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Value of Antonio Gates?

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Value of Antonio Gates?

Postby FF Newbie » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:06 am

A lot of people say they will NEVER draft a tight end before the 4th round. The really, really adventurous ones will sometimes take a TE in round 3. Well, IMO, Antonio Gates has established himself as quality SECOND ROUND value. He is the runaway #1 TE, holding a HUGE advantage over #2 TE Shockey and an even larger lead over all the rest of the pack.

Not only has he out-distanced all other tight ends, he is blowing away most #1 wide receivers. The only receivers who can keep up are Steve Smith, Holt (when healthy), Owens (when playing), Fitzgerald, and Chad Johnson, but Gates has actually outscored most of those, if you adjust for the extra game he missed. When you factor in that he is doing this from the TIGHT END position, his value is just enormous.

San Diego just locked up Gates long-term and he should be playing side-by-side with LT for many years. He's in one of the most stable situations going forward of any player in the league. In my league, we can keep 3 players and I am almost certainly going to keep Gates, even over Chad Johnson, whom I also have on my team. In fact, there are only about 15 players I would even consider keeping over Gates right now:

LT2
Alexander
LJ
Edge
SJax
Jordan
Barber
McGahee
Westbrook (maybe)
DD (maybe)
JJ (maybe)
Steve Smith (maybe)
Palmer (maybe in a 2QB league)
Peyton Manning (maybe in a 2QB league)
McNabb (probably not)
Bulger (probably not)
Fitzgerald (probably not)
CJ (probably not)
Holt (probably not)

I'd be interested in hearing who agrees or disagrees with my opinion. Which of the players in that list would you keep (or draft) over Gates next year? What players would you accept for him straight-up right now, if you had him on your team? I'm sure I'll hear a lot of "never draft a TE before round 3/4," but I have to say, in the case of Gates, I strongly disagree. Fire away.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:26 am

I think you make a good argument...I doubt anyone will dispute Gates' production.

I was waiting until this year to determine a value for Mr. Gates. Obviously he's not declining any time soon, so yes, he now has elevated draft position value due to positional scarity.

Gonzalez was always a sketchy 3rd round pick in my book (meaning I wouldn't ever do it), but I think that was decent market value for him. Gates is doing even better than Gonzalez ever did! 8-o

At this point, I will agree that he is probably a 2nd round selection after the top 4-5 WR's are gone and before the more marginal #2 RB's. When you outscore all others at your position by as much as Gates does, and when the numbers are crunched, having Gates on your team with a lower tier #2 RB would probably net you more weekly points than a more solid #2 and a #1 WR that might end up busting on you. ;-D
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Postby FF Newbie » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:37 am

Yeah. I just don't see enough upside in ANY #2 RBs out there to pass on Gates for them. You can usually score a decent #2 RB much later in the draft. This year was probably my most successful with that strategy, but I got Stephen Davis in the 9th round 8-o and he is out-performing MANY RBs taken ahead of him. Gates is as much of a sure thing, at this point, as there is in fantasy football, so I think it's worth taking him that early. BTW, I'm feeling pretty good with LT, Gates, and Steve Smith as my 3 keepers and Fitz as my developmental player. ;-D
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Postby matmat » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:46 am

this all boils down to value based drafting. Does gates outproduce the next best TE by more than the WR/RB you would take in the second round outproduce the WR/RB you'd get in the 4th or 5th?

with gates i think the answer is yes.
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Postby creamdoorthirtyniner » Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:45 am

I think Gates has exceptional skills, and will continue his crazy amazing pace next year, but at the price of a second rounder, I'm not as keen as some of you guys are, at drafting him that early. I'd probably take him if he fell to me late second, but I think there's players to be had over him at the scarcer positions.
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Postby joshyboy72 » Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:57 am

I completely agree with you. I actually had the privilege of watching Gates absolutely tear apart the Jets this past weekend and it was a treat. The guy is unbelievable the way he runs his routes and moves with the football.

With the emotion you are showing in these posts I can tell how excited you are to share this with everyone...my only problem is that we're only in week 10. We've still got many months to go, in which many things can change.

But by the way most of the early to mid second rounders have performed this year (Rudi, Portis, JJ, KJ, Ahman) you may be on to something.
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Postby Warhawk » Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:44 am

Obviously Gates has more value than a WR with similar stats, because he fills a roster spot which normally is considered a crapshoot. There are plenty of good WRs out there, but not many good TEs. If you can get a TE that produces as consitantly as many WRs, you immediately have an advantage.
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Postby Matthias » Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:47 am

creamdoorthirtyniner wrote:I think Gates has exceptional skills, and will continue his crazy amazing pace next year, but at the price of a second rounder, I'm not as keen as some of you guys are, at drafting him that early. I'd probably take him if he fell to me late second, but I think there's players to be had over him at the scarcer positions.


huh? scarcer positions? huh? where you value gates is your business, but there is no scarcer position than tight end.

making gates a 2nd rounder is an interesting debate.... i'd have to churn it a little bit. but as joshyboy said, watching gates is flat-out fun. the best word i have for his operation is "smooth." he glides over the field... i saw him play against my vikings in the 2003 season and came out looking for him in my drafts last year. but again, agreed, he's just flat-out fun to watch.
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Postby DrSpackle » Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:57 am

Interesting debate as I just acquired Gates in a trade last night. I gave up T Bell, J Galloway and E Kinney for Gates and the Bears D. I have enough depth at each position to absorb the losses of those three players. And I really feel like I have a championship team now with Gates being the missing piece of the puzzle (Cooley was my TE).

Gates basically acts as another #1 WR. And I think that if I play my match-ups right the rest of the year I will get more production out of my #2 WR spot than I would with Cooley. Gates gives me a huge advantage over the rest of the league where we are forced to start a TE. Essentailly I get to start two legit #1 WRs and a solid #2 WR. That is a huge advantage.

That said, I think Gates is worth a high pick (2-3 rd) even more so in leagues where the TE position is mandatory.
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Postby smackthefirst » Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:11 am

In a TE mandatory league, I picked up Gates late in the draft last year. He was simply amazing. But then I was stuck with a gamble. I had amassed a devestating team but we could only keep 3 players.

I had SA/Edge/JJones/Barber/Holt/Gates. Yes I won it all but regardless, I was torn as to whom to keep. I liked Gates but I kept thinking was it a fluke. Well lets just say I ended up keeping Edge/SA/Gates and I am not regretting it one bit. It's great every week to see my TE outsocre most other teams top WR and TE.

Oh and this is a PPR league, which skyrockets his value.
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