To help prepare for the upcoming NFL season, I’ll be providing a preview of each position. In this edition I’ll cover the Top Three Tight Ends, Best Value Pick, Sleeper Pick and Potential Bust. To stay consistent I’ll be referencing the Expert Consensus Rankings from FantasyPros. I’ve found from experience that the consensus rankings give a better overall picture of fantasy football rankings. This particular ranking provides the aggregate ADP (Average Draft Position) from FantasyPros experts while projected stats are coming from ESPN since they show 2015 season stats along with projected 2016 season stats.
Top Three Tight Ends:
- Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (TE1, 9.8 ADP)
Analysis: Much like the GTD Wide Receiver Preview had an easy time picking Antonio Brown, it was much of the same with the tight end position with picking the Patriots Rob Gronkowski. Over the past two seasons he’s been both consistent and more importantly healthy. Over the past two seasons he’s averaged 77 receptions for 1,150 yards and 11.5 touchdowns.ronk is head is the clear cut top pick at tight end and is going at an average ADP of 9.8 which lines up with my thoughts of him going late first round. GTD Suggested Round: Late 1st Round
- Jordan Reed, Redskins (TE2, 38.5 ADP)
Analysis: At 6’2, 246 pounds, Jordan Reed is your athletic pass catching TE/WR hybrid. Reed is an excellent receiver with solid speed and the second overall tight end for the 2016 season. He had a great season with Kirk Cousins last year totaling 87 receptions, 952 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. The only downside with Reed is his injury history over his first three seasons in the NFL. He dealt with two concussions and a quad injury in his 2013 rookie season, two hamstring injuries in his second season that limited him to nine games played and also two weeks in 2015 with another concussion. GTD Suggested Round: 4th Round
- Travis Kelce, Chiefs (TE4, 61.4 ADP)
Analysis: Travis “Zeus” Kelce had a solid sophomore campaign to follow up his nice rookie season with the Chiefs. In 2015 Kelce received 101 targets, caught 72 balls for 875 yards and five touchdowns. He was rewarded this past offseason with a five-year, $46 million contract extension which shows the Chiefs belief in his future. Kelce’s current ADP places him in the beginning of the sixth round, which I agree with as a reasonable spot to pick up solid tight end in what appears to be a shallow postion in 2016. GTD Suggested Round: 6th Round
Best Value Pick:
Coby Fleener, Saints (TE6, 73.5 ADP)
Analysis: A change of scenery should do wonders for former second round pick tight end Coby Fleener. He moves to an explosive Saints offense led by Drew Brees. Fleener should see an uptick in targets and is a candidate to break out in 2016. Don’t expect the second coming of Jimmy Graham when he was with the Saints as it was recently reported that Fleener is “still not comfortable in Saints’ offense”. It appears he’s still trying to pick up the offense and click with Drew Brees, but with tight end appearing to be a tough position in fantasy this year he’s worth a look in the 8th round. GTD Suggested Round: 8th Round
Jared Cook, Packers (TE19, 168.3 ADP)
Analysis: It was just a few years ago that fantasy owners expected a breakout from Cook with the Titans and then again with the Rams. He never lived up to the hype with his tools at tight end over the years but is in a much better situation this year with he Packers. It may take some time as he’s currently listed second on the depth chart behind Richard Rodgers, but there’s certainly high upside with a certain Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. He’s worth a look as a late round flier in drafts. GTD Suggested Round: Late Rounds/Free Agent Pickup
Tyler Eifert, Bengals (TE7, 78.6 ADP)
Analysis: Bengals Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert is the one I’m avoiding in drafts as my potential bust pick. Eifert was a TD monster last year for the Bengals as he lead all tight ends (even more than Rob Gronkowski) with 13 touchdowns. That’s an impressive ratio due to the fact he only caught 52 passes for 615 yards last year. It’s well known that Eifert injured his ankle in the Pro Bowl and required offseason surgery. He hasn’t returned to practice yet which definitely puts his Week 1 availability in mind and one article I came across a couple weeks ago targeting a return in Week 4. With so much uncertainty with having to return from ankle surgery, I’d avoid Eifert in drafts. GTD Suggested Round: 12th Round
I’ll be releasing a new position preview daily, be sure to come back and check Game-Time Decision.