Fantasy Football: NFL Tight End Rankings and Tiers
Another day, another Fantasy Football article. Yesterday we went through the QBs. Today, we’ll be going through Tight End Rankings and tiers for the 2018 NFL season. These rankings are in the order of my personal preference. If they are within the same tier, all should be around the same range from a fantasy point projections perspective. Feel free to choose whom you prefer.
Fantasy Football Tier 1 – Elite
Gronk is the unquestioned top TE in the sport, but with questions about retirement and Brady getting a year older, there is at least a hint of him not having a monster year. He should be great but may not get value. I love Kelce. He’s my guy. Kelce is fun to watch. He’s a great athlete. Kelce is going to be in the top 3 TEs when the year is done, no doubt in my mind, better value than Gronk. Olsen will continue to be the top priority for Cam Newton. If he can stay healthy, he will produce near to 1000 yards around 8-10 TDs.
Fantasy Football Tier 2 – Get one of them
If you don’t get 1 of the big 3 or someone from this tier, you’re flirting with danger. If Graham is the old Graham, he could have a monster year and the best QB in the world, Aaron Rodgers, loves throwing to his TE. Rudolph is someone that, if healthy, he can be an 800 yard, 10 TD guy. Minnesota upgraded at QB, should be a boost for him. Zach Ertz has turned into Mr. Dependable. He doesn’t have the monster games too much, but he has a high floor and can be safely started every week without worrying.
Engram is the new guy. He was force fed with the numerous injuries to the NY Giants WRs. However, with everyone back, I think it helps him. He may not get as many catches, but I think his yards and TDs go up due to guys like Saquan Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr getting more attention. Delanie Walker has been Mr. Consistent for a long time now. The arrival of Corey Davis could take a small hit into his stats, but overall, he’s probably the last of the guys above that can be taken and started with no issues.
Fantasy Football Tier 3 – Good but taking a chance
Here is where we could have problems. Njoku is someone I expect to have a great year. I think he’ll be a top 10 TE, but he is unproven, so you’re taking a chance. Burton was the backup to Zach Ertz last year. He’s shown flashes, but once again, unproven. Reed is someone who has been dominant at times int eh past, but he’s injured so much, that most people have forgotten about him. Eifert is in the same boat as Reed. He was a monster just a few years ago, but injuries have made him a forgotten man.
Fantasy Football Tier 4 – Good luck
If Brate was the lone TE on the team, he would be at the top of tier 3, but with Howard right there, it limits his value. He will be very inconsistent. Watson has some good value because Brees uses his TEs well. The downside is his age and the numerous other weapons around him. Kittle is a sleeper and may end up being Jimmy G’s best weapon. He has good value as a backup TE with a limited ceiling.
Cook may get an opportunity in Oakland, but he has been a disappointment his entire career and I don’t think that is suddenly going to change now. Doyle is another one that would be in tier 3 or 4 if no one was there with him, but the Colts have multiple TEs and Luck likes to go deep. Clay is a solid player when he plays, but he’s been hurt an awful lot lately. You just can’t depend on him.
Fantasy Football Tier 5 – For 2 TE leagues
Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins
O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons
Dwayne Allen – New England Patriots
Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Jacksonville Jaguars
I love Gesicki. I think he will be a top 15 type TE. However, he’s a rookie and typically rookie TEs aren’t as big of a factor during his rookie year. He’s a great pick in dynasty leagues and he does have some value this year. Howard could be a breakout guy. It would be much easier to rank him higher if it wasn’t the situation with Brate that I mentioned earlier. Hooper may not have the talent that many guys on this list have, but he’s within a great offense where other guys will draw attention from him.
The Pats love using 2 TEs and since they also have, mostly, small WRs, Allen could be a sleeper in TD leagues. He may approach the 8 TD mark. James is like Hooper in that he’s not as talented, but he’s in a powerful offense and he can take advantage of the lack of attention the defense will pay to him. Seferian-Jenkins has been a hype job most of his career with no production other than 1 year The Jags use their TE a lot, so he may put up similar number to Mercedes Lewis last year.
Fantasy Football Tier 6 – Just look away
Honestly, you shouldn’t draft any of these guys unless you are in a dynasty league. Seals-Jones is overhyped. Hurst has talent, but not a high ceiling for fantasy numbers. Everett has potential, but Rams have so many other weapons. I like Vannett, but Seattle is a bad team right now. Smith is a mini Delanie Walker, but he must wait another 2-3 years for Walker to step aside. Shaheen looked to be the guy in waiting, but they just signed Burton to a long-term deal in Chicago.
This is a shallow year for TEs. I suggest getting 1 a little earlier than what you may typically be used to. I’m not saying to take 1 in round 1, but you should probably start looking to see I you can get 1 of those top tiers in the 1st 4 rounds. Just like with QBs, you don’t realize how important the TE positions is, till you don’t have one and you are going against Jimmy Graham in week 13 and you see him get 120 yards and 2 TDs.
With that said, next, we move on to the RBs.