If you’re anything like me, the tight end position gives you fits every single year. Unless you are able to draft a sure thing like Gronk, Olsen, or Kelce, it’s a real crapshoot. This year will probably be no different, although there are a few guys that might surprise us and actually get consistent points from the TE position. Here are my top 10.
- Rob Gronkowski, New England: Gronk is about a sure a thing as you are going to get in fantasy. He was recently named the 2nd-best player in the NFL by profootballfocus behind only J.J. Watt. Last year Gronk finished with 72 catches, 1,176 yds., and 11 scores.
- Greg Olsen, Carolina: Olsen doesn’t always get a lot of press, but he is easily one of the top tight ends in the league. The Panthers super bowl run was largely aided by Olsen’s stellar play. He consistently came up with big catches and was Cam Newton’s favorite target. Olsen finished with 77 catches, 1,104 yds, and 7 tds.
- Travis Kelce, Kansas City: Kelce is quickly living up to his moniker of “Mini-Gronk”. He, like Gronk, provides all sorts of matchup problems for opposing defenses. Kelce is entering his third year out of Cincinnati. Last season he caught 72 passes for 872 yards and 56 touchdowns. I see him making a big leap this season.
- Jordan Reed, Washington: Reed is a player who is definitely trending upward. He was a key cog in the machine as the Redskins made a playoff appearance a year ago. Reed has battled injuries in his first couple of seasons, but last season was a different story. He amassed 87 catches for 952 yds. and 11 touchdowns. He is definitely one of Kirk Cousins top targets. *Reed is currently nursing a sprained ankle, but that shouldn’t affect his availability.
- Delanie Walker, Tennessee: I was fortunate enough to pick this guy up last season, and he was easily my most consistent performer. Walker was an absolute monster for the Titans in 2015. Despite dealing with a rookie quarterback, who battled injury issues, Walker still managed 94 catches, 1,088 yds., and 6 scores.
- Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati: Eifert had his breakout season in 2015. He paired up with Andy Dalton to the tune of 52 catches, 615 yds., and 13 tds. Eifert is long, athletic, and very dangerous down the seam. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t continue trending upward in 2016.
- Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh: I am officially on the bandwagon for all Steelers offensive weapons this season. Pitt signed Green away from San Diego, and he is now in a position to make a major fantasy impact. Green played second fiddle to Antonio Gates in San Diego. He is only in his fifth year in the league, and his new quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is excited about Green’s potential. Pitt should score around 30 points per contest. That’s fantasy gold.
- Julius Thomas, Jacksonville: I think the Jaguars offense will be explosive this season. Blake Bortles threw a ton of touchdowns last year, mostly to Robinson and Hurns. Thomas didn’t have a great season, but he dealt with an ankle injury early on. The former Bronco finished the year with 46 catches, 455 yds., and 5 scores. I believe Thomas will be more involved this season.
- Gary Barnidge, Cleveland: I really hesitate to put a Browns player on this list, but what Barnidge did last year is undeniable. He literally came out of nowhere. The quarterback situation in Cleveland is horrendous, to say the least. The signing of RG3 gives them a tiny amount of hope. That being said, Barnidge put up great numbers while catching passes from Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, and Austin Davis. He compiled 79 catches, 1,043 yds., and 9 tds. The question is whether or not he can repeat that production.
- Antonio Gates, San Diego: You just can’t ever count this guy out. He is a lock for the hall of fame, and is looking to build on his resume as he enters his 14th season. Gates has had some foot issues, but when on the field, he is the primary target of Phillip Rivers. Gates finished 2015 with 56 catches, 630 yds., and 5 tds.
Best of the rest: Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, Kyle Rudolph, Coby Fleener, Charles Clay, Crockett Gillmore/Dennis Pitta, Martellus Bennett, Dwayne Allen, Zach Ertz, Zach Miller, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Jared Cook, Eric Ebron
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