2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Last season, Travis Kelce led all tight ends in receptions with 83. Alex Smith quickly established Kelce as his favorite target in Andy Reid’s West Coast Offense. There is a legitimate question as to whether Kelce should be considered the NFL’s best tight end. Not only is Kelce athletically gifted, he is one of the best route runners in the league.
Using a combination of elite acceleration and smooth hips, he is very difficult for defenders to cover. With Smith under center, the Chiefs relied heavily on Kelce to make plays in the middle of the field. With new pieces to the offense, it will be interesting to see how he is utilized.
During the offseason the Chiefs promoted Patrick Mahomes to starting quarterback and brought in wide receiver Sammy Watkins on a three-year deal. Because of the multitude of other talented receivers on the roster, it is impossible to say that Kelce will repeat his fantasy performance from last season. However, it is likely that he becomes Mahomes’ safety blanket. In an offense that will push the ball downfield, expect Kelce to be a great fantasy option.
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
While Rob Gronkowski is no longer the NFL’s clear cut option for the best tight end, he is in a great situation this season. The New England Patriots traded away Brandin Cooks for a first round pick and have seemingly released their other talented wide receivers. Julian Edelman will also serve a four game suspension.
This leaves Gronkowski as the only viable receiving option for the Patriots to start 2018. Gronkowski has definitely struggled with injuries and is no longer in the prime of his career. However, when healthy he is one of the most difficult players to guard in the NFL. With great physicality and route running, he is virtually unguardable.
Tom Brady is 41 and will likely not be around for much longer. If the franchise hopes to win another Super Bowl, Gronkowski will be a huge part of their success in 2018. He will be a great fantasy option again in 2018.