In what’s been a trying year for fantasy managers watching the tight end position limp through the first part of the season with stars battling both injury and inconsistency, Week 7 has been an oasis in the desert — and on National Tight Ends Day, to boot.
How bad has this tight end drought been? Well, entering Sunday there had only been two 100-yard games by any tight end this season.
Kelce decided to ring in his position’s holiday with a special day that won’t soon be forgotten by a national audience, all the fantasy managers who drafted him in the first round and his No. 1 fan, Taylor Swift.
In the first half, Kelce set his personal best for a half with 143 yards. He caught all nine of his targets and added a touchdown just before halftime on what looked similar to the Brotherly Shove. Coincidentally he got a helping hand from Taylor on the play — Jawaan Taylor.
For much of the afternoon, it looked like Kelce would set another personal record, threatening the 191 yards on 10 catches and two touchdowns that he set in a 34-28 victory over the Chargers on Dec. 16, 2021.
He finished off the Chargers again, this time 31-17 by catching 12 of 13 targets for 179 yards and the score.
“What a beautiful day for some football,” Kelce told CBS’ Tracy Wolfson after the game. Patrick Mahomes interrupted the interview by grabbing Kelce by the shoulder and yelling for the cameras to catch, “Greatest of all time!” Hard to argue when the 34-year-old keeps putting up big games like Sunday.
Yes, it was cause for celebration. But Kelce was far from the only tight end doing some celebrating.
Mark Andrews, who missed the first game of the season and got off to an uneven start, made sure that Kelce was not the only star tight end to come through on their holiday. Andrews caught four of six targets for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the 38-6 Ravens blowout victory over the Lions. His 20.30 fantasy points were leading all tight ends before Kelce’s monster first half shot him to the top of the charts.
Another tight end who battled early-season injuries after an offseason of intrigue was Darren Waller, who scored the Giants’ first touchdown en route to a 14-7 victory. He was the TE3 on the week after catching seven of eight targets for 98 yards and that score.
Waller’s presence in the Giants’ offense is big, as in four of their previous six games they scored fewer points than their Sunday winning total. Fantasy managers who invested a fifth-round pick on the preseason TE5 are surely hoping for a greater return on the investment rest of season than the TE11 he’s been through the first six games.
These three stars at the position are not the only tight ends who were celebrating Sunday. It turned out to be a very good day, with six tight ends scoring a touchdown. It’s not quite the 11 tight end touchdowns that were scored in Week 5, though there were a full complement of games that week. With six teams on bye this week, it’s very possible that each of these players were in starting lineups this week:
Mike Gesicki may have had a quiet game for more than 59 minutes Sunday, but he caught a one-yard touchdown that was the game-winner with 15 seconds left in the 29-25 upset victory for the Patriots. His celebratory griddy was fun.
Gerald Everett caught three balls for 26 yards and a second-quarter touchdown.
Rookies Dalton Kincaid (8/75) and Sam LaPorta (6/52) celebrated the holiday by finishing in the top 10 at the position even without scoring.
Converted tight end Taysom Hill got a jump on National Tight Ends Day for the Saints on Thursday Night Football, catching four of five targets for 50 yards and rushing five times for 18 yards and a score for 14.80 fantasy points — and TE4. Yes, he’s graduated to every-week starter status by now.
But the tight ends may not be done yet. As of this writing, three tight ends — Dallas Goedert, T.J. Hockenson and George Kittle — still have yet to wrap their boxscores. Who knows if they’ll get to put more fantasy managers in festive moods with big games of their own?
Back to Kansas City, with Arrowhead Stadium still buzzing and Chiefs Kingdom basking in the victory with the most famous woman in the world celebrating in a suite, Kelce was asked how he was going to spend the rest of National Tight Ends Day.
“I’m just going to go ahead and enjoy this one with the fam and friends, and get ready for next week in Denver, I believe,” Kelce said.
With the Broncos last in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, it just might be time to prepare for another celebration in Week 8.