2016 Fantasy Football Rankings - Tight Ends
The tight end position every year turns into an extreme version of the haves and have-nots. You either have a game changing TE (yes there are varying levels, READ: Gronk then everyone else though Reed has closed that gap) or you’re among the scraps and/or streaming tight ends every week. That said, there always seems to be that one super athletic tight end that breaks out every year. In 2014 it was Travis Kelce and last year it was Gary Barnidge. With that said, here is how I view the top 20 fantasy tight ends this season.
1.Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots- Rob Gronkowski is a mortal lock for double-digit touchdowns if he plays double-digit games. Martellus Bennett’s signing is an interesting development as that means Gronk should line up at the “X” receiver more.
2. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins- Jordan Reed has played 17 games with Kirk Cousins in their tenure on the Redskins. What are his numbers in those games you may ask? 109-1,218-12. The only question is his health. Jordan Reed is everything Aaron Hernandez was supposed to be
3. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers- Greg Olsen hasn’t missed a game since the Patriots went undefeated and lost in the Super Bowl. He’s as reliable as they come even if nobody gets excited to pick him.
4. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints- I don’t think this guy is a good real life player at all but here are two things related to his situation. First of all, Ben Watson was a top 10 tight end last season in PPR. BEN. WATSON. Second of all, in the games Dwayne Allen missed when Fleener was on the Colts, here are his averages: 5.1 catches for 72.1 yards and 1.0 TDs.
5. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs- Travis Kelce is summed up as a Mega talent with inconsistent target share and a bad quarterback who takes zero risks. What a conundrum.
6. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals- Eifert caught a touchdown every six catches. He’s bound to regress in that arena and he’s going to miss time. That said, he still has a high ceiling. It’s hard to know where to draft him without knowing exactly where his health is. That could make him a discount on draft day though.
7. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans- Walker was targeted 133 times and caught 94 of them for 1,033 yards and six touchdowns. He probably won’t be targeted 133 times, but who is going to stop him from being targeted 115+ times or so? Rishard Matthews and Kendall Wright are going to limit his target rate? I doubt it. Walker is a sneaky good PPR TE.
8. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers- He was number six in PPR PPG last season. He’s a really good weekly bet to score a touchdown and he’s going at a reasonable rate in drafts right now (round 8 ADP).
9. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars- He’s scored 29 touchdowns in his last two and half seasons(40 games). He had injury issues which is nothing new but was a top five scorer in five of the six games he was targeted seven or more times.
10. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles- Ertz is a dollar tree Travis Kelce who doesn’t like scoring touchdowns. But dammit there are so many good fantasy team names around his name.
11. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns- With Josh McCown, Gary Barnidge was an elite tight end. With everybody else, he was pedestrian. RGIII is probably better than all of them, but who knows how much he’s going to rely on him? The difference between floor and ceiling is rather large for Barnidge.
12. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions- You extrapolate his stats for the season without Brandon Pettigrew and you have 16 game totals of 66 catches, 841 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also drafted in the top 10. He’s a sneaky potential touchdown breakout.
13. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts- In four games without Fleener, Allen has seen seven targets a game. There should be plenty of touchdowns to go around for the Colts and Allen could grab seven or eight and is cheap.
14. Zack Miller, Chicago Bears- If the Bears open up the playbook a little, Miller should be a solid every week starter if he can stay on the field.
15. Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots- There will probably be a lot of two tight end sets in New England. My problem with him is rostering him with any hope for a consistent starting TE is basically chasing his productive fantasy weeks. Good luck on guessing when they are going to happen. Drafting him as your second tight end in a “wait and see” experiment could pay off if his usage ends up being consistent.
16. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys- I’ve never seen an NFL player who runs like a dad quite like Jason Witten. That said, he’s one of my favorite players ever and should be a Hall of Famer. As far as his fantasy prospects, he could probably still catch 4-5 Tony Romo hook patterns per game I guess?
17. William Tye, New York Giants- From Week 10 on, Tye's 16-game pace stats were 73-841-7. And I mean, he’s better than Larry fucking Donnell.
18. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers- Him and Blaine Gabbert have some sort of *stifles laughter* rapport. Take that for whatever it is worth.
19. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins- Once Adam Gase was hired, Julius Thomas told him to do whatever it took to stay in Miami. What that means for Cameron? I don’t know but it can’t hurt to find out.
20. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks- Just don’t do it to yourself.