Rob Gronkowski vs. Travis Kelce
Fantasy Football Draft Duels are back for the 2018 fantasy football draft season! This year, we're focusing on the major decisions fantasy football drafters have to face when they're picking their fantasy football teams.
For these Duels, assume typical 12-team, point-per-perception (PPR) fantasy football leagues.
Which tight end would you rather have?
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Not only is Gronk the best fantasy TE to ever play the game, but there are a couple factors that should extend the gap between him and Travis Kelce this year.
First off, Gronk's had a healthy offseason, and he certainly hasn't had many of those during his career. Instead of rehabbing for months, he's been able to follow the personal workout program that he prefers, which should allow him to enter the season in peak form.
In addition, as he continues to see passes from Tom Brady, Kelce will not only have to deal with a new QB in Patrick Mahomes, who's played just one NFL game-to-date, but also stud WR Sammy Watkins who's added to the mix.
It's difficult to imagine Kelce seeing the target share that he's commanded the past couple years with Watkins in the fold, and there are very few QBs as accurate on intermediate passes than Alex Smith was. That combination should lower Kelce's ceiling a bit.
Sure, it might cost a second-round pick, but Gronk is primed to lap the field by a solid margin at TE this year, and should provide an excellent return on that investment. -Jim Coventry
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
If we're drafting per-game fantasy points, Gronkowski is the No. 1 tight end. Unfortunately, he's missed 26 of a possible 80 regular-season contests the past five seasons, including 10 of 32 since 2015. He's even hinted at retirement, which, as "Gronk" as it sounded, shows his unpredictability.
A knee issue cost Kelce his rookie year, yet he's been inactive just one game in his past four – healthy scratch Week 17 before the 2017-18 playoffs.
Andy Reid regains playcalling duties, under which Kelce averaged 7.8 targets per game and scored seven times in Weeks 1-13. This system will survive – if not still thrive – without Matt Nagy: After all, Kelce led 2017 TEs with 122 looks (fourth in 2016), 441 yards after the catch (79 more than Gronk) and 19 receptions of 20-plus yards.
Second-year QB Patrick Mahomes will challenge downfield yet remains green enough to favor him following Alex Smith's departure. Don't worry about Sammy Watkins: Kelce ranks no lower than the No. 2 target alongside Tyreek Hill.
I don't like either before Round 3 in normal setups, but if paying up for a position with uninspiring free-agent replacement value, I'll side with the safer floor and much friendlier history of health. -Tim Heaney
Now, it's your turn to vote: