2018 Outlook: Gronkowski contemplated retirement during the offseason but will be back for at least one more season in 2018. Gronk missed a pair of games but posted a dominant 69-1,084-8 line and led all tight ends in receiving yards, fantasy points per game (16.2) and aDOT (11.4). He has missed 27 percent (26 of 96) of New England's regular-season games the past six seasons, including at least one each season. Despite all the missed action, Gronkowski sits second among tight ends in fantasy points (Jimmy Graham is first) and has posted four top-five seasons during the span. Gronkowski's shaky durability hurts his fantasy value, but his per-game dominance makes him well worth a third-round investment.
2018 Outlook: Kelce has finished each of past two seasons as fantasy's top-scoring tight end and has finished no worse than eighth in his four full seasons. He paced the position in pass routes (513), targets (121) and receptions (83) last season while setting a career high with eight touchdowns. Kelce had never scored more than five times in a season prior to 2017, and his 5.8 OTD suggests he's in for a dip this season. Kelce will also have a new quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, and while that could impact his efficiency, the tight end will still see a ton of volume and is one of the game's most talented players at the position. He's right there with Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz as elite fantasy options at the position.
2018 Outlook: Ertz has been a productive tight end since he entered the league back in 2013, but a lack of touchdowns limited his fantasy contributions. That changed when Ertz found pay dirt a career-high eight times in 14 regular-season games last season. He has now eclipsed 800 receiving yards in three straight seasons and has improved his fantasy point total in each year of his career. Ertz has finished in the top five at the position in targets, receptions, receiving yards and end zone targets each of the past two seasons. Durability is a slight concern (at least one missed game each of the past three seasons), but Ertz is so good when active that he's undoubtedly a top-three fantasy tight end.
2018 Outlook: Rookie tight ends rarely make noise in fantasy, but Engram's skill set and a barrage of injuries around him on the depth chart led to 64 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns last season. Engram's 64 catches is third-most all time for a rookie tight end and the most since Jeremy Shockey caught 74 for the Giants in 2002. Engram ranked in the top seven at the position in routes, targets, receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, OTD, end zone targets and fantasy points in 15 games. The return of Odell Beckham Jr. and selection of Saquon Barkley could cost Engram some targets, but he's positioned for an every-down role and should only improve in his second season. Engram is a solid TE1.
2018 Outlook: Graham signed a three-year deal with Green Bay during the offseason and, especially with Jordy Nelson out of the mix, the veteran tight end is positioned for a big role in one of the league's top offenses in 2018. Graham paced all tight ends in touchdowns (10) and was second in the entire NFL in end zone targets (19) last season. Graham settled in as a short-area target (7.7 aDOT) last season, which limited him to an extremely low 5.5 yards per target (third-lowest). The 31-year-old has finished top-10 at TE in routes, targets and receptions six of the past seven seasons. Graham is well-positioned for his ninth consecutive top-12 fantasy campaign.
2018 Outlook: Reed missed 10 more games last season, and his durability woes are well-documented -- he has missed 28 of 80 regular-season games in his career. It's important, however, to remember that he sports massive fantasy upside. Reed handled 7.5 targets per game and was fantasy's No. 6 tight end during four 'full' games last season. He averaged nearly nine targets per game and was the top scorer during full weeks in both 2015 and 2016. New quarterback Alex Smith helped Travis Kelce to the most fantasy points among tight ends each of the past two seasons and figures to target Reed early and often in 2018. Still only 28 years old, Reed's upside makes him well worth midround consideration.
2018 Outlook: Rudolph finished a career-best second among tight ends in fantasy points in 2016 but fell to eighth last season. His share of snaps (92 to 84 percent), pass routes (85 to 72 percent) and targets (22 to 15 percent) all took a dive closer to where Rudolph was the previous four seasons. That might suggest a 'return to earth' for Rudolph -- and to some extent, it was -- but it can also be traced to a late-season ankle injury that limited his production. Rudolph's playing time bounced back in the playoffs, so there's no need to panic about his ability to provide TE1 numbers in 2018.
