The tight end position for fantasy football is undergoing a bit of a transition entering the 2019 season. For starters, Rob Gronkowski is no longer an option, although he had been surpassed by Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz for top billing among TEs.
But the changes go beyond bidding farewell to Gronk. The emergence of guys like George Kittle, O.J. Howard, Austin Hooper, and Eric Ebron has added more depth to a position that had been fairly shallow at times. And the pool should get another boost if Hunter Henry is able to return to form after tearing his ACL in May 2018.
And there's also plenty of attention being focused on the arrival of former Iowa teammates and first-round picks T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Rookie tight ends are hard to trust in fantasy but Hockenson and Fant should each get plenty of opportunities to carve out significant roles for their teams. And they aren't the only members of this year's draft class that are worth keeping an eye on and potentially taking a flyer on in the later rounds.
The TE pool also welcomes back another familiar face in the return of Jason Witten, who is back with the Cowboys after a brief retirement. As great as it will be to see the future Hall of Famer back on the field, the good news for fantasy owners is they don't have to count on Witten as they did in the past. As you can see in perusing the rankings below, there are simply too many younger and more appealing options that should be drafted ahead of him. In this case, change is good as it relates to the fantasy outlook for the tight end position in 2019.