antoniogates

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You may have heard that Philip Rivers is toast. Makes sense that Antonio Gates might be as well. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.

Beating Around the Bush

It seems like we’ve been warming up to this conclusion for awhile. First, Davis Mattek suggested Gates‘ backup, Ladarius Green is someone to target: in redraft. Then Jonathan Bales demonstrated that Gates (along with Kyle Rudolph) is the worst TE value. Finally, Rich Hribar’s tweet prompted me to dig a bit more. These articles are worth a read (and Rich is worth a follow); they’ll give you a fuller understanding of the risk Antonio Gates presents.

There’s An App For That

From the QB/Receiver Efficiency App, here’s Gates’ performance over the past three seasons, compared to the previous three seasons. I added catch rate info.

Year Passer Receiver ATTS RECS Catch Rate YDS TDS INTS AYA
2010 Philip Rivers Antonio Gates 65 50 0.77 782 10 2 13.72
2011 Philip Rivers Antonio Gates 88 64 0.73 778 7 3 8.9
2012 Philip Rivers Antonio Gates 80 49 0.61 538 7 3 6.79
2006-2009 Philip Rivers Antonio Gates 438 283 0.65 3733 32 13 8.95

Gates’ game has declined three straight years, and last year’s performance was below the average for the previous three years. Obviously, Philip Rivers gets “credit” for a big portion of the decline. But even if the decline were entirely on Rivers, Gates is stuck playing with him.

Keep Hope Alive

Despair not, dear reader. This situation presents an opportunity. In recent drafts (both PPR and Standard), Gates is going off the board as the 9th TE.

Pos Pick Name Overall
Rank
1 2.03 Jimmy Graham 14.5
2 4.01 Rob Gronkowski 36.7
3 4.11 Jason Witten 47.2
4 5.07 Vernon Davis 55.1
5 5.11 Tony Gonzalez 59.1
6 6.11 Dennis Pitta 70.7
7 7.12 Kyle Rudolph 83.6
8 8.1 Jared Cook 93.8
9 9.05 Antonio Gates 100.6
10 9.1 Greg Olsen 105.9
11 9.11 Jermichael Finley 106.7
12 10.09 Brandon Myers 116.5
13 11.07 Owen Daniels 127.4
14 12.01 Martellus Bennett 133.3
15 12.06 Jordan Cameron 138.1
16 13.04 Tyler Eifert 147.9
17 13.06 Coby Fleener 150.3
18 13.08 Heath Miller 151.5
19 13.1 Brandon Pettigrew 153.6
20 14.01 Dustin Keller 157
21 14.02 Jake Ballard 158.2
22 14.04 Fred Davis 160.5
23 14.05 Jermaine Gresham 160.7
24 14.07 Rob Housler 162.6

What do we see below Gates’ ADP? A smorgasbord of RotoViz endorsed Tight Ends. According to the TE Similarity App, all of these players, except Housler, project better than Gates in both Standard and PPR formats, and at low, median, and high projection levels. And even Housler’s low projections beat Gates’ low projections. Let your leaguemates pick Gates, while you grab one of these players instead:

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