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Who Can Take TE1 Title From Travis Kelce?

Some say Travis Kelce is the greatest tight-end of all time. For now, I will say he is the greatest FANTASY tight-end of all time. No shots were taken, just needs to accumulate some numbers, which will happen playing with Patrick Mahomes.

What Travis Kelce has done since entering the NFL is remain a stud TE1 the entire time. Kelce’s lowest finishes in fantasy football have been TE8 and TE9 finishes in his rookie and sophomore seasons. Since then, Kelce has been the TE2 three times and the TE1 four times. Truly, a generational type of player we will never see again.

Although Travis Kelce is the consensus TE1 and a projected top-five pick in fantasy football, ANYTHING can happen from a game within the game. What IF Travis Kelce does not finish as the TE1 in 2023? Who can challenge him? Who can take the crown away as Mark Andrews did in 2021? Let’s dive in. In this piece, I offer up two tight ends that most will agree on and another one where others will view me as insane, but let’s have fun.

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Take the TE1 Title Away from Travis Kelce

Mark Andrews, TE2

This is a no-brainer. Mark Andrews has done it once and could very well do it again in what should be the best passing offense he has ever been in. Besides his rookie season, Andrews has been a TE1 since 2019.

Andrews has the third-most yards by a tight end since 2018 and the second-most touchdowns behind none other than, Travis Kelce. Now, Andrews and the Ravens’ offense get a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken. The same Todd Monken that just won two national championships with the University of Georgia.

This is the same Todd Monken who was the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Jameis Winston threw for 5000 yards and was the QB8 in ppg. Winston would have been a top-five QB if not for the 30 interceptions he threw. No disrespect, but Jackson is not Winston in that way.

Monken has stated there will be a lot of passing in this offense and it is simple to see with the past OC jobs Monken has had. Andrews posted the highest target share rate amongst TEs at 28.1% and will be the Brock Bowers to this Ravens offense.

With the added weapons, it is safe to say teams can’t solely focus on Lamar Jackson’s best and favorite target at all times. I expect Andrews to have a career-high in receiving yards and air yards in 2023.

Darren Waller, TE5

All in all, this is probably everyone’s tight end not named Travis Kelce for the 2023 fantasy football season.

Darren Waller has dealt with injuries in his career and has played in just 20 games over the past two seasons. With that being said, the Raiders grew tiresome of the situation and shipped Waller off to the New York Giants for a third-round pick.

The fantasy community grew in a frenzy once this happened as everyone asked, “Who is the Giants WR1?” The easy answer then and now is Darren Waller. With all the receivers they have such as Jalin Hyatt, Parris Campbell, Sterling Shepard, Isiah Hodges, Jamison Crowder, and Darius Slayton, Waller is better with no questions about it.

This is the same Darren Waller who is ranked as the 57th player on all-time rankings for all positions; 168 positions higher than Kelce. As an athlete, not many tight ends have been better than Darren Waller.

Waller has already shown flashes in pre-season as Daniel Jones’ number-one target in the offense. Waller will be what Kelce is to Patrick Mahomes and is going in the fifth round of drafts. The hype is happening fast as Waller was going in the seventh round just a few weeks ago.

The two past seasons can be scary for fantasy managers but a season like 2020 is in Waller’s range of outcomes being the top option in the second year of Brian Daboll as the Giants head coach. Waller had 107 catches to go along with 1196 yards. The TE2 in ppg from 2020 will look to enter the TE1 status in 2023.

Greg Dulcich, TE17

No chance Greg Dulcich or Dalton Schultz finish as the TE1? Dulcich, as a rookie, was one of two other tight ends who posted an ADOT (average depth of target) higher than 10.6 and a 15% target share. Dulcich also ranked 11th amongst tight ends in air yards.

Now, Sean Payton will look to Dulcich as a potential Jimmy Graham asset to the Denver Broncos. Courtland Sutton has been rumored to be on the trade block. Tim Patrick ruptured his Achilles. Dulcich won’t lead this team in yards or catches. The thing he will lead the team in and possibly the NFL is receiving touchdowns.

A bounce-back season for the entire Broncos offense with Dulcich seeing 750-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns is something that is not likely, but should not surprise people if it were to happen.

For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

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