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 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!