Monken dialing up play calls. Monken is a coordinator who knows how to scheme up an NFL-caliber passing attack and relishes the opportunity to get the ball in his best players’ hands. He’s known to build around his weapons, and not force pieces into his system whether it works or not. There’s no better receiving option on the Ravens’ roster than Andrews, which means he’ll be the one Monken builds around.

Worst-case scenario

Always, the worst-case scenario is a season-ending injury. That is a simple blanket statement for everybody; that’s the NFL. Let’s get that out of the way.

A healthy worst-case scenario for Andrews features a combination of factors, some more plausible than others.

The first would be the depth at wide receiver rapidly plummets. Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t the receiver he once was and the knee injury he’s rehabilitating from has greatly impacted his performance. Combine this with Rashod Bateman struggling to remain healthy and his drop issues have not been fixed, and quickly the offense is on Andrews’ shoulders, and defenses realize it and primarily defend him.

Another instance would be the health of Jackson, or the scheme he’s in. There’s a possibility, narrow as it may be, that Jackson can’t produce in the Monken system. That he can’t deliver. It’s highly unlikely, but that would be encompassed in these worst-case scenarios. This, along with Jackson missing another five-plus games for the third season in a row would tank Andrews’ play once more.

2023 outlook

It’s hard to envision anything but an upward projection for Andrews in 2023. He’s a scoring threat and I expect him to find the end zone eight or more times in 2023. Not including his rookie season, Andrews averages 7.75 touchdowns per year. So, that’s not some big wild biased overstatement. That’s his average. With Monken, he could easily tie his single-season personal best with 10 touchdowns.

Andrews is among the NFL’s best tight ends and his utilization in the red zone should be more apparent in the coming season.

Not including his rookie season, Andrews has averaged 940 yards per season. A near 1,000-yard, 10 touchdown season is something you’d love to have on your fantasy team from a wide receiver. Landing that as a tight end only boosts your team and delivers a knockout blow when Andrews gets the YAC others can’t.

Handcuff player recommendation

The likeliest guy to be the handcuff to Andrews is second-year tight end Isaiah Likely. He’s shown flashes of significance and a year into the NFL he’ll look to be the true TE2 in the Ravens’ offense. That said, there’s real competition, as fellow 2021 NFL draftee Charlie Kolar is also a name to consider. He was drafted ahead of Likely but was out last season due to sports hernia surgery and wasn’t involved until late in the year.

Other Ravens players to consider

  • Lamar Jackson
  • Rashod Bateman
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Zay Flowers
  • J.K. Dobbins
  • Gus Edwards