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Antonio Gates vs Jason Witten who is #1?

When it comes to drafting a TE , 9 out of 10 owners wait to
the later rounds as “all are the same” , however those who do choose
to venture into the early rounds to nab the best TE have to be asking
themselves this year who is #1, is it Antonio Gates or Jason Witten?

Well let’s analyze this, in a standard ppr format, Gates would have finished last
season behind Jason Witten by approximately 16pts. What caused this drop in
production if it was indeed a drop. Could it be the inconsistency of Phillip Rivers, the addition of
Chris Chambers or just the Norv Turner effect?

Before Chambers was added in week 7 of the regular season, Gates had a total of
43 receptions for 547 yards and 3 tds, which is a average of 7.1 receptions
91.1 yards a game and 1 td every 2 games. These numbers are above his averages
for both his 2005 season with Drew Brees and his 2006 season the first year
with Phillip Rivers.

Once Chris Chambers was added to the offense from week 8 (week 7 was the bye
week) Gates totalled 32 receptions in the remaining 10 games. That’s quite a
drop. He also netted 437 yards and 6 tds in those 10 games. This gives him for
the last 10 games of the year a average of 3.2 receptions 43.7 yards 0.6
tds a game.

 

Chambers’ production in

San Diego from week 8 till week 17 holds the
key to this puzzle. In the 10 week period he had 35 receptions 555 yards 4 tds.
This averages out to 3.5 receptions 55.5 yards and 0.4 tds over the period.

 

Now the difference between Antonio Gates’ production from
the first 6 weeks to the final 10 weeks was what?

 

Average weeks 1-6

 
:

   7.1 receptions 91.1 yards 0.5
td / game

Average weeks 8-17 :

 
3.2 receptions 43.7 yards 0.6 td / game

Difference in production:

 
-3.9 receptions

  -47.3 yards

  +0.1 td / game

Chambers production in the same period :

   3.5 receptions 55.5 yards

  0.4 td / game

 

As you can see the difference between his averages for the
first 6 weeks and his final 10 weeks is about the same as the numbers produced
by Chris Chambers for the period.

 

Now let’s look at Jason Witten. We will look at his
production for his final 10 games of last season to give us a proper comparison
to Antonio Gates. During that period he had 64 receptions 691 yards and 3 tds,
these give us a average over the period 6.4 receptions 69.1 yards 0.3 tds /
game.

Here we will take their averages and use it as a guide for 16 games.

Witten’s
Average : 6.4 receptions

  x 16 = 102
receptions

                  

            69.1 yards

  x

  16
=

   1105 yards

                                 0.3 td

  x 16

  
=

              4 td

 

Gates Average :

  3.2
receptions x 16

  =

    51 receptions

                           
43.7 yards

  x 16

     =

   
699 yards

                           
0.6 tds x 16

            =

       9 td

 

As you can see the above average projections strongly favour
Jason Witten, in yardage and point per reception leagues, however Gates is
favoured in TD heavy leagues.

 

Now can a full season with Chris Chambers really affect
Antonio Gates as it did in the final 10 weeks of last season? Will coverage
lock more on Gates allowing Chambers or Vincent Jackson to produce more, or
will it lock on Chambers allowing Gates to roam free in the middle? Unfortunately
we won’t know the answer until our fantasy drafts are over and the season is
well under way.

 

I will leave you with some information I noticed in a couple
of mock drafts this year, in a standard scoring ppr draft for 12 teams , Antonio
Gates has once again been the 1st TE off the board going in the late
4th round (4.09) , Jason Witten has been close behind (4.11)the next
TE is available until around the late 5th round (5.09).

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