2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: TE
The 2016 fantasy football season is closing in, and just as I have done since 2014, I will bring out my positional rankings leading up to the 2016 NFL regular season. Having already done my Top 30 QB’s and my Top 50 RB’s we are onto the tight end position which has become more valuable in fantasy football with the ‘passing’ of every season. See what I did there?
1. Rob Gronkowski- NE
- The 4-game Brady suspension shouldn’t hurt Gronk in the slightest. In fact, I would expect Jimmy Garoppolo to target the massive tight end more during the first four games, cementing Gronk as the No.1 fantasy football tight end.
2. Delanie Walker- TEN
- Walker led ALL tight ends in targets in 2015 (133), good for nine per game. Add in another season with a future superstar QB in Marcus Mariota, Walker’s value should not take a hit at all and gives owners with huge sleeper potential.
3. Greg Olsen- CAR
- Olsen provides Cam Newton with a security blanket who can stretch the field. He is a perfect fit in the Panthers scheme and should hit the 1,000 yard mark for the third consecutive season in 2016.
4. Travis Kelce- KC
- If Alex Smith is your starting QB, having a solid TE is a must. Kelce should see an increase in his total targets for the third year in a row (87 in ’14, 103 in ’15). Look for Travis to be utlitized more in the red zone this season, only 5 TD’s in each of his past two seasons—he’ll come closer to double-digits this year.
5. Jordan Reed- WAS
- Reed is considered the No.2 TE on many rankings sites, but that means you are putting stock in Kirk Cousins repeating his out-of-nowhere 2015 campaign. I’m not, and I expect a decline from the QB position, tempering Reed’s value a bit—but he’s still a Top 5 TE in 2016.
6. Tyler Eifert- CIN
- Eifert had a breakout season in 2015, but it could have been even better if an injury didn’t cost him 3.5 games. He scored a career-high 13 TD’s and while accruing that much in 2016 is a bit of a stretch, I expect an increase in yardage (615 in 2015).
7. Coby Fleener- NO
- The biggest TE acquisition of the off-season goes to New Orleans who picked up Coby Fleener in free agency. Fleener never lived up to the expectations set for him in Indy, but with Drew Brees and the Saints system, he is a perfect fit on paper.
8. Zach Ertz- PHI
- Ertz has been hyped as the next ‘breakout’ tight end since he entered the league in 2013, but it hasn’t materialized to that point…yet. He had a career-high 75 receptions for 853 yards last season, but only had two TD’s hurting his fantasy value. This season HC Doug Pederson said he will look to get Ertz involved in the red zone. If that happens Ertz is a guaranteed Top 10 TE.
9. Jimmy Graham- SEA
- Graham’s dominance at the TE position ended last season, his first in Seattle, but he should be able to bounce-back in 2016. More acclimated in the offense, Graham will become the focal point he was supposed to be in 2015. He should see an increase across the board, from catches-to-yards-to-touchdowns.
10. Austin Seferian-Jenkins- TB
- After two injury-plagued seasons, if Seferian-Jenkins can stay healthy he can finally live up to his potential and be a Top 10 fantasy tight end. It helps that he has one of the brightest young quarterback’s in the game throwing to him.
11. Julius Thomas- JAC
12. Dwayne Allen- IND
13. Jason Witten- DAL
14. Ladarius Green- PIT
15. Antonio Gates- SD
16. Gary Barnidge- CLE
17. Eric Ebron- DET
18. Martellus Bennett- NE
19. Charles Clay- BUF
20. Clive Walford- OAK
21. Jordan Cameron- MIA
22. Kyle Rudolph- MIN
23. Zach Miller- CHI
24. Maxx Williams- BAL
25. Vance McDonald- SF