In a Twitter request from @HE_grtrthn_dc8, the top two tight ends go head-to-head to see which one will be No. 1 in 2015. Jimmy Graham has a new home in Seattle as their main target for Russell Wilson. Rob Gronkowski is coming off a Super Bowl and is healthy for the first time in years, but he may not have Tom Brady for 4 games. Who is going to be the premier tight end in 2015?
Let’s start with some strengths and weaknesses of each player from a fantasy standpoint:
Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks):
- A new team and still the #1 target on the roster
- Russell Wilson is ecstatic to have this kind of player over the middle of the field and in the red zone
- He complements the wide receivers well with Baldwin being a smaller possession receiver and Kearse being the deep threat
- He will excel in this offense with play-action and Wilson’s ability to make plays outside the pocket
- Can he stay healthy with his nagging injury issues, hasn’t affected to many games, but does take a toll on a player
- Not in a pass-happy offense, won’t see as many targets, dip in production
Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots):
- In a world of his own with extreme talent
- He is a matchup nightmare and can win in so many ways with his size and undervalued speed/power
- Bill Belichick will find ways for him to be effective in Brady’s absence
- Did I mention he was healthy heading into 2015?
- Gronk hasn’t stayed healthy for two consecutive seasons since 2010-2011
- If Tom Brady were there for all 16 games, this would be no contest, but Brady is out right now for 4 games. Is Garoppolo talented enough to lead the offense? Four games of production can add up quickly
The Argument for Graham over Gronk:
Look me in the eye and tell me that Gronk is going to stay healthy this year. He also lost Tom Brady for 4 games and is stuck with Garappolo for the first few games. The defenses in the Patriots’ division are great with the impressive top-5 D’s in the Bills and Jets, and the Dolphins are no slouches. In six games this year the Patriots will be going up against elite defenses. Russell Wilson may not have the same passing prowess as Drew Brees, but he is a Super Bowl winning quarterback. The Seahawks are preparing for life after Lynch and see the passing game involving Graham to be the immediate future. How often this season will Russell Wilson flood out of the pocket and find Graham in a mismatch and make a big play? The Seahawks needed a true red-zone target and went out and got one of the best for 2015!
The Argument for Gronk over Graham:
Gronk is a monster, period. He can dominate a game in many different ways and is a matchup issue all over the field. If he is healthy, nobody competes with Gronk’s production. Yeah, Tom Brady will be gone for 4 games, but Bill Belichick will make it work and find ways to get Gronk the ball. Graham is no longer in a pass-happy offense with Drew Brees, he won’t see as many targets as he did in New Orleans and his production will falter because of it. Gronk has found his fullest potential and will ride that wave into another stellar fantasy season in 2015!
Would You Rather Draft Decision:
This is a split decision depending on what kind of fantasy player you are.
If you are a high risk/high reward fantasy player:
Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)
If he stays healthy, he is guaranteed monster production and is the best tight end in the NFL. The risk here is can he stay healthy? As mentioned above, he hasn’t been healthy for 2 consecutive seasons since 2010-2011. He was healthy for 2014; can he truly be healthy again for all of the 2015 season? Also, Tom Brady is out 4 games and that is key to Gronk getting off to a good start this season. Can Garoppolo be a solid quarterback for the Patriots to start the season? If he can, Gronk could have another great fantasy season. A lot of questions with Gronk, you have to be confident to take him early in the draft.
If you want to play if safe:
Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks)
Graham will be a force in Seattle, especially in the red-zone. He will bring a new dimension to the Seattle offense that defenses have not seen before. He will be the No. 1 target in that offense and Wilson will love throwing it to him. Graham has fought through injuries and will be a constant force in 2015. He will have a very productive season and possibly be the best tight end in fantasy this season if Gronk has any issues. I would feel safer drafting Graham over Gronk, because of his team dynamic and injury history.
If you have a “Would You Rather Draft” for Dan, tweet your idea to Shep_Collins and he may pick yours to debate in an upcoming article. Follow Dan for Fantasy Football and NFL Draft insight.