There are definitely a limited amount of Tight Ends to select from. Most fantasy football teams will only carry one TE and either leave the position empty or pickup a free agent as required. This position is not typically known to put up big points. Here is the top 10 TE rankings according to ESPN.com. As usual, I am listing them with Name, Team, Bye Week…
- Rob Gronkowski NE 9 – Gronk is by far the best TE and is the only one worth considering drafting anytime earlier than 5th round. Need to be aware that Brady will be serving suspension first 4 games so that will likely affect his numbers to begin the season.
- Jordan Reed WAS 9 – Reed had a breakout year last year and Washington is hoping for much of the same this year.
- Greg Olsen CAR 7 – Olsen is a great receiving TE on a team that will find him in the red zone. Carolina has Benjamin returning to solidify the WR core but Olsen will still get his touches.
- Delanie Walker TEN 13 – LOVE Walker. As a Niner fan, I really wish we kept Walker and let Vernon Davis go. If you look back to the time we let Delanie go, his stats in TEN went through the roof while Vernon Davis went through the ground like a jackhammer….aka Kam Chancellor.. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgtGmkJ-Tvk) – This was the beginning of the end of Davis’ career!
- Travis Kelce KC 5 – Kelce is a great value TE that will put up good numbers. He plays with a QB that does not throw to WRs very well but has had great success throwing to TEs, specifically Kelce over the last few years. I expect the same this year and would consider him a #2 TE, not #5.
- Coby Fleener NO 5 – Fleener is definitely capable but he never put up stats in IND with Luck as his QB. Brees is known for his past with TEs (Jimmy Graham). Coulld Fleener fill those shoes?
- Tyler Eifert CIN 9 – Eifert is a strong TE that will give you solid points. Do not expect a lot of breakout performances though. Dalton likes to go to his WRs.
- Gary Barnidge CLE 13 – Barnidge is a serious talent. Put him on a team with a solid QB and I would put Barnidge in top 5 TEs to pick from but his QB is likely going to be Robert Griffin III to start the year. It all depends on how the offense does. If QB is able to get the ball out, Barnidge will make plays.
- Zach Ertz PHI 4 – QB controversy or not, Ertz has always been a good TE and put up solid numbers.
- Antonio Gates SD 11 – Gates is a great TE but he is getting old and will be on the injured list often, guaranteed! Picking up his backup would not be a bad idea, I believe it will be Jeff Cumberland.
Now a few TEs that are not rated in the top 10 to consider in the later rounds (10th round or later)…
- Jimmy Graham SEA 5 – You cannot deny what he was able to do with Drew Brees just 2 years ago. It may be worth picking him up late as he may surprise by having a comeback year.
- Jason Witten DAL 7 – Witten has been a great TE for many years. He is getting old so injury is a concern but he has amazing QBs this year that will make him look really good.
- Kyle Rudolph MIN 6 – With the performance of Bridgewater last year and raised expectations this year, I suspect that Rudolph will benefit.
- Vance McDonald SF 8 – I know SF is a mess… But I have watched the first few preseason games and the Chip Kelly offense is legit! Niners will definitely be able to move the ball and score, whether the QB is Gabbert, Kaepernick, Driskel OR Ponder who was amazing on Saturday after being signed three days before gameday. That said, McDonald is a special TE that is capable of blocking which means he will be on the field a lot and is a great route runner. He has proven already that he is a capable receiver as well. He would be a good late round pickup.