After doing rest-of-season rankings for quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, we have reached the tight ends position. Tight ends are a fun position when it comes to Fantasy. Most people think of them as largely unimportant, and just a step above kickers and defenses. Our 2016 Rest-of-Season Tight End Rankings has some studs, though.
While no one is arguing they are more important than the main three positions in Fantasy, tight ends definitely don’t lack importance. Some close games are decided by tight end play. If you don’t have one of the top options at tight end, that’s OK. Remember that most other people don’t either. Tight end is a very top-heavy position, with few consistently elite players.
That leads to there obviously being two options with you tight end position: grab an elite option or wait on a tight end. There are advantages to both sides. Grabbing an elite tight end will give you an advantage at that position every week. Most importantly, you hope that that elite option is consistent. While there are very few of these players, if you have one, they can help a team tremendously.
However, getting a top tight end probably means sacrificing talent at other positions. If you don’t grab a top tight end, you will be able to strengthen your other positions. This can also be beneficial. You may get constant headaches about your tight ends, but your other positions should be able to make up for it.
Really, there is no one way to go. A top tight end helps your team just as much as waiting on one. It comes down to preference, and you can’t go wrong either way.
If you have an elite option, you know who they are and you can trust them. If you don’t, you may need some help to salvage the most out of the position, and we are here to help.
Rest-of-Season Tight End Rankings
No. 1: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Tom Brady is back, and that was music to the ears of Gronk’s owners. With the future Hall of Famer back on the field for the Patriots, Gronk posted a line of five catches for 109 yards in Week 5. Performances like these should now be the norm. He will also be able to do a few “Gronk Spikes,” as he should have no issues finding the end zone. Expect him to continue where he left off last year as the No. 1 tight end in Fantasy Football.
No. 2: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Olsen entered the week as the No. 1 scoring Fantasy tight end, and he should be able to continue his success on Monday Night, even without Cam Newton. He is as consistent as they come, with at least 64 yards in every game so far this season. He also has two touchdowns as one of the Panthers’ best red-zone threats. Olsen is the perfect Fantasy tight end, and you have to keep rolling him as a top-three option regardless of his matchup.
No.3: Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Reed has always had trouble staying healthy, but no one can deny his talent. When he is on the field, he is a dynamic playmaker, and he has been just that so far this year. He has a huge role is Washington’s offense, as evidenced by his position-leading 33 catches. He also combines that role with being Kirk Cousins’ top red-zone threat. If he stays healthy, Reed is an awesome asset as a high-end TE1.
No. 4: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
After a disappointing 2015 season, Kelce is finally turning his talent into production. He has at least five catches in every week so far this season, with two touchdowns. He should be able to continue his success coming off a bye week against Oakland, as Kansas City’s top red-zone and receiving threat. His consistency makes him a great TE1.
No. 5: Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Now there is an obvious talent and consistency drop-off in the rankings. However, being Marcus Mariota’s favorite target, Walker makes for a fine Fantasy tight end. His Week 5 stat line of five catches for 66 yards once again showed us just that. He may not be consistent, but he will be able to put up performances like that often enough to keep him as a top-five tight end.
No. 6: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
Is it too early to put Graham this high after only two good weeks, when he was a disappointment through the entirety of last season? Definitely not. In the last two weeks, Graham put up 12 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown. There is also good reason to think that these performances aren’t a fluke; just look back to his production when he was on the Saints. With Russell Wilson hopefully nearing full health after a bye week, a few more good performances for Graham could shoot him even further up this list.
No. 7: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
This year, Rudolph has finally been able to put things together to become one of the best tight ends in Fantasy. He came into the week as the No. 2 scoring tight end, and his three touchdowns showcased his red-zone ability that he has possessed for so long. Now, with his yardage and usage up, he should make for a great option every week. I have him a little lower than most due to his past inconsistencies, but he could rise if he shows that he can now consistently rack up yards to go along with his touchdowns.
No. 8: Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
Zach Miller was a my favorite sleeper tight end coming into this year, as he had shown flashes near the end of last year and finally was the undisputed starter in Chicago. He has turned the opportunity into success now with Brian Hoyer at the helm of the Chicago offense. His 18 catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns in the past three weeks with Hoyer as the starter is awesome production for a tight end. With a couple more good weeks, he could continue rising up this list.
No. 9: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Would it kill Zach Ertz to score a touchdown? He hasn’t ever been utilized in the red zone in his career, and that hasn’t changed so far this year. However, Ertz definitely has a consistent role in the Eagles’ offense that should lead to consistent yardage totals. If he can find the end zone a few times, watch out.
No. 10: Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns
Fantasy owners expected some regression after Barnidge’s breakout season last year, and that has been the case. Now that Cody Kessler, the Browns’ third starting quarterback this year, is injured, he is also in a very questionable quarterback situation. However, there is reason for optimism. In the last three weeks, he had at least five catches and 57 yards each week. If he can score some touchdowns and form a strong rapport with whomever is the Browns quarterback, he will make a good low-end TE1.
No. 11: Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots
It’s hard to think that a player would see his Fantasy value boosted after switching to a team where he would be there No. 2 tight end. Well, that is what happens when you are a talented player and your quarterback is Tom Brady. Even before Brady came back, Bennett posted two 100-yard games with Gronkowski injured. Now, even with Gronk back, Bennett had his best game of the season in Week 5: six catches for 67 yards and three touchdowns. While you shouldn’t expect that every week, Bennett’s obvious touchdown upside makes him a perfect low-end TE1.
No. 12: Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
I was going to put Eric Ebron here, but now he is out for a couple weeks, so Thomas is forced into this spot. He is also battling an injury, but should return in Week 6. He had a great first two weeks of the season, and you can’t forget what he did as a Bronco, so it might not be the worst thing if you have decided to punt your tight end position.
- Rest-of-Season Quarterback Rankings
- Rest-of-Season Running Back Rankings
- Rest-of-Season Wide Receiver Rankings
We hope you liked our 2016 Rest-of-Season Tight End Rankings! Make sure to come back next week as we revisit and refresh our rest-of-season quarterback rankings.
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