The tight end in Fantasy Football is a very interesting position, especially this season.
In years past there has been one top option, Rob Gronkowski (OK, maybe Jimmy Graham too), then everybody else. So much so, that most Fantasy Football owners will wait to fill this position until after they have all their other skill positions (QB, RB, WR) filled.
Things are starting to change though as we now have some other very legit options available at tight end. Now don’t get me wrong, Gronk is still the clear No. 1 option, but it makes taking him in the first round of drafts not as appealing as it once was.
Even with that said. I personally still wait for my tight end. To me you are usually passing up on players who will outscore the tight ends available at the time. You just can’t wait too long though or you wind up with Kyle Rudolph as your starter, who even though has had good games, proves to be too inconsistent.
Although that is one strategy to use as well. Basically punt the position during the draft and stream players until you find one that is good enough to use week to week. We see it almost every year that a tight end comes out of nowhere to be one of the best for the season. Julius Thomas back in 2013 comes to mind first.
2015 Tight End Changes for 2016
As I mentioned above we have a new found depth at the tight end position. This new depth really was brought to us both suddenly and was very unexpected.
Going into 2015, it was basically Gronk in tier one. Then you had Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce in tier two (don’t you wish you had never put Graham in tier two?). And then you had everybody else. Although we saw Kelce and Olsen going much later than Graham and Gronk, I still considered them part of tier two.
At the end of the season the tight end landscape looked drastically different. We had many more players that gave you close to Gronk numbers than we would have ever imagined entering the season.
Olsen was of course one of them, but Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert, Gary Barnidge were others, to name a few. All of the ones named, besides Olsen, could be had for late picks or weren’t even drafted at all in most leagues. This goes back to my point about punting the position during the draft and picking up the hot commodity in the first few weeks. Last year was the perfect example of being able to do just that.
Entering the 2016 season we have some tight ends with new homes that make very intriguing options.
Coby Fleener moves to New Orleans, Benjamin Watson to Baltimore, Ladarius Green to Pittsburgh and Jared Cook to Green Bay. They all intrigue me as options, but Fleener in New Orleans is the most intriguing. As we have seen with Graham and Watson, the tight end position is heavily featured there with Drew Brees. I think most experts, myself included, think that Fleener can really flourish in this offense.
Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers
I was all about Green moving away from the time share situation he was in, in San Diego. He could now thrive on his own with one of the games best quarterbacks and offenses.
He has not been able to get back on the practice field since having surgery to put two plates in his left foot. This is what we were lead to believe was keeping him off the practice field.
This may not be the case though. Lately we have heard rumors that he is experiencing headaches, stemming from his past concussions and may be forced to retire. The Steelers have been quick to deny these claims, but until he gets back on the practice field he is a risk. He has dropped in the rankings already and continue to drop until he gets back on the field.
Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
There was a lot of talk early this off-season that Graham could miss the first eight games of the season. This, along with his struggles last season, suppressed his draft rankings.
Great news for Graham is he was activated off the PUP list on August 10.
There is a long way for Graham to go to get back in the good graces of a lot of Fantasy Football players, but just being back on the practice field has vaulted him back up our rankings here at SCFE.
2016 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings
These Fantasy rankings are based on standard, non-PPR and PPR Fantasy leagues.
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