2015 The Year of the Fantasy Tight End?

Week one is in the books. There were some highs. There were some lows. There was a lot of information to process. One of the biggest stand outs was just how productive tight ends were. Typically when we talk about fantasy tight ends you hear about Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and maybe Greg Olsen thrown in for good measure, but this season there looks to be a lot more names added to the list. Even Gronk had a hard time staying at the top of the tight end leader boards, and it was rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins nipping at his heals.

In fact, there were 13 tight ends who finished with double digit fantasy points. To put that in perspective there were 23 running backs, and 20 wide receivers who racked up up more than 10 fantasy points. If you play in a league that allows a tight end in the flex position this is huge. As more tight ends eat into receptions, and endzone targets, they’re going to eat into RB/WR production. Here’s a more in depth breakdown how fantasy tight ends performed in week one.

Rob Gronkowski 27.4
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 23
Travis Kelce 22.6
Tyler Eifert 22.4
Jason Witten 18
Darren Fells 14.2
Ladarius Green 13.4
Jordan Reed 12.3
Martellus Bennett 11.5
Eric Ebron 11.3
Jimmy Graham 11.1
Delanie Walker 10.3
Lance Kendricks 10.2

*based on ESPN standard scoring

Almost half of these guys are owned in less than 50% of leagues. And while I’m not saying all of these guys are going to put up these types of numbers every week, they’re all worth keeping an eye on.

Tight ends seem to be leveling the playing field between themselves and other players. Tight ends are typically taller, and stronger than wide receivers. This makes them the perfect endzone threat. If you’re having roster issues, and can play a tight end in multiple roster spots, it may be worth it to take a chance on one of these guys, or another tight end that’s caught your eye. I don’t see the “Tight End Trend” going away any time soon.

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2015 Wide Receiver Rankings

This year, there are a lot of options at wide receiver. It’s probably the deepest position for 2015 besides perhaps quarterback. But this doesn’t mean you should wait too long to draft your first receiver, it just means there will still be value to be had after the sixth round. For your typical roster you’ll end up with about 4-8 receivers depending on your league’s scoring. Player’s marked with a $$ are players that should outperform their draft day values.

Two guys I’m targeting as deep sleepers are Eddie Royal, and Andrew Hawkins. Eddie Royal was already on my radar long before the Kelvin White injury. But when you couple that with the fact that Alshon Jeffery is dealing with an injury, it paints a rosy picture for Royal’s outlook. Royal is a seasoned veteran coming off his two most productive fantasy football seasons, and with White out he should lack for targets. I really like Cutler this season as well, so everything is trending up for his production.

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty down on Johnny Manziel, but he’s looked pretty sharp in the preseason. As a result, Cleveland receivers have seen a boost in my rankings. I’m not sure who’s going to be the top receiver in Cleveland at the end of the season, but if I don’t end up with Bowe, I’m not going to be upset landing Andrew Hawkins in the later rounds. Hawkins has the talent, and showed flashes of this last season, ending 2014 with more first downs than any other receiver or back on for The Browns. Hawkins is a gut call for me, but my gut says he’ll have a big season.

1. Demaryius Thomas DEN 21. Brandon Marshall NYJ 41. Percy Harvin BUF
2. Antonio Brown PIT 22. DeSean Jackson WAS 42. Devin Funchess CHI
3. Dez Bryant DAL 23. Amari Cooper OAK 43. Kendall Wright TEN
4. Alshon Jeffery CHI 24. Andre Johnson IND 44. DeVante Parker MIA
5. Randall Cobb GB 25. Mike Wallace MIN 45. Brandon Lafell NE
6. Julio Jones ATL 26. Jeremy Maclin KC 46. Charles Johnson MIN
7. Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 27. Nelson Agholor PHI $$ 47. Brian Quick STL $$
8. T.Y Hilton IND 28. Allen Robinson JAC 48. Dwayne Bowe CLE $$
9. Calvin Johnson DET 29. Eric Decker NYJ 49. Kenny Stills MIA
10.  Mike Evans TB 30. Marques Colston NO $$ 50. Donte Moncrief IND
11. A.J. Green CIN 31. Jarvis Landry MIA 51. . Doug Baldwin SEA
12. DeAndre Hopkins HOU 32. Victor Cruz NYG $$ 52.  Malcom Floyd SD
13. Emmanuel Sanders DEN 33. Roddy White ATL 53. Terrance Williams DAL
14. Julian Edelman NE 34. Martavis Bryant PIT 54. Dorial Green-Beckham TEN
15. Sammy Watkins BUF 35. Davante Adams GB $$ 55. Cody Latimer DEN
16. Brandin Cooks NO 36. Torrey Smith SF $$ 56. Marqise Lee JAC
17. Golden Tate DET 37. Steve Smith BAL 57. Cole Beasley DAL
18. Keenan Allen SD 38. Breshad Perriman BAL 58. Tyler Lockett SEA
19. Vincent Jackson TB $$ 39. Anquan Boldin SF 59.Marvin Jones CIN $$
20. Jordan Matthews PHI 40.  Larry Fitzgerald ARI 60. John Brown ARI

*Rankings are based on standard scoring.

