The Difference Between A Good Team and A Bad Team Could Be Knowing When To Draft Your Tight End. The Pug Has You Covered With Tight End Rankings
It’s time to celebrate one of America’s favorite activities, the return of fantasy football. The Pug is here to guide you to another successful season. For the next few weeks we will take a look at the rankings , according to The Pug, of the top fantasy producers at their respective positions. Rankings will use a standard PPR league point system. 1 pt. for every 20 yards passing, 1 point for every 10 yards receiving and rushing, 1 pt for receptions 4 points for passing touchdowns and 6 points for rushing and receiving touchdowns.
and now for the tight ends……
1. Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)- The undisputed #1 tight end to own in fantasy. Injuries are a concern for Gronk, but he has played in 15 games each of the last two seasons. Even with Tom Brady slated to miss the first four games of the season due to suspension, it’s hard to bet against Gronkowski repeating as the top producing tight end this season.
2. Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins)- Reed was a huge part of the emergence of Kirk Cousins last year. Although he missed two game last season he was still able to score 11 touchdowns and gain 952 yards. He actually finished as the number two tight end last season, and although he has been injury prone, he is certainly capable of putting up top tier tight end numbers once again.
3. Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers)- Olsen was second in the league in receiving yards by a tight end behind only Rob Gronkowski. He had 1,104 receiving yards last year and was tied for the lead league in targets, so Cam Newton is going to throw him the ball. The addition of Kelvin Benjamin to the offense from injury last season may hurt or help him, but Olsen has the ability to make plays .
4. Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans)- The top receiving option on the Tennessee Titans, Walker led all tight ends last year with 94 receptions. Walker finished third in points scored by fantasy tight ends, and with a young quarterback who leans on him, there is no reason for the Pug to believe his success won’t continue. If Walker can find the end zone more often, there is a chance he can give Gronk a run for his money.
5. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs)- Kelce was considered a top tier tight end last season, and didn’t quite perform like one mostly due to not finding the end zone. With only five touchdowns, Kelce finished eighth overall in tight end points. He has tons of talent and should get plenty of opportunities to see his touchdown numbers climb this season.
6. Julius Thomas (Jacksonville Jaguars)- The Jacksonville Jaguars are the most dynamic up and coming young offense in the NFL. Plenty of players emerged as fantasy stars on the Jags last season and the injury riddled tight end was lost among the crowd. If he can stay healthy, Thomas could rise up this list as he has found the end zone 29 times in the last three years, and could help the Jags offense become elite.
7. Coby Fleener (New Orleans Saints)- Always a reasonable receiving option for Andrew Luck and the Colts, Fleener finds himself with a new offense, and no longer splitting time with Dwayne Allen. Remember what Drew Brees did for the career of Jimmy Graham? Although Fleener has been a TE2 option for his entire career, the pure upside of being Drew Brees’ safety valve is enough to move him into the TE1 category this season. He could be a later round steal of the draft.
8. Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati Bengals)- Eifert burst onto the fantasy football scene last season scoring 13 touchdowns in 13 games last season. There is no reason to believe he can’t keep his current pace and even improve upon being the sixth top fantasy scorer among tight ends this season. The reason the Pug has him ranked eight going into 2016 is because the knee injury he suffered in last seasons Pro Bowl has his status to start the 2016 season in jeopardy; something worth monitoring.
9. Gary Barnidge (Cleveland Browns)- Gary Barnidge is not considered among the top tight ends in the league due to the team he plays on. With more questions on offense this season then answers, it might be easy to forget that Barnidge ranked forth in tight end fantasy points last season. Barnidge is the definition of a high risk, high reward player this season. If Robert Griffin III can provide any sort of stabilization to the Browns offense, Barnidge could put up solid numbers again this season.
10. Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers)- Although he isn’t getting any younger, Gates fought through suspension, injuries, and poor offensive line play last season to put up decent numbers when he was actually on the field last season. With Gates entering camp healthy this season, Antonio will be a solid back end TE1 option if he can stay healthy. The Chargers offense seems to have improved this off-season and could be explosive leading to more red zone chances for Gates, especially with the departure of Ladarius Green.
11. Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks)- One of the top fantasy draft options at the tight end position for the last five years, Graham saw a huge decline in his production leaving The Big Easy for the Emerald City. Also worth noting a gruesome knee injury ended his 2015 campaign prematurely, and there is big uncertainty about his health going into the 2016 season. As long as Graham isn’t reached for in the draft and is treated like a TE2 option with upside, drafting Graham in the later rounds could pay huge dividends if he shows signs of his former self.
12. Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys)- Witten is an interesting fantasy case this year. The positives are he hasn’t missed a game since 2003, and he has been targeted over 100 times in eight of the last nine years. The negative is his yards per reception and touchdown numbers have fallen each of the last two years. It is worth noting that Tony Romo was injured most of last season, and Witten and Romo have chemistry on the field, but at 34 years old can Witten have a bounce back season that sees his numbers rise again?
13. Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis Colts)- Looking at Dwayne Allen’s past stats won’t provide an insight as to how Allen could be as high as 13 on the Pug’s rankings. With Coby Fleener leaving town and an emphasis being placed on keeping Andrew Luck upright this season, Allen has huge upside as the safety valve for Luck. By and far the number one tight end on the depth chart, Allen could wind up becoming this year’s fantasy sweetheart.
14. Ladarius Green (Pittsburgh Steelers)- For the last three years Green was supposed to be the breakout player out of Chargers camp and never lived up to the bill. A change of scenery and a starting gig might just be the boost he needs to finally live up to his calling. With the retirement of long time tight end Heath Miller, the Steelers signed Green to take his place. The athleticism of Green combined with the receiving threat of Antonio Brown, could result in plenty of opportunities for Green. Another example of a TE2 that could pay out huge dividends for owners that take him in the later rounds.
15. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings)- A safe TE2 option, Rudolph played in all 16 games last season for the first time since 2012. He finished 15th among fantasy tight ends last season and will provide similar production this season. It’s worth noting that drafting Laquon Tredwell gives the Vikings a legitimate downfield threat and could open up the middle of the field for Rudolph.
16. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles)- Ertz is another guy who was always looked upon to be the next fantasy star that hasn’t quite panned out. He has seen his number of targets increase in each of his three seasons in the NFL, but hasn’t scored more than four touchdowns in any given season(and that was his rookie season). Ertz tends to be drafted too early, so unless he around late in the draft, and he is a bye week fill in, avoid falling victim to the hype.
17. Martellus Bennett (New England Patriots)- Bennett is an interesting case. After becoming a surefire TE1 option in 2015, he missed substantial time due to injury, and then signed with New England to play opposite Rob Gronkowski on the Patriots line. The Patriots have been known to make the two tight end set successful, but be weary of Bennett losing looks this season even with Tom Brady throwing him the football, in week 5 of course.
18. Jordan Cameron (Miami Dolphins)- After bursting onto the fantasy scene two years ago as a member of the Cleveland Browns, Cameron has spent the last two years slipping back into fantasy irrelevance. The move to the Miami Dolphins has not been kind to him, and there is no reason to believe that his numbers will look any better this season. Cameron is a bye week starter at best, and Dion Sims playing regularly won’t help his case either.
19. Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions)- Another young man that hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, Ebron’s stock may be on the rise as fellow tight end Brandon Pettigrew is on the PUP list. Ebron did see a significant jump his all statistical categories last season, and if he continues to develop, he may just yet rise the boards and enter the world of fantasy relevance.
20. Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills)- Clay made a name for himself in Miami before leaving town for the division foe Bills last season. The transfer didn’t go as well as it could have as his production slipped, mostly due to injuries. If Clay finds a way to stay healthy all season a return to form could be in the cards.
21. Jace Amaro (New York Jets)
22. Richard Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
23. Zach Miller (Chicago Bears)
24. Will Tye (New York Giants)
25. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Tampa Bay Buccaners)
26. Jeff Huerman (Denver Broncos)
27. Jacob Tamme (Atlanta Falcons)
28. Clive Walford (Oakland Raiders)
29. Jared Cook (Green Bay Packers)
30. Vance McDonald (San Francisco 49ers)
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