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Regular Season, Updated: 9/4/19

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FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Travis Kelce, KC (Bye: 12)
Height: 6’6”   Weight: 260   DOB: 1989-10-05   Age: 30
College: Cincinnati   Draft: 2013 Round 3 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016KC1685 1,125 4 136.0 8.5
2017KC1583 1,038 8 152.5 10.2
2018KC16103 1,336 10 193.6 12.1
2019 (Projected)KC 94 1,188 9 172.8  

Outlook: If you're looking for consistent, elite production from the most difficult position to find production at, look no further than Travis Kelce. At 29 years old now entering his seventh NFL season, Kelce has unquestionably established himself as one of the greatest fantasy football tight ends of all-time. He's exceeded 1,000 receiving yards three years in a row, including this past season when he finished second in the league behind George Kittle in yards, but both players actually broke Rob Gronkowski's previous single-season record at the position.

At this point there's really no question that Kelce is going to produce top-level fantasy production in all three of the major areas - receptions, yards and touchdowns. He's done it for five straight seasons and he's in a better offense than ever before, coming off of a season when he was targeted a ridiculous 150 times. Kelce could see a 20 percent drop off in targets and still be among the league leaders at the position, which makes him one of the safest options you'll find.

The real question about Kelce's fantasy value isn't whether or not he's great, but rather whether or not the tight end position is worth spending an early round draft pick on. That's an ongoing debate that you can find plenty of data about, but the truth is that the tight end position is only getting thinner. Sure, we added George Kittle to the top tier this past season, but we also saw the retirement of Rob Gronkowski and the continued deterioration of veterans like Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker. There may have never been a bigger discrepancy between the elite players at tight end and the rest of the pack, which does mean that those elite players are even more valuable.

One other thing to consider when investing in tight end is that the position is historically extremely dangerous to play. Players at that size, running at that speed through the middle of defenses is just a recipe for injury. It's among the, if not the most dangerous position to play in all of sports. Kelce himself has been pretty healthy throughout his career which could mean that he's like Jason Witten who just seemed to never get hurt, but we do have to take the potential injury risk into consideration especially considering that Kelce is a second-round pick in most fantasy drafts this season.

Even with those risks, though, Kelce is a difference-maker at a position that most teams in your league will be scrambling to find value at all season. Not having to worry about the tight end position has its own benefits from a waiver wire and FAAB standpoint so unless he gets hurt, Kelce should return value this season while giving his owners the potential of a league-winning season.

 George Kittle, SF (Bye: 4)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 247   DOB: 1993-10-09   Age: 26
College: Iowa   Draft: 2017 Round 5 (2) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017SF1543 515 2 63.5 4.2
2018SF1688 1,377 5 168.7 10.5
2019 (Projected)SF 93 1,195 8 167.5  

Outlook: Many predicted a nice step forward for tight end George Kittle heading into the 2018, but very few - if any - foresaw the unbelievable season he would end up providing to fantasy owners.

Kittle didn't just take a step forward, he took a number of giant leaps, instantly becoming one of the elite players at his position while breaking the all-time NFL single season receiving yardage record at the tight end position. Yes, Kittle - in his second NFL season - produced more yardage than Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Travis Kelce, or any other tight end has ever had in a single year. And he did it while playing almost all of his games with the likes of C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens throwing him passes.

Of course, it helped that the 49ers were extremely thin at pass catcher, with only one other player besides Kittle - Kendrick Bourne - seeing more than 50 targets on the season, but there's really no questioning that Kittle has to be considered one of the few difference makers for fantasy at an otherwise weak tight end position.

With that being said, there is at least some concern that Kittle might not be able to reproduce quite what he did in 2018. Of course, we can't expect him to repeat a literal record-breaking season from a yardage standpoint so regression in that area is to be expected, but how he got to those numbers is also a bit of a concern. Kittle actually crushed it in one very specific, often times difficult-to-replicate statistic - yards after catch. Kittle's 784 yards after catch was not only best in the league among tight ends, it was actually over 200 yards more than the next best tight end, Kansas City's Travis Kelce, and almost 400 yards more than the third-best YAC tight end, Jared Cook. To put that into further perspective, the only other tight ends who've ever even eclipsed 500 YAC yards in a season since they began officially recording that statistic are Kelce, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Kelce's 784 YAC yards are by far and away the most ever by a tight end and that to be considered a lock to regress here in 2019, even if he's an extreme outlier at the position.

