I’ll begin by saying the tight end position is the biggest joke in fantasy football in 2015.
It used to be a corner of the market I liked to exploit, but now it’s become so top heavy it’s absolutely useless to try and do so.
Basically, the tight end pool in 2015 is like playing sports at elementary school recess. There are two or three kids who are always captains and dominate, then there’s the rest of us just hoping we get picked to play.
Yes, it’s that bad. But nonetheless, I give you my 2015 fantasy football TE preview.
You can book Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham to finish as TE1 and TE2 by a large margin. I don’t even feel like wasting my time choosing which one will finish better because it’s really personal preference.
Gronk is a man-child. He’s by far the NFL’s greatest mismatch and has a first-ballot Hall of Famer throwing to him (for all 16 games now!). And then there’s Jimmy Graham, who is the most physically imposing tight end in the game.
Some are worried about Graham’s relocation to Seattle taking him away from the pass-happy Saints and Drew Brees, but it won’t matter. He’s still scoring double-digit touchdowns.
After that duo, there’s legitimately only two other tight ends even worth your time: Greg Olsen of the Carolina Panthers and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Olsen is the definition of a target hog. He’s Cam Newton’s most trusted offensive weapon as it is, and now that Kelvin Benjamin is sidelined for the entire 2015 season Olsen’s reps will only balloon.
The former ‘7th Floor Crew‘ member is the model for consistency at the position, dominating the Panthers’ target share since coming to the team in 2011.
Travis Kelce is the ‘sexy’ up-and-coming tight end after making waves in Andy Reid’s Chiefs offense last season. He’s big, strong, and exceptionally fast — naturally garnering him the moniker of ‘Mini-Gronk.’
Kelce only played 66 percent of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps in 2014, yet he still managed to finish as the sixth-best tight end in receptions and yards. His 12.9 yards per reception was the second most amongst qualified tight ends behind, you guessed it, Rob Gronkowski.
Kelce is a legitimate breakout candidate and will do so as long he can stay on the field.
So that’s four tight ends—Gronk, Graham, G.O., and Kelce—that you really should try and target in the first six rounds. If you don’t, well, this is what you’re stuck with.
200 feet of shit, and then the next wave of fantasy tight ends.
That’s the fun part of this season. If you don’t get any of the aforementioned elite guys, just pack it in and wait it out. It’s not worth forcing a mid-round pick on a guy like Martellus Bennett, Jordan Cameron, or Jason Witten.
I find it so much more beneficial to stack my bench with positional skill players than fill my TE roster spot because I’m required to. I’ll gladly trade off Martellus Bennett if it means I get John Brown, Steve Smith, Sr., or Nelson Agholor.
I’m not saying I don’t like guys like Martellus. But I don’t like them if I have to use a top 60 pick on them. The value is virtually non-existent.
Instead, target a guy like Delanie Walker in the 11th round. Or perhaps snag Owen Daniels or Josh Hill in the 14th. At the end of the day, their stat lines are going to look freakishly similar.
It’s no coincidence that the worst position group of fantasy football comprises my shortest fantasy preview of the week.
The strategy is simple: If you can get one of the top four, pull the trigger.
And if you can’t, just wait it out. Let the other guys drafting around you get nervous and draft a TE prematurely. You’ll find yourself with a more balanced roster – and that’s the name of the game in fantasy football.