The NFL Draft is now over and the next big event for football fans is likely their very own fantasy football drafts. The Game Haus will have rankings by both Joe DiTullio and Braxton Angle, as well as composite rankings, coming out over the coming weeks. The rankings are for standard leagues. These will be adjusted when the season gets closer, but it’s never too early to look ahead. Here are Joe’s TE rankings:
Tight End Rankings: 1-10
1. Rob Gronkowski- New England Patriots
Gronkowski is the sure-fire top tight end after scoring the most at the position last year. He will continue to be Tom Brady’s best target. There are questions about his desire to play and injuries, but at the end of the day, no other tight end can take the top spot from Gronkowski. He missed three games last year and was still able to hold the top spot.
2. Zach Ertz- Philadelphia Eagles
Last season, Ertz missed a few games due to injury and placed third among tight ends. If he stays healthy he should be able to move up to spot with good quarterback play (whether they start off with Nick Foles or Carson Wentz) and an offense that should be improved. Travis Kelce will be with a new starter at quarterback, so Ertz moves up to two.
3. Travis Kelce- Kansas City Chiefs
There are three tight ends in the top tier of fantasy and they are Gronkowski, Ertz and Kelce. Kelce finished second last year, but will now have to adjust to having Pat Mahomes as his starting quarterback. He will still produce but will be passed up by Ertz.
4. Greg Olsen- Carolina Panthers
Don’t reach for a tight end if the top three are gone, as the next few should finish right about in the same range. Olsen was injured last season but finished in the top five for tight ends for every year before that dating back to 2012. He should be expected to finish top five again if he stays on the field.
5. Evan Engram- New York Giants
Engram was number five in fantasy points last season and with all the injuries to the receivers last year, he was the only viable target for Giants’ quarterbacks. Having Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Sheppard on the field will make him less of a featured target, but he will still be a huge part of the offense.
6. Jimmy Graham- Green Bay Packers
The tight end isn’t a featured part of the offense or else Graham would be higher on the list. He is going to work with Aaron Rodgers but there isn’t much of a history of him using tight ends to back up having Graham much higher on this list. Graham finished fourth among tight ends last year and could be a value pick in drafts if he and Rodgers can work well together.
7. Kyle Rudolph- Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph has been solidly in the top ten each of the last two seasons, finishing third two years ago and sixth last season. He got hot late in the season last year with five touchdowns in four games from weeks 12 through 15. The Vikings and new quarterback Kirk Cousins love using tight ends, so Rudolph should see good production yet again.
8. Delanie Walker- Tennessee Titans
The seventh tight end last season, Walker will be in the top 10 again this season. Every year since 2009 he has finished in the top 10 making him a reliable option.
9. Jack Doyle- Indianapolis Colts
He finished ninth last season and if Andrew Luck can come back healthy, Doyle will be a top 10 tight end again. Jacoby Brissett certainly limited the production of the offense last season and Doyle will be a top target for Luck. He will compete for targets with Eric Ebron at the tight end spot this year.
10. Jordan Reed- Washington Redskins
The biggest problem for Reed is staying healthy, as he has never played a full 16 game season and misses multiple games every year. This is compounded by the fact that he has had so many concussions. With Alex Smith as his new quarterback, he will be utilized a lot if he’s able to play.
Tight End rankings: 11-20
11. Tyler Eifert- Cincinnati Bengals
Another tight end with the same problem. In 2014 Eifert played in one game, in 2016 he played in eight and last season he played in two. If he can play similarly to his 2015 season, Eifert is a top-five tight end, but he can’t stay healthy enough to be relied upon. His injury has allowed Tyler Kroft to get more opportunities, which could hurt his value as well.
12. Charles Clay- Buffalo Bills
Clay has been under-utilized in his time in Buffalo. The quarterback play won’t be great, but A.J. McCarron or Josh Allen will need to rely on Clay this season, as they are newly minted starting quarterbacks.
