This year's fantasy football draft is shaping up as an old-school attempt at nabbing running backs with early picks.
For years, that's how fantasy football was played, before leagues adjusted, making wide receivers more valuable, and experts jumping on the wide-receiver bandwagon.
Now, we've come full-circle, with 10 running backs being taken with the first 13 picks, according to Average Draft Position on FantasyPros. Last year, five running backs were being drafted at that level.
So the running back value play is being lost in the shuffle in 2018. There's zero chance a Todd Gurley-like player can be nabbed in the late second round this year, so it's either draft a running back high, or wait until later in the draft.
So that creates opportunities with other positions, like tight end.
It's not difficult to guess who the main tight ends are entering the 2018 season. Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are the mainstays being drafted in the first 40 picks of fantasy football drafts.
That makes senses, especially with Gronkowski being the most talented of the bunch, but Kelce and Ertz with high-upside featuring offensive schemes that focus on tight ends.
It's not out of the question to risk an early pick on one of those tight ends, especially with the value diminishing with the running back position. Your team needs an edge at some positions, so tight end may be relevant for your roster.
When peering at my draft strategy, though, I'm not making room for those three players. However, I do have three tight ends, spaced at different levels of the draft, on my radar.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers, ADP: 59
Olsen is falling in the fifth to sixth round level, making him an attractive pick. If you've already loaded up on running backs and a couple of wide receivers, Olsen offers an opportunity at being a top-tier tight end, without risking mega draft capital.
When healthy, he's a regular plus-1,000-yard producer in the receiving game. However, much with several tight ends, bad health has reared its ugly head, forcing Olsen to miss the majority of last season. And prior to 2017, his touchdowns took a dramatic turn downward, with only three touchdowns in 2016.
He should be back to the healthy version of Olsen, and I'm giving him some leeway for the disappointing touchdown mark in 2016. He's a favorite target of quarterback Cam Newton, so he's worth a look, especially if he falls into the sixth round.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins, ADP: 90
If the drafts were conducted on just a pure talent basis, then it would be impossible to ignore Reed at this level.
That's especially true with Alex Smith, the king of throwing to tight ends, now at the helm for the Redskins.
But many have soured on Reed, who has played in just 18 games in the last two seasons. He's never played a full season in his career, and since totaling 11 touchdowns in 2015, he's only nabbed eight touchdowns, thanks to being injured.
With Reed, he's the ultimate high-risk, high-reward candidate. If he can play through a full season, he's easily a top-three, possibly a top-two tight end. That gives him incredible value at this juncture.
However, he's never healthy, so that's a major risk. My draft strategy is calling for picking up Reed, thanks to some depth among the tight ends.
OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ADP: 152
I'm probably going to do some strange stuff in this year's fantasy football draft — like draft two tight ends.
I'm targeting Reed thanks to his tremendous upside. Much like my strategy to draft LeSean McCoy requires necessary depth at running back, the tight end position on my roster will need some increased attention.
So I'm swooping in and nabbing a sophomore tight end who everyone has dismissed.
Howard was a preseason favorite among fantasy football prognosticators last season. But he was only a rookie, so when he didn't deliver, everyone faded on his promise.
I don't draft that way, though. He has a ton of talent. And he was only a rookie last season, so there's room for growth.
Much like other rookies, he seemed to get better toward the end of the season last year. He tallied the most targets of the year in the second-to-last game, and registered 17 targets in his final five games with three touchdowns. He had 22 targets in his previous 11 games with three touchdowns.
He'll be better this season in an offense that I anticipate will score more points. If you're drafting Reed, or passing on the tight end position altogether until late, Howard's worth a flier.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football draft coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH