1.  
TE  KC
Rec
81
Rec Yds
1001
Rec TD
7
Rec Avg
12.4
Rush Att
0
Rush Yds
0
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
0.0
The genesis of the stats was a shade less dynamic - lower catch rate, lower YPC - but Kelce still pushed over that magic 1,000-yard plateau and posted his best touchdown season. In other words, he finally learned how to click with Alex Smith, Mr. Conservative. Alas, Mr. Smith is now gone to Washington, and Kelce needs to learn how to play with Patrick Mahomes, a high-pedigree, low-experience second-year quarterback. We suspect Kelce can succeed in any environment, but it also makes you curious to see how the Chiefs click this preseason. Will they continue to push the ball downfield as they did last season, contrary to previous seasons? Or will coach Andy Reid revert to protect-the-ball, dink-and-dunk? Kelce also has to share a little more, as the Chiefs have another mouth to feed in the offense - freshly acquired Sammy Watkins. And still, there have been only 43 tight-end seasons of 1,000 yards in NFL history and Kelce has two of them. Maybe the quarterback simply doesn't matter. At 6-5, 260, Kelce is no match for defensive backs, and he's a playmaker in the open field with speed and elusiveness. Kelce's 2013 season was wiped out by a knee injury, but he's only missed one start since. If you don't like the running backs and wide receivers you're faced with in the early rounds, a pivot to Kelce is always a reasonable alternative.
2.  
TE  PHI
Rec
77
Rec Yds
888
Rec TD
8
Rec Avg
11.5
Rush Att
0
Rush Yds
0
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
0.0
Ertz's catch and yardage stats have been stable and similar for three consecutive seasons, but last year was the first time the Eagles unlocked Ertz near the goal line as he was one of five tight ends with double-digit end-zone targets (10). The timing makes sense, as Carson Wentz 2.0 was a major upgrade from the rookie-year version. Wentz and Ertz also have a mind-meld that's unusual. It's obvious these two have spent a ton of time working together, developing the unspoken chemistry you see on Sunday. And if Nick Foles is required to play at all, that's not a concern for Ertz. The reliable tight end posted an 18-192-1 line in the playoffs, superb production on just 22 targets, when Foles replaced the injured Wentz. At 6-5, 250, Ertz, who turns 28 in November, is a safe place to park your money. Even on a Philadelphia team that spreads it around versus forcing the ball to its name players, expect Ertz to keep most of last year's touchdowns.
3.  
TE  NE
Rec
65
Rec Yds
1000
Rec TD
8
Rec Avg
15.4
Rush Att
0
Rush Yds
0
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
0.0
Everyone knows what they're signing up for with Gronkowski - a lot of laughs, a lot of touchdowns and a lot of injury-report angst (he's missed 26 games in six years, and hasn't played 16 games since 2011). Gronkowski's rate of spiking - 76 scores in 102 games - is absurd, especially for a tight end, and he's also more of a downfield threat than people realize; his 15.1 YPC is the highest of any qualified tight end in the fantasy era. At 6-6, 265, he's still impossible to cover, with a huge catch radius, good hands and the athleticism to line up anywhere on the field. With Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels returning to the Patriots, amidst whatever family disharmony might be present with this team, Gronkowski is well slotted for another dynamic year, for however many games that winds up lasting. He's finished as the No. 1 tight end in standard scoring four times, and he's also been second once and fifth once. No one would be shocked if Gronkowski decided to retire in another year or two, but he's all-in for another run at it in 2018. A designer tight end is not for everybody, but Gronk deserves consideration in the second or third round in most formats.
4.  
TE  CAR
Rec
73
Rec Yds
877
Rec TD
5
Rec Avg
12.0
Rush Att
0
Rush Yds
0
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
0.0
After a glorious run of nine consecutive years without a missed game, Olsen busted his foot last year and missed nine. It snapped his streak of three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and put a major dent in the Carolina passing game. Olsen didn't seem worse for wear in the playoffs, posting an 8-107-1 line in a dramatic loss at New Orleans. He toyed with retirement after the year before deciding he wants at least one more run with the Panthers, signing a two-year extension that will take him through 2020. What Olsen gives you in volume is lovely - he averaged 125 targets the previous three seasons - but you have to accept that he is not as dynamic a touchdown scorer as some of the other tight ends. He scored eight touchdowns in his third NFL season, and every season since has landed in the 3-7 range (not counting last year's injury mess when he scored once). Maybe Cam Newton isn't a kingmaker for his receivers, maybe the Panthers don't know how to unlock No. 88 in tight windows, maybe the reasons are more subtle than that. Just keep that fact in play when trying to come up with a reasonable projection. Given that he is entering his age-33 season and coming off a partial year, we can't justify drafting him with an aggressive tilt. But pro experience and team continuity (it is his eighth year in Carolina) do count for something. The Panthers traded for Torrey Smith and drafted D.J. Moore in the first round, but Devin Funchess figures to be the only teammate who will challenge Olsen for the team lead in targets.
5.  
TE  GB
Rec
70
Rec Yds
785
Rec TD
7
Rec Avg
11.2
Rush Att
0
Rush Yds
0
Rush TD
0
Rush Avg
0.0
Touchdowns are the ultimate fantasy deodorant, and Graham went heavy on the roll-on last year. Although his YPC cratered and he had the worst catch rate of his career, he finished as the TE6 in PPR and TE4 for standard scoring, leading the league in both red-zone targets (27) and targets inside the 10-yard line (16). Keep those spikes coming, Top Jimmy. Now Graham changes teams again heading into his age-32 season, something that would normally terrify us. But wait, it's the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers - so that's good, right? Just consider that the Packers signed Jared Cook in 2016 and Martellus Bennett in 2017 - a pair of transactions which yielded cumulative production of 610 yards and one touchdown in 17 regular-season games. Graham represents the third attempt at finding a reliable veteran tight end for Rodgers, who seemed to be annoyed with the Packers' decision to release long-time No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson, a proven red-zone target. How confident you feel about Graham's touchdown count is probably how you'll feel about his fantasy prognosis. The Pack certainly didn't get Graham to block; he's been a traffic pylon in that area for several seasons now.
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