The tight end position is often a position that can really make or break a fantasy team. The position scarcity of tight ends inherently makes it more important to really find one or 2 that can constantly produce. You don’t NEED the big guys at the top, but when you are punting TE, I think you need to try and find someone in a situation that could significantly over-perform most people’s expectations. Getting a 15-20 point week out your TE can often really propel you to a victory, so let’s try to find guys with the ability to do that well relative to their average draft position.
Rob Gronkowski is my favorite tight end and it’s not even close. Yes, I know you must be shocked, but I think Gronk is still probably a value this season. The Patriots need Gronk to be a beast this season in the red zone after losing Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman for the beginning of the year. If I was told Gronk led the league in touchdowns this year, I’d believe you. Gronk is going only 3 spots ahead if Travis Kelce and I think that’s a travesty. Having Rob Gronkowski on your fantasy team gives you an instant leg up on your opponent at the tight end position and that’s a nice edge to take if you can get him.
Jordan Reed is a very risky pick. He is a great tight end and probably a top 5 or better talent, but the injuries have really stalled his career. Reed has 6 concussions in his career and there hasn’t been a player in NFL history to have recorded a 7th concussion and return to football. That is a major risk, but if he does manage to stay healthy, Reed is a massive steal. He is getting Alex Smith as his quarterback, who should look more towards the middle of the field and throw less sideline deep balls than Cousins did. Smith also is used to having his top receiver being a talented tight end. Reed can fill that Kelce role more than most people understand and could be in for a great year.
George Kittle is a second-year tight end that should be the clear starter in an offense that most people believe will have an explosion this season. Kittle was great last year when targeted and he should be a reliable target again this year for Jimmy G. We see some QB’s and schemes just fail to really incorporate the tight end as much as they should, but Garoppolo is coming from development in New England, where they heavily emphasize the tight end in their schemes. This should help Kittle get more looks from a QB that is very comfortable throwing to him. The 49er’s offense should be passing heavy and seems to be a volume-based offense until they hit the splash play. Kittle should see a lot more volume on a weekly basis than some of the TEs around him.
David Njoku is coming off of a 2 TD preseason debut, which is slightly more telling than most people understand. Njoku is a great athlete that didn’t do all that much last season due to his poor QB play. This season, the Browns came out throwing to him in the red zone immediately to “gain confidence.” If Njoku is a primary target in an offense that should actually be pretty dynamic, I really like the every week touchdown upside on Njoku on a weekly basis.
Dallas Goedert is a freak athlete that may be able to make some noise on the Eagles in year one. Obviously, Goedert is behind Ertz on the depth chart, but Goedert may still have some season-long upside this year. First of all, if Ertz ever gets hurt, Goedert is that #1 waiver wire pick-up that week without question. Stashing him could be really useful, as Goedert should be able to replicate Ertz easily any week he gets the opportunity. The second reason Goedert can pop this year is that the Eagles clearly wanted this guy and they may just use him with Ertz. Goedert is a great blocking TE as well, so they are talking about running a lot of 2 TE sets, which would allow Goedert more playing time. Goedert may even be a better red zone option than Ertz with his freak athleticism. If that is true, we could see real TD-upside with Goedert this season.