2018 Outlook: After breaking as the No. 13 tight end in fantasy in 2016, Doyle took another step forward and finished seventh last season. Andrew Luck was sidelined, but Doyle quickly became a favorite target of Jacoby Brissett and went on to finish among the top five among tight ends in targets (105) and receptions (80). Doyle did most of his damage in the short area, posting the position's second-lowest aDOT (5.2) and fifth-lowest yards per reception (8.6). Luck's return should help Doyle generate more scoring opportunities, but he's also in jeopardy of losing work to newcomer Eric Ebron. That risk makes him more of a back-end TE1.
2018 Outlook: Burton signed a four-year deal with Chicago after spending the first four years of his career as a situational receiving specialist behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia. His most productive receiving season was 2016, when he caught 37 balls for 327 yards and one touchdown, though his best fantasy season came last year, when he posted a 23-248-5 line. Burton's 9.8 aDOT was seventh-highest at the position in 2017. He never exceeded 29 percent of the Eagles' offensive snaps in a single season but will surely play a much larger role in Chicago after signing a lucrative deal. Burton has an easy path to targets behind Allen Robinson in what is expected to be a pass-first offense. He's a fringe TE1.
2018 Outlook: Kittle wasn't selected until the fifth round of the 2017 draft, but the Iowa product played a hefty 568 snaps as a rookie. He wasn't much of a fantasy force but did post a pair of top-seven weeks with Jimmy Garoppolo under center to finish the season. Kittle's drops (five) and dip in usage shouldn't be ignored. He was on the field for 73 percent of the team's pass plays and handled 5.2 targets per game during Weeks 1-6, but logged 46 percent and 3.6 targets in his final nine games. Kittle is the 49ers' top receiving TE, so there's some sleeper appeal here, but he isn't yet in the TE1 discussion.
2018 Outlook: Njoku was one of the most intriguing offensive weapons in the 2016 draft, and Cleveland bought into the hype, scooping him up with the 29th overall pick. The Miami product is 6-foot-4, 246 pounds with terrific speed and athleticism. Njoku was one of the league's youngest players as a rookie but still handled a relatively significant role. He was on the field for 47 percent of Cleveland's snaps and caught 32 of 58 targets for 386 yards and four touchdowns. Njoku's 4.7 OTD was No. 11, and his eight end zone targets were No. 7 at the position. Njoku is only 22 years old, but he's a strong bet for a 2018 breakout, especially with an improved QB situation.
2018 Outlook: Eifert has been a fantasy force when healthy, but that hasn't been often enough throughout his five-year career. The 2013 first-round pick has never appeared in a full 16-game regular season, managing to play only 39 of a possible 80 games since he entered the league. Eifert missed three games in 2015 but still led the league with 13 touchdowns. He missed eight games in 2016 but scored five touchdowns and ranked seventh at the position in fantasy points per game. Eifert's durability is obviously a major concern, but if he appears to be healthy and ready to roll for Week 1, he has enough upside to warrant a late-round flier.
2018 Outlook: Clay has averaged a target share of at least 20 percent each of the past three seasons. Unfortunately, he has missed at least one regular-season game in six of his seven seasons (13 total), including three last season. Clay averaged 6.4 targets per game and was fantasy's No. 5 scoring tight end during the 10 weeks he ran a route on more than half of the Bills' pass plays last season. The Bills' wide receiver group -- led by Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones -- is on the weaker side of the league, so Clay is a good bet for another gigantic workload in 2018. Consider him a fringe TE1.
2018 Outlook: Watson had a career year with the Saints back in 2015, and after two years in Baltimore, the 37-year-old tight end is back in New Orleans in 2018. Watson's statistical production has been all over the place throughout his career, but he has posted back-to-back top-11 fantasy campaigns (excluding a 2016 season lost to a torn Achilles). Watson registered a 74-825-6 line and was fantasy's No. 7 tight end in 2015. Last season, he put up 61-522-4 and finished 11th. Watson caught 78 percent of his targets last season (second-best at the position). Watson's role as primary tight end in New Orleans' high-scoring offense certainly puts him on the TE1 radar. He's worth a look late in your draft.
2018 Outlook: Gates re-signed with the Chargers and will replace Hunter Henry (torn ACL) as the team's top pass-catching tight end. Gates was the top-scoring fantasy tight end during the two weeks Henry was out last season. Gates is now 38 yards old, but should see enough volume, especially near the goal line, to allow TE2 (if not TE1) production.