Just because he's likely to regress in yardage totals doesn't necessarily make Kittle a risk to bust, however. With the 49ers offense as a whole almost certainly being better than they were in 2018, Kittle should have additional opportunities to get into the end zone. That's the one area where he didn't excel this past season as he scored just five times in the year. That number should improve even with additional competition for targets, as Kittle is pretty much the only large-bodied pass catcher on the roster and he's certainly the only proven top-level pass-catching producer in San Francisco. If he can boost his touchdown total to even the upper single-digits, that would more than make up for the expected step back in yardage. If he can somehow push that to 10 to 15 touchdowns, as other elite tight ends have done in the past, we could see Kittle actually exceed his fantasy point totals from 2018 even if he's not nearly as productive in terms of yardage.

Kittle is an elite fantasy tight end and one of the few players at the position who's actually worth considering in the early rounds of your fantasy draft.

 Zach Ertz, PHI (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’6”   Weight: 252   DOB: 1990-12-10   Age: 29
College: Stanford   Draft: 2013 Round 2 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016PHI1478 816 4 105.6 7.5
2017PHI1474 824 8 130.4 9.3
2018PHI16116 1,163 8 164.3 10.3
2019 (Projected)PHI 85 907 7 132.7  

Outlook: Ertz set an NFL tight end record with 116 receptions last season in route to finishing as the No.3 tight end behind Travis Kelce and George Kittle. In addition to making a sizable leap in receptions, targets, and receiving yards, Ertz followed up 2017 with a second-consecutive year of eight receiving touchdowns.

With four straight seasons of at least 100 targets, there is no doubt that Ertz will once again be the focal point of the Eagles offense. As many teams struggle to incorporate the tight end position into their offense, the Eagles, 49ers, and Chiefs each feature their respective tight ends prominently, making Kelce, Ertz, and Kittle worth an early draft pick in all formats.

You could argue that no other team in the NFL did more this free agent and NFL draft period to improve their offense that the Eagles. With additions to an already highly touted offensive line, and the signing of free agent DeSean Jackson and rookies JJ Arcega Whiteside and Miles Sanders, Philadelphia is going to be a very strong offense filled with fantasy value. Sitting atop that value pyramid is Zach Ertz, who has another strong chance to be an elite TE in 2019.

 O.J. Howard, TB (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’6”   Weight: 251   DOB: 1994-11-19   Age: 25
College: Alabama   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (19) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017TB1326 432 6 79.2 6.1
2018TB1034 565 5 86.5 8.7
2019 (Projected)TB 58 775 7 119.5  

Outlook: Injuries forced Howard to play in just ten games last season for the Bucs. The former first-round pick from Alabama increased his fantasy point per game output by 2.6 points per game, and increased his receptions, targets, and receiving yards despite playing in three fewer games than his 2017 rookie season.

With DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries leaving the Bucs via free agency there are over 140 targets available in the Tampa Bay offense up for grabs. While we certainly see a big chunk of those going to Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and the other wide receivers on the roster, Howard is set to make a big jump in targets and hopefully touchdown production.

Owners who miss out on one of the big three at the tight end position may want to consider using a fifth or sixth-round pick on Howard. He will not likely get the same target volume Kittle, Kelce, and Ertz receive, but he is a consistent performer who is primed to finish as a top-5 player at the position.

A gun-slinging quarterback with a great head coach, fantastic skill position players, and a terrible defense is a winning formula for fantasy production.

 Hunter Henry, LAC (Bye: 12)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 250   DOB: 1994-12-07   Age: 25
College: Arkansas   Draft: 2016 Round 2 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016SD1336 482 8 96.2 7.4
2017LAC1245 579 4 81.9 6.8
2019 (Projected)LAC 58 734 6 109.4  

Outlook: Tight end Hunter Henry broke out as a rookie when he scored a ridiculous eight touchdowns on just 36 receptions, then followed that season up with another solid campaign in 2017 despite spending both seasons competing with veteran future hall of fame tight end Antonio Gates for playing time. With Gates retiring prior to the 2018 season, it was supposed to be Henry's time to shine. He quickly rocketed up draft boards and was being selected as a strong TE1 for fantasy purposes. Unfortunately, Henry was the first significant victim of the injury bug as he tore his ACL on the first day of camp, ending his season well before it began.

