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Bengals Set to Deploy TEs More?

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Sun, 07 Jul 2024, 10:28 PM EDT
Mike Gesicki Headshot

Bengals QB Joe Burrow said recently that his offense should be ready to use more varied formations this season after some personnel changes. New OC Dan Pitcher highlighted TE as a position group he likes.

What They're Saying

Burrow: "With the personnel we have this year, we'll be able to do a lot more with personnel groupings. Putting different people in different spots … And doing a lot of different things as far as eye candy and making teams adjust their personnel based on ours."

Pitcher on the TEs: "Our tight-end room is a room that I'm very excited about. And I think they had an excellent spring. Tanner (Hudson), Mike (Gesicki), and Drew (Sample) obviously are the three experienced guys in the room. All of whom feel very comfortable in their own skin, know who they are, know how to play the game. ... [Gesicki and Hudson] are talented pass catchers and the thing that really stuck out this spring about those two players is how smart they both are, how they see the field and how they just have excellent feel."

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

Pitcher reportedly talked about how both Gesicki and Hudson can play from the slot. That positions both as better receiving bets than Sample, who has primarily helped as a blocker through five seasons in Cincinnati.

Hudson is coming off career highs in most receiving categories, including targets (50), receptions (39), and receiving yards (352). He led Bengals TEs in all three categories last season, ranking fifth on the team overall.

We're loathe to believe in a guy who logged just 15 career catches before his age-29 season. But that did mark his first year in Cincinnati.

Gesicki obviously brings the most proven production among the crew, including three straight top-12 PPR finishes with the Dolphins (2019-21). But he also signed just a one-year, $2.5 million contract with a mere $400,000 guaranteed this offseason.

We have Gesicki projected highest among Bengals TEs, but at just 27th in our TE rankings for PPR. He's the upside pick of the crew. But he and Hudson might cannibalize each other's value, especially if fourth-round rookie TE Erick All is also ready for meaningful rookie-year playing time.

Dynasty Impact

Neither Gesicki nor Hudson should factor into your dynasty plans in any meaningful way. All is interesting over the long term, though. He's stashable at the right price this offseason. But it's also possible he'll be even more affordable a year from now if he does nothing as a rookie. (That's likely, coming off his 2023 ACL tear.)

What's Next for Bengals TEs?

We'll watch this crew in training camp, to see if Gesicki can pull away as a clear starter or whether it'll be a committee situation worth avoiding.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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