This week we continue our fantasy football rankings rundown with a look at the Tight End position. Join Andy Germani, Tommy Landseadel, Joe Mica, Dan Marcus and Neil Schnurbach as they help you prepare for your rapidly approaching football drafts.
All of our rankings assume standard scoring:
- 6 points for TDs
- 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
- 1 point for 25 yards passing – no PPR
Without further ado, let’s check out the ranks! N/R denotes a non ranking for that particular player.
|Honorable Mentions: O.J. Howard, Jared Cook, Dwayne Allen, Charles Clay, Jesse James, Austin Hoper|
Are there any TE worthy of reaching early for?
Andy: The only one I might pick before the fourth round is Travis Kelce, but even then I am avoiding him in just about every mock. Rob Gronkowski I will have above Kelce and likely a third or fourth round pick, but he will be gone before then.
Joe: If early means round 1 or 2, no. Gronk has proven to be mortal. A first or second round pick should be more reliable than 12.7 games over the last 3 seasons. He may be the best, but “the best” does not help you if he does not play. It’s best to wait on a TE and build depth at the other skill positions.
Tommy: If there is a TE worth reaching early for, it is Gronk. The injury risk is real, but he has the ability to post numbers that the rest of the TE class simply can’t touch. That being said, I wouldn’t consider him until round 3 this year. For those in PPR leagues, keep in mind that Gronk’s advantage is actually slightly less in that format. The second tier TEs usually get more receptions than Gronk does.
Dan: The top three tight ends (Gronk, Kelce, and Reed) are all worth drafting at or around their ADP. They present a clear top-tier, and though there is risk involved in each, it may be worth it to grab them and avoid the mediocrity that follows in the rest of the TE rankings.
Neil: If you are a risk/reward type of fantasy player, I still feel that Rob Gronkowski is worthy of a top-10 overall pick. When healthy, he is so much better than any other tight-end production wise that he is an asset unlike any other in fantasy. Of course, try to grab Dwayne Allen as a handcuff if you are drafting Gronk.
Which TE will you be looking to avoid?
Andy: I hinted at him a little in the reaching for question, but I won’t be touching Gronkowski this year. After years of being pro Gronk, I am finally off the bandwagon. If you take him as a top-25 pick you are paying for all of his upside but also taking on all of his risk. I also wouldn’t waste a draft pick on any of the rookie tight ends.
Joe: Tyler Eifiert leads my list because of his injury history. He’s already iffy for 2017 from back surgery. Next is Kyle Rudolph. Last season it seems everyone on the Vikings offense went down to injury except Rudolph and he benefited from it. Since most TE are inconsistent, I just don’t trust him to repeat his career numbers from 2016.
Tommy: I probably won’t own Jimmy Graham this year. He carries a lot of injury risk and doesn’t offer nearly the same upside as he used to in New Orleans. Owners drafting him are hoping for a repeat of 2016 as a best case, but I think there is substantial downside risk that is getting overshadowed by Graham’s name value.
Dan: Hunter Henry caught a touchdown every 6.75 targets last year, and that won’t happen again. With Antonio Gates still in the mix and a current ADP of TE9 I’m staying far away for Henry.
Neil: I know this is going to seem hypocritical given that I am recommending Gronk, but I would avoid Jordan Reed due to his volatile health. While Gronk is often injured, you usually know before the game if he is playing or not. Reed seemingly tweaks his hamstring in the 1st quarter every other game. I am not touching him.
Which TE do you see as under-valued
and someone to target in the mid to late rounds?
Andy: He is a hot name this year, but Eric Ebron is someone I will end up with a lot. I think there is upside there, and tight ends take time to develop. With Anquan Boldin out of town, Ebron should get more chances.
Joe: Julius Thomas is reunited with Adam Gase whom he caught 24 TD over 2 seasons. I’m also intrigued by Charles Clay. If Clay could reel in over 500 yards under the run-first, conservative Rex Ryan, can’t imagine less as the offense opens up under new HC Sean McDermott. It pays to wait on a TE – Less risk picking one late. Last season 6 undrafted TE finished in the top 15.
Tommy: Kyle Rudolph’s 2016 breakout is being underappreciated. Sam Bradford is a short pass machine. I expect Rudolph to again lead all TEs in targets. He won’t do as much with those targets as the top dogs, but he offers a very safe mid round value with potential for top-5 production. Of the breakout players, Hunter Henry offers the highest ceiling, but he will continue to be limited as long as Antonio Gates is still on the field.
Dan: Kyle Rudolph and Zach Ertz are the pair of tight ends I want on my team. Sam Bradford doesn’t throw deep so Rudolph should continue to eat up targets, and even with the offseason addition of Alshon Jeffrey, Carson Wentz will likely be looking Zach Ertz’s way as a security blanket.
Neil: Aaron Rodgers has never really played with a great tight end and I am excited to see how his rapport with Martellus Bennett develops. My money is on Rodgers and the explosive Packers’ offense using Bennett’s talents properly and for Bennett to post double-digit touchdowns this year.
Up Next: the top 20 Defense/Special Teams for 2017