Fantasy Football Tight End Fades: Is 2022 the year Travis Kelce finally falls off?

The Yahoo Fantasy Football crew is identifying the specific players at each position they're fading this draft season. Finally, the tight end picks from Andy, Matt, Scott and Dalton.

One popular sleeper who might stay sleeping

Andy Behrens: A quick review of the fantasy portfolio reveals that I've already drafted literally every tight end in the Yahoo consensus top-12 in at least one league. This would suggest that A) I might very well have signed up for too many leagues and B) I don't have any hot takes at this spot, because I'm not fading any big names (or medium-sized names).

[Set, hut, hike! Create or join a fantasy football league now!]

David Njoku is a semi-popular sleeper who hasn't made his way to any of my rosters, however, so let's call him my fade. He's entering his sixth pro season and still hasn't produced a truly useful fantasy campaign, plus he's about to spend a bunch of weeks working with Jacoby Brissett. This is not exactly a must-draft setup.

A proven star without a path to a high-scoring ceiling

Matt Harmon: It’s not as if you need to avoid Zach Ertz or you can kiss your fantasy season goodbye before it even starts, I just don’t see the ceiling case with him. If you miss out on the consensus top-nine tight ends this year, you shouldn’t bother spending serious draft capital to acquire a tight end. There’s not much of a gap between TE10 or 11 (Njoku and Ertz) and the guys I have ranked 12 to 16. You’re better off continuing to pluck receivers and running backs who could change your season, as it’s unlikely a tight end in the Ertz range is going to do so. He’s a fine middling floor pick, but that’s about all.

An explosive talent seems to be the odd man out in a new offense

Scott Pianowski: Mike Gesicki is a square peg in a round Miami hole, a route-first tight end who doesn't fit as a blocker. The new coaching staff wants tight ends who move bodies around, more traditional fits at the position. Sure, no one is playing fantasy football in points-per-block league, but you want your tight end on the field as much as possible, and that could be a Gesicki problem in 2022.

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (88) is a fantasy fade
Mike Gesicki has flashed before, but his fantasy value is taking a hit in 2022. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He's also looking at a lower target share, with Jaylen Waddle emerging and Tyreek Hill new in town. There are a handful of interesting tight-end draft targets outside the top 10, but Gesicki doesn't belong on that list.

The biggest star at the position might not meet his lofty expectations

Dalton Del Don: Travis Kelce will soon be 33 years old and is clearly in the decline phase of his career yet is being drafted as a top-20 pick. Kelce’s yards per route run have decreased nearly 20 percent over the last three seasons with Tyreek Hill off the field, and Kansas City added JuJu Smith-Schuster to play the slot during the offseason. Kelce is being drafted higher than Mark Andrews, who’s six years younger and saw 15 end-zone targets last season compared to only four for Kelce. Make it make sense!

Listen to the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast