Tight End Rankings 1.0

Edited by Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

These rankings are based on consensus rankings between myself and Eric. Below is a table of our rankings 1-24 In this article, we only breakdown some players; to hear our full analysis  on every TE 1-24 listen to the TE Rankings episode on Top2Pod

Matt Eric Average
Rob Gronkowski 1 1 1
Zach Ertz 2 2 2
Travis Kelce 3 3 3
Jimmy Graham 4 5 4.5
Evan Engram 5 4 4.5
Kyle Rudolph 6 7 6.5
Greg Olsen 8 6 7
Hunter Henry 7 8 7.5
Jack Doyle 9 10 9.5
Delanie Walker 10 9 9.5
Jordan Reed 11 11 11
O.J. Howard 12 12 12
David Njoku 13 13 13
Eric Ebron 14 14 14
Jason Witten 15 15 15
Cameron Brate 16 16 16
Tyler Kroft 17 17 17
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 18 18 18
Jared Cook 20 19 19.5
Charles Clay 19 22 20.5
Vernon Davis 21 20 20.5
Benjamin Watson 22 21 21.5
George Kittle 23 23 23
Adam Shaheen 24 25 24.5
  1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

As long as he stays in Foxborough and far away from Hollywood studios Gronk is still the best tight end option in redraft. In 2017 he caught 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and 8 touchdowns. He averaged just under 16 yards per reception and 10 yards per target, second to only O.J. Howard in our rankings.

  1. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz had his breakout season and he can no longer fly under the fantasy radar. Ertz also pulled in 8 touchdowns, but he caught 74 targets on 110 targets (67%) of targets. With one of the upcoming starts of the NFL throwing him the ball Ertz tops the rankings for tight ends in dynasty formats.

  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce had more receptions (83) than both Ertz and Gronk and had more receiving yards (1038) than Ertz and a higher reception percentage than Gronk (67%). The case, then, could be made for Kelce to be the top option in either redraft or dynasty formats. Kelce’s value is tempered, however, by his young, inexperienced gun slinging quarterback.  Kelce’s fantasy production has seem a large bump from the increased targets he’s seen from Alex Smith; 122 in 2017, and 117 in 2016. Mahommes’s approach to the position starkly contrasts Smith’s conservative game manager style; and Kelce could lose the most from it.

  1. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Graham caught more touchdowns than any other tight end in 2017. His ten touchdowns was bested by just one wide receiver, Keenan Allen. Yet, Graham only caught 57 passes (58% of his 97 targets) and averaged just 5.3 yards/target. Graham would benefit big time from a new squad; one willing to utilize him more effectively and give him consistent targets. If Graham lands in New Orleans…or even Green Bay he could be the best value in your 2018 draft.

  1. Evan Engram, New York Giants

Engram dispelled the notion that rookie tight ends can’t produce fantasy value. Engram finished as TE 5 in 2017; catching 64 passes for 722 yards and 6 touchdowns. He capitalized off injuries to Beckham Jr and Marshall but could benefit from an offensive resurgence in New York next season.

  1. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
  2. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
  3. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

Henry was effective in games he got targets, but the Chargers left him out of a lot of games in 2017; leading to his TE 14 finish. Henry, however, caught 71% of his 63 targets and converted 4 of his 45 receptions to touchdowns. Look for Henry to return great value if the Chargers utilize him properly in 2018.

  1. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

Doyle was the loan fantasy contributor on the train wreck that was the 2017 Colts offense. Doyle caught 80 passes (2nd most for TEs) for 690 yards and caught 74% of his targets (2nd most for TEs). Look for Doyle to be the steal of drafts this season with Andrew Luck making him a legitimate red zone threat.  

  1. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
  2. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

Reed remains this high only in hopes that the player who once was a consensus top 3 TE can somehow keep himself healthy enough to contribute to an offense now lead by Alex Smith. Smith’s game manager style focuses on the TE, and it could lead to high production IF Reed can stay healthy.

  1. J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Howard shared targets with a lot of offensive weapons in 2017: fellow TE Brate, Mike Evans, and Desean Jackson. That led to a small pie of the stale pie that Winston was cooking last season. Howard had just 26 receptions but averaged 16.6 yards/receptions; the most of any tight end and 11 yards/target, also the most of any tight end. If (and that’s a big if) Winston can get it together and be a productive quarterback in 2018 Howard could be a breakout player.

  1. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
  2. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
  3. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
  4. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  5. Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals

Kroft was a waiver wire dream in 2017; one that make us forget who Tyler Eifert is (but really, who)? Kroft caught 7 touchdowns (6th best for tight ends) and pulled in 404 yards on just 42 receptions (67% catch rate). Kroft is limited by a stagnant at best Bengals offense, but makes for a good late round safety net; especially in deep leagues.

  1. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, New York Jets
  2. Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders
  3. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
  4. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins
  5. Benjamin Watson, Baltimore Ravens
  6. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

As a rookie, Kittle contributed to the 49ers offense under all 3 quarterbacks he had (Hoyer, Beathard, and Garoppolo). He caught 68% of his 63 targets (43 receptions) for 515 yards; but was limited to 2 touchdowns. As Jimmy G and a boatload of cap space breath life into the 49ers we can expect Kittle to emerge as a productive tight end in 2018. He’s a must roster in all dynasty leagues.

  1. Adam Shaheen, Chicago Bears

Sheehan is a bit of a sleeper but he contributed late in the season for the Bears. He pulled in 3 touchdowns and caught 85% of his 14 targets (12 receptions). He averaged 10.5 yards/reception and it’s clear he’s established chemistry with Trubisky. With the starting role in 2018, and presumably new offensive weapons and wide receiver, Shaheen has big upside with very low cost.

Published by

Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing is focused on dynasty and devy fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @TheFF_Educator

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