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Getting your tight end tiers in order is one of the most important parts of your draft strategy.
Travis Kelce, KC
TARGET AT ADP
Kelce is 33, Kelce’s numbers disappointed for a first-round pick last year, tight ends in the first round of fantasy drafts rarely work out and keep you from harvesting a value elsewhere… all of these are compelling arguments to pass on Kelce, but the argument in favor of Kelce - the Hall of Fame level connection between him and Patrick Mahomes II, and what kind of target share that will demand in an offense whose best incumbent receiver is Mecole Hardman, might be too good to pass up, especially in tight end premium leagues.
2021 TE1… 2022 TE?
Mark Andrews, BAL
AVOID AT ADP
Marquise Brown getting traded away set Andrews up to be the #1 target in the Ravens offense, so growth potential is there, but it’s tough to get past how much his points per game last year was inflated by his performances with backup quarterbacks. Maybe Lamar Jackson will lean on him after he showed the ability to carry the passing game, but Isaiah Likely’s emergence in camp and the preseason is another reason to expect the Ravens to be more diversified in the passing game than they were down the stretch last year.
TALENT VS. SITUATION TE1
Kyle Pitts, ATL
CONSIDER AT ADP
It’s so difficult to invest a premium pick on a player who will rely on Marcus Mariota and maybe rookie Desmond Ridder, with no legitimate target outside of first round receiver Drake London to divide defensive attention, but if Pitts is as good as Calvin Johnson, who had a second-year breakout with Dan Orlovsky and well past their prime Jon Kitna and Daunte Culpepper at quarterback, then Pitts talent can transcend situation. If you’re feeling Pitts in the third, trust your gut. I was on Pitts last year with a better quarterback and situation than this year, and teams treated him like the highest priority to defend, so I’m a bit gunshy to vigorously recommend him this year.
Darren Waller, LV
CONSIDER AT ADP
Waller’s “hamstring injury” that has kept him from practicing is almost certainly a “hold in”, which is the only strategy the CBA affords players that want to try to force their team’s hand into giving them a new deal. It does add some risk to his profile, but he is already going at a discount from last year’s ADP, when he had more volume coming to him, but a less desirable surrounding offense to increase the value of his targets. The fifth round is about when to think about Waller if you don’t love any of the WR/RB available and don’t want to go early at quarterback.
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