13. Benjamin Watson- New Orleans Saints
An ageless wonder, Watson finished 15th in fantasy points for tight ends last season. He was with the Ravens last year and his production should increase as a member of the Saints this year.
14. Trey Burton- Chicago Bears
Burton has moved on from Philadelphia and to Chicago. He will now get his chance to be a feature tight end for the Bears after finishing 21st last season.
15. Jared Cook- Oakland Raiders
He was able to finish 13th last year and now will have to fight for targets with Amari Cooper, Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson. He should get some production but may need to be played on a match-up basis.
16. Cameron Brate- Tampa Buccaneers
Many thought that Brate wouldn’t be brought back and O.J. Howard would be the lead tight end, but then the Bucs brought Brate back. He finished eighth among tight ends last season. This year he will be in competition with Howard for targets, but should still get more to live up to his contract.
17. Austin Hooper- Atlanta Falcons
Hooper started off last season hot but finished 17th in fantasy points. He too was affected by the play-calling of Steve Sarkisian. Things will open up more this season with Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, but that also means fewer targets. If Jones doesn’t get thrown to in the end zone, Hooper should get those targets.
18. Virgil Green- Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers suffered a huge loss when Hunter Henry went down with a torn ACL. Green will step in and do decently, but is still a huge step down from Henry. The Chargers have contacted Antonio Gates about a possible return, so if he returns Green may slide back out of these rankings.
19. O.J. Howard- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard’s value was severely hurt when the Bucs decided to bring Brate back. At the end of the day, he is a boom or bust play and it won’t be known when he will go off for a big day.
20. George Kittle- San Francisco 49ers
Although he wasn’t highly thought of coming into the NFL, Kittle had a solid rookie season for the 49ers. He ranked 18th for tight ends and seemed to form some chemistry with Jimmy Garoppolo with two 10 point games to close out the season.
Tight End rankings: 21-30
21. David Njoku- Cleveland Browns
Njoku was a top 20 tight end last season and now has talented skill-position players around him. The question is if Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield can get him the ball.
22. Vance McDonald- Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert is excited to have Vance McDonald for a whole offseason, which may hint that the team is heading in a different direction than Jesse James, who has never had a season of over 500 receiving yards or more than three touchdowns. McDonald’s game against the Jaguars in the playoffs has Steeler fans excited for what he could do this season.
23. Eric Ebron- Indianapolis Colts
The Colts acquired Ebron and will now have two decent tight ends with him and Doyle. If Luck is on the field, they should both get some decent work.
24. Austin Seferian-Jenkins- Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville has a new tight end to fill in for Mercedes Lewis. Seferian-Jenkins is going to get another chance at being a top tight end, but shouldn’t be owned unless it is a great matchup or a deep league.
25. Mike Gesicki- Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins needed a tight end for Ryan Tannehill and got Gesicki in this year’s draft. He is a very athletic, receiving tight end who will struggle with blocking, but be effective on passing downs for Miami.
26. Hayden Hurst- Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore selected two tight ends this year to help replace Benjamin Watson. Hurst was taken in the first round and should be more NFL-ready at the age of 26 when the season starts.
27. Dalton Schultz- Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten’s retirement surprised the Cowboys and they took Schultz to replace him. He should be seen as the front-runner to be the starting tight end for Dallas. Dak Prescott uses his tight ends and slot receivers at a high rate, so Schultz could move higher than this if he wins the job.
28. Ricky Seals-Jones- Arizona Cardinals
Seals-Jones was a wide receiver in college at Texas A&M but played tight end last season for the Cardinals. Troy Niklas is now a Patriot so he should get more of an opportunity this season.
29. Ryan Griffin- Houston Texans
The Texans don’t have a dominant tight end and Griffin will seemingly get most of the looks at the position.
30. Gerald Everett- Los Angeles Rams
Everett is a forgotten man in the offense, but finished 29th last year and should be in the same range for the upcoming season.