1. Rob Gronkowski
Gronk gets a tier on his own. Other than his terrible week-long appearance on Big Brother this year, its hard to find many faults in The Gronk. He is the one guy you can draft and be confident you are going to be better than your opponent that week at that position. And you are probably going to be significantly better. If you have Gronk, you are going to have multiple weeks where you outscore your opponent by 15+ points at the Tight End position. He’s going to go in the first round…early second at the latest….so there will be a price to pay. But he may be worth it.
2. Jimmy Graham
Graham is not on Gronkowski’s level but even moving away from Drew Brees and New Orleans he is still head and shoulders above any other tight end in the league. I know the move to Seattle causes some hesitation for some people, but its not like Russell Wilson has a ton of receiving options …. especially in the red zone. Seattle should be able to move the ball (I have Wilson as my #3 QB) and Graham is going to be a significant part of that I’d assume. So there are some questions associated with Graham in Seattle but I’m not letting that shy me away from Jimmy G that much.
3. Travis Kelce
4. Greg Olsen
5. Julius Thomas
6. Jason Witten
7. Martellus Bennett
8. Zach Ertz
9. Antonio Gates
10 Jordan Cameron
11. Dwayne Allen
12. Delaine Walker
If I don’t get either one of those first two guys as my tight end I’m probably waiting until the end of the draft to get anybody. I just don’t think there is a huge difference between spots 3 and 13 this year at tight end. Sure I’d rather have the guys towards the top of this list but I don’t think that preference warrants me using a mid-round draft pick on it.
So that’s why I’m just lumping everyone else here together into one tier. You’ve probably all read the stats that the difference each year between tight ends #4 and #20 is like a point and a half each week, or something along those lines. If its me, I’m probably waiting and stockpiling RBs and WRs instead of going with a non-Gronk/Graham tight end.
If you are looking for my opinion’s on these guys though (and you’re reading my dumb blog posts right now so obviously you are), then here a couple quick hitters:
*I think Kelce has the best possibility to make the leap to being a great fantasy TE, hence the #3 ranking.
*If you are looking for targets and yards from week to week from your TE, I think I’d go with Olsen or Bennett.
*Julius Thomas takes a big hit leaving Peyton Manning to go to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Enjoy those paychecks JT because you won’t be enjoying nearly as many touchdowns or yards……or wins.
*I like Dallas’ offense this year so if I’m looking for a TE to give me some yards here and there and maybe throw in a couple TD games then I don’t mind having Jason Witten on my squad
*Same story with Zach Ertz, I like the Eagles offense this year and figure he’ll have some chances to come away with points.
A SECOND LOOK AT
Unless you have a stud, tight ends can be a crap shoot. Most weeks you are looking at a guy getting anywhere from 20-50 yards. Which is only 2 to 5 points. If you happen to get lucky a week or two and get a touchdown out of your mediocre tight end its like free money. Here are some guys who I think have the largest probability to turn into touchdown guys certain weeks. Most are probably going to be busts but we are talking late, late round fliers here if you are getting desperate.