Fantasy Football 2015: Top 20 Tight Ends

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#3 Travis Kelce / Kansas City Chiefs / Bye Week: 9

Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to the predicament Zach Ertz found himself in with the Eagles, Travis Kelce on the Chiefs came tantalizingly close to the breakout year we owners had hoped for but it didn’t quite materialize. Kelce, like Ertz, wasn’t thrust into a prominent role and a veteran tight end was present on the roster to handle more of the every-down duties.

The aforementioned veteran tight end in this case was Anthony Fasano, and he is no longer on the Kansas City roster which means the time is now for Kelce. Former Eagle wide receiver Jeremy Maclin reunited with Andy Reid in the offseason and likely will take some targets away from Kelce, but he should have more than enough to make an impact.

Kelce has the skill set to challenge Gronk one day for top tight end status, but for now fantasy owners will settle with him being in the conversation. My guess is that in 2015 he fulfills some of that promise and builds on his 67-catch, 862-yard and 5 touchdown performance in 2014. Grab Kelce by late round three or early round four.

#2 Jimmy Graham / Seattle Seahawks / Bye Week: 9

Oct 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) leaves the field after the game. The Saints defeated the Panthers 28-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking goalposts and the hearts of fantasy owners around the world who expected potential number one overall production from him last year, is none other than Jimmy Graham. That’s not to say that the now-former New Orleans Saint didn’t perform, because he did, he just couldn’t quite match his out-of-this-world fantasy production from 2013.

In a “down” year for Graham in 2014 he still managed to bring in 85 receptions on 125 targets, good for 889 yards, 10 touchdowns and a trip to the Pro Bowl. Not quite the 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns from the previous year, but it must be nice when a step back is still that proficient.

Graham is now a Seahawk and while its reasonable to speculate that their run-first approach will trigger a further dip in his numbers, it’s hard to believe that Pete Carroll and staff won’t find the best way to use him. I have a feeling his targets and receptions will suffer, but he may just approach that 16 touchdown mark from 2013.

He won’t be the first tight end of the board, but the first one may very likely be taken in the first round. Which means don’t wait long to take the second-best option. Get him in the second round at the latest, or forget about it.

#1 Rob Gronkowski / New England Patriots / Bye Week: 4

Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Was there ever any doubt? Rob Gronkowski, at times seeming like a man among boys, is the clear-cut pick as the top fantasy tight end heading into the 2015 season. Injury concerns are there, but he is healthy now and not rehabbing heading into training camp. The Gronk is fully locked and loaded.

If you want Gronk on your fantasy football team, you’ll need to act fast. One would assume that the top three or four picks would be used for the top running backs available, right? I mean, that’s fantasy football 101. So we’re talking Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson.

Or Eddie Lacy? Or Matt Forte? There may be no consensus top pick among the running backs and if the argument can be made that they’re all more or less equals, then why not Gronk number one overall?

I don’t think I would be ballsy enough to grab him that early, but if I get slotted in the fourth of fifth overall pick — I just might do it. He’s unquestionably the top tight end and has fantasy MVP potential.

Next: Who are the RB Sleepers in Fantasy 2015?

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