Based on your league size, and how enthusiastic your fellow drafters are this may not be enough receiver depth. Below are a few more later round guys, that can still produce for your team.

Cecil Shorts HOU

Andrew Hawkins CLE

Danny Amendola NE

Eddie Royal CHI

Riley Cooper PHI

Pierre Garcon WAS

Rueben Randle NYG

Michael Crabtree OAK

Greg Jennings MIA

Allen Hurns JAC

Markus Wheaton PIT

Jarius Wright MIN

Mohamed Sanu CIN

2015 Quarterback Rankings

When drafting quarterbacks in fantasy football, you want to go early or go last. This years quarterback depth is ridiculous. Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck are easily the two standouts. Rodgers simply gets the job done every year, and Luck is a young strong armed QB surrounded by talent. But even if you choose to wait on drafting a quarterback, there is still a lot of talent left on the line. Players marked by $$$ are some players that I predict will outperform their average draft position.

Two players I am targeting in later rounds are Tony Romo and Jay Cutler. Dez Bryant has been outspoken all season. To me he seems hungry. There has never been a wide receiver score 16+ touchdowns in back to back seasons. I think that Dez has a shot at breaking that record this season. Not to mention, the loss of their bell cow running back leads me to believe they’ll be airing the ball out more this season. Jay Cutler should benefit from new offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Gase is coming from Denver where he worked with Peyton Manning during some of his most productive seasons. The loss of Kevin White shouldn’t impact Cutler too greatly. He still has Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett as targets. These are two of my top guys that should give you quite the bang for your buck.

1. Aaron Rodgers GB 14. Matthew Stafford
2. Andrew Luck IND 15. Sam Bradford PHI
3. Ben Roethlisberger PIT $$$ 16. Teddy Bridgewater MIN $$$
4. Peyton Manning DEN 17. Jay Cutler CHI $$$
5. Russell Wilson SEA 18. Carson Palmer ARI
6. Drew Brees NO 19. Joe Flacco BAL $$$
7. Ryan Tannehill MIA 20. Jameis Winston TB
8. Matt Ryan ATL 21. Alex Smith KC
9. Cam Newton CAR 22. Marcus Mariota TEN
10. Tony Romo DAL $$$ 23. Nick Foles STL $$$
11. Philip Rivers SD 24. Andy Dalton CIN
12. Tom Brady NE 25. Robert Griffin III WAS
13. Colin Kaepernick SF

*Rankings are based on standard scoring.

2015 Tight End Rankings

There isn’t nearly as much point disparity between tight ends as say running backs and wide receivers. This directly influences their value. If you have a shot at a stud running back for example, you’ll want to pull the trigger on that player as opposed to the best tight end available. The only exception this season is Rob Gronkowski. Gronk annihilated his competition last season, averaging 11.5 points a game. Even though he’ll likely be missing his starting quarterback (Tom Brady) for the start of the season, he’s still head and shoulders above the rest. For your draft you’ll want to end up with one to three tight ends. You’ll only draft three if you can use a tight end in your flex position on your roster. Players marked with $$$ are players that are likely to outperform their draft value.

1. Rob Gronkowski NE 14. Kyle Rudolph MIN $$$
2. Greg Olsen CAR 15. Larry Donnell NYG
3. Jimmy Graham SEA 16. Josh HIll NO
4. Martellus Bennett $$$ 17. Charles Clay BUF
5. Travis Kelce KC 18. Heath Miller PIT $$$
6. Dwayne Allen IND 19. Jordan Reed WAS
7. Julius Thomas JAC 20. Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB
8. Jason Witten DAL 21. Maxx Williams BAL $$$
9. Jordan Cameron MIA $$$ 22. Jace Amaro NYJ
10. Owen Daniels DEN $$$ 23. Eric Ebron DET
11. Zach Ertz PHI $$$ 24. Vernon Davis SF
12. Delanie Walker TEN 25. Tyler Eifert CIN
13. Antonio Gates SD

*These rankings are based on standard scoring.

More rankings to come! After all are published I will link all of my rankings to a downloadable document for easy printing and draft day use. Good luck!