It is pretty easy to provide tight end rankings for Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, but there’s a good chance neither of those players will end up on your 2015 Fantasy Football team. The tight end position comes with a lot of responsibilities: protecting the quarterback, helping to open up lanes for the running back and catching the ball from time to time.
Outside of Graham and Gronk, this is also a position that really relies on circumstances when it comes to Fantasy success. Last year I thought Greg Olsen would be in the Top Five at the position, and that was mainly due to what was happening with the Carolina Panthers’ offense. Here’s what I identified: the receiving core was decimated and had a rookie to rely on entering the season, Newton would be much less mobile (more passing) and Olsen averaged 829.5 receiving in his previous two seasons before 2014 (this was a good base). Newton regained his mobility at the end of the season, and he also has a collection of weapons entering 2015. I still think the big tight end is an important part of the offense, but I don’t think Olsen will receive the same amount of looks he did last year.
Most Fantasy players only paid attention to the Tennessee Titans when they wanted to stream a defense, but Delanie Walker quietly recorded a productive season. He even talked about how no one else was talking about it. He totaled 890 receiving yards and four touchdown grabs through a mix of Zach Mettenberger, Charlie Whitehurst and Jake Locker. So Walker may be able to benefit from Marcus Mariota keeping a role as the starter each week . If you buy into rookie quarterbacks looking for security blankets, Mariota could do worse than the 248-pound tight end. I think Walker could be the Olsen of 2015, and the 30-year old tight end could finish in the Top Five for the position. I still have my reservations because of the offensive unit as a whole, however.
I fully expected the stars to align for Zach Ertz to have a monster year in 2014, so it was unnerving to watch the 24-year old tight end start 2014 with 77 yards and a touchdown and only finish with three total touchdowns on the season. Aside from circumstances, blocking can keep a potential Fantasy star from blossoming. Ertz lost time to Brent Celek, and Larry Donnell also lost playing time because he wasn’t a competent blocker. He’s worked on his blocking skills in the offseason, and his effort should equate to more playing time.
Eli Manning will have a hard time ignoring his 6-foot-6 tight end in the red zone. Speaking of Ertz, he has also shown the desire to improve, and he reached out to Tony Gonzalez to pick his brain. Gonzalez was gracious enough to say yes, and while Ertz won’t produce numbers like Gonzalez just by talking to him, it does show the third-year tight end wants to take his game to the next level by sharing his encounter on his blog.
You will find updated reasonings and explanations for our tight end rankings as the season approaches, but this is where I feel tight ends currently sit. Remember, focus on the potential usage of each tight end when narrowing down your options. Dwayne Allen has the physical gifts to be an absolute stud, but if the Colts mainly run three and four-wide receiver sets, how many opportunities will he see for Fantasy success?
2015 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings
These tight end rankings will update as training camps and preseason games progress, but this is an early look to help you start preparing for you 2015 Fantasy Football drafts.
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
2. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
3. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
4. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
5. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
6. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
7. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins
8. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
9. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
10. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
11. Larry Donnell, New York Giants
12. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
13. Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos
14. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
15. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16. Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints
17. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
18. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
19. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
20. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
Make sure you come back frequently, as we update our 2015 Fantasy Football Tight End rankings throughout the summer! You can check out the rest of our rankings to help you prepare for the 2015 season.
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