While most fantasy owners were able to avoid him unless their drafts happened extremely early, the sting of missing Henry was felt throughout the season, especially in a year where the position was as thin as ever. There were late-season rumors that Henry might be able to get back on the field for the Chargers' playoff run, but it ended up not happening and the tight end will now have spent over a full calendar year preparing to get back on the field by the time the 2019 season kicks off.

That's great news for fantasy owners, and especially for the Chargers, who were sorely missing Henry's contributions as a pass catcher, particularly near the goal line. While Gates was once an elite player at the position, he became mostly a decoy on the field - and a weak one at that - and Rivers is very much used to play-making ability out of his tight end position. Henry's return, presuming he's healthy, should provide a serious injection into this passing game, and one that will almost certainly open things up for the other members of the offense as well. We've never seen Henry play a full season without Gates also on the field, so it's hard to project exactly what type of target share we're going to see out of him, but we do know that Gates and Virgil Green combined for 72 targets at tight end in 2018 - and neither of them was very good. Henry should command at least that type of target total at the bare minimum, which would put him right around the top 10 at the position, but with Rivers likely throwing the ball somewhere around 550 times, there's a real chance that Henry could push the 100 target mark if he's fully healthy and back around the skill set that he had prior to the injury.

Henry is being selected as a borderline top-five player at the tight end position and that's before we have seen him make it all the way through training camp and the preseason without re-injuring his knee. Look for his ADP to continue to rise throughout the off season as long as he does not have any hiccups with his knee, especially if he makes some plays in the preseason. If fantasy owners believe that he's back to being the Hunter Henry of old, there's no reason why he won't be drafted as a top-four player at the position, just like he was heading into 2018.

 Evan Engram, NYG (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 234   DOB: 1994-09-02   Age: 25
College: Mississippi   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (23) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017NYG1564 722 6 109.6 7.3
2018NYG1145 577 3 79.3 7.2
2019 (Projected)NYG 66 785 6 114.5  

Outlook: It may surprise some fantasy owners to learn that only Travis Kelce and George Kittle scored more fantasy points per game than Evan Engram over the final five weeks of the season. The former first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft caught 19 receptions in his last three games while averaging 81 yards per game.

The Giants' questionable addition of Golden Tate in the offseason was somewhat of an unusual move considering the fact that both Engram and Sterling Shepard are skilled receivers from the slot. It remains to be seen how the Giants will handle Tate and Shepard, but it Engram's role in the offense is clearly defined.

The two biggest question marks for Engram are his ability to stay healthy, and the worry of the Giants turning to rookie QB Daniel Jones midway through the season.

 Vance McDonald, PIT (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 260   DOB: 1990-06-13   Age: 29
College: Rice   Draft: 2013 Round 2 (25) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016SF1024 391 4 63.1 6.3
2017PIT914 188 1 24.8 2.8
2018PIT1550 610 4 85.0 5.7
2019 (Projected)PIT 58 697 5 99.7  

Outlook: I could sense last year that this offense was tailor made for McDonald's strength and athleticism. Not only did he emerge as a threat down the seam, his flair for dramatic, punishing runs after the catch fired up this offense. Now more than ever the Steelers offense needs a reliable receiver at tight end. With the departure of Antiono Brown, and with the additional exit of Jessie James, McDonald has a tremendous opportunity. In 2018, McDonald was able to play 15 games, and put up career highs in receptions (50) and yards (610), and I feel like those are his floor if he can stay healthy this season. He finished just outside the top-10 at the position last year and is frankly one of my favorite value picks at tight end in 2019. There are targets to be had in the Pittsburgh offense, and I think Vance is the biggest beneficiary, putting him in my TE1 crosshairs.

 Jared Cook, NO (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 248   DOB: 1987-04-07   Age: 32
College: South Carolina   Draft: 2009 Round 3 (25) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016GB1030 377 1 43.7 4.4
2017LV1654 687 2 80.7 5.0
2018LV1668 896 6 125.6 7.9
2019 (Projected)NO 60 744 6 110.4  

Outlook: Cook finished as the No.6 tight end in fantasy last year after setting career highs in targets, catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns in his final season with the Raiders. Injuries and the trade of Amari Cooper to the Cowboys made Cook the defacto No.1 receiving option for Derek Carr, and Cook came through with three 100-yard games, including an 8/110/2 week-winner performance against the Browns in Week 4.

The Saints signed Cook to a two-year, $15 million contract to be the receiving tight end for Drew Brees. Owners expecting Cook to be the second coming of Jimmy Graham should temper their expectations, as Cook is not the same physical freak as Graham was back in the day and the Saints offense of 2019 is not the same as it was when Graham patrolled the Super Dome.

