When healthy, Reed rivals Gronk as the best tight end in fantasy football. His best season was 2015 when he was second among tight ends with 87 receptions, fifth in receiving yards with 952, and second (tied with Gronk) with 11 touchdown receptions. In 2016, playing in just 12 games, Reed caught 66 passes for 686 yards and six scores. Washington wants Reed to be a centerpiece in its passing attack. In an interview with the Washington Post this offseason, head coach Jay Gruden said Reed “is going to be critical to our success.”
Reed is perhaps the riskiest play in fantasy football. He missed 10 games with injury last season and has never played more than 14 games in any one season. After struggling last year with a myriad of lower-body issues, Reed underwent a toe procedure in March. He hopes to be ready for 2018 training camp. In addition to the toe/lower-leg issues from 2017 -- and the concussions -- Reed has had to deal with shoulder, quad and hamstring injuries during his career. In five years, he’s averaged 10.4 games played per season. In other words, he’s unavailable -- on average -- 35 percent of the time.
If he’s healthy in the preseason, Reed is going to be drafted in all fantasy formats. His upside is great enough that fantasy owners will take a chance -- even with his injury history. Owners who draft Reed as their No. 1 tight end will not have the luxury of waiting very long to select a TE2. The advice here is to keep a close eye on him in the preseason, and be sure to have another solid tight end on your roster. On the other hand, if he falls in your league, he is a fantastic option as a backup TE.