Conversely, owners who are expecting Cook to bust like Coby Fleener did a few years past may be too down on Cook, as the former Raider is a more athletic tight end than Fleener. The answer most likely falls between the two, with 700 yards and six touchdowns well within the realm of probability.

 David Njoku, CLE (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 246   DOB: 1996-07-10   Age: 23
College: Miami   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (29) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CLE1632 386 4 62.7 3.9
2018CLE1656 639 4 87.9 5.5
2019 (Projected)CLE 57 665 5 96.5  

Outlook: One Cleveland receiver I don't see taking a huge step back in production because of OBJ is 3rd year player David Njoku. Njoku built off his solid rookie season by posting a 56-639-4 line last year, finishing in the top-10 standard scoring at the position. Njoku is one of the most athletic tight ends in all of the NFL, and has improved his blocking and route running, meaning he doesn't leave the field often. He finished 5th in the NFL in snaps played by tight ends and his 89 targets where 7th best in the league. He still drops a few too many passes for how strong and athletic he is, but he should remain a big piece of what this offense wants to do. While I don't know that there is much room for his reception or yardgage totals to climb with Beckham in the fold, I do think he can improve his touchdown totals by a few, putting him squarely in line for top-10 production yet again. He's still incredibly young, and has fantastic upside in what COULD be a very potent offense.

 Jimmy Graham, GB (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’6”   Weight: 260   DOB: 1986-11-24   Age: 33
College: -   Draft: 2010 Round 3 (31) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016SEA1665 923 6 128.3 8.0
2017SEA1657 520 10 112.0 7.0
2018GB1655 636 2 75.6 4.7
2019 (Projected)GB 56 597 5 89.7  

Outlook: Even at a fantasy position as shallow as tight end, Graham was a pretty big stinker during his first season in Green Bay. Even with yet another HOF quarterback throwing him the ball, Graham looked old and slow. Age and injuries seemed to sap him of any explosion he had, and he even had difficulty finding the endzone with only two scores.

Typically a dominant red zone target in his career, I have to believe that there is some positive touchdown regression on the way in 2019. The days of dominant reception and yardage totals, and chunk plays are gone though, and the Packers know it as they drafted Texas A&M Jace Sternberger with a 3rd round pick. Sternberger was drafted to catch passes, and he'll do more of it if Graham fails to be an impact player in the offense. With a young buck nipping at his heels, this might be Graham's last chance. In a weak fantasy position he's worth a look as a fringe TE1.

 Eric Ebron, IND (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 250   DOB: 1993-04-10   Age: 26
College: North Carolina   Draft: 2014 Round 1 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016DET1361 711 1 83.2 6.4
2017DET1653 574 4 81.4 5.1
2018IND1666 750 13 158.2 9.9
2019 (Projected)IND 54 605 4 84.5  

Outlook: To the chagrin of millions of Lions fans around the world, former first-round bust Eric Ebron exploded in his first season with the Colts to the tune of 750 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. Ebron flashed the talent that made him a first-round pick in 2014, with career highs in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and of course, touchdowns.

Ebron made the most of Jack Doyle's injury, thriving in an offense that is designed to feature the tight end. Andrew Luck loves throwing to the position, especially in the red zone, and fantasy owners who took a flier on Ebron last year cashed in well.

Doyle's return from injury will likely create a timeshare between the two and negative touchdown regression is most certainly in line for Ebron. However, should Doyle once again suffer an injury, Ebron could once again be a double-digit touchdown threat at a position void of many options after the big three of Kelce, Ertz and Kittle.

 Delanie Walker, TEN (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 242   DOB: 1984-08-12   Age: 35
College: -   Draft: 2006 Round 6 (6) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016TEN1565 800 7 123.1 8.2
2017TEN1674 807 3 104.5 6.5
2018TEN14 52 0 5.2 5.2
2019 (Projected)TEN 53 568 5 86.8  

Outlook: Walker returns to the field in 2019 after playing in just one game for the Titans in 2018. The 35-year-old veteran suffered a gruesome leg injury last season, leading many to assume that the 14-year vet may hang up his cleats.

Instead, Walker is on pace to return to action again in 2019 and could be a nice value at a tight end position void of many attractive value picks. Before last season, Walker was the beneficiary of four consecutive seasons of at least 100 targets. Although he owns just one 1000-yard season, he is a reliable option for at least 65 catches and 800 yards.