Many people don’t think of the tight end position as important on your fantasy team, but having the right one could make or break your season. It’s a very valuable position that can give you twenty points a week or five points. Which would you rather have? It’s an easy and obvious answer and these players are bound to help you out this season.
Rob Gronkowski, NE
This is an obvious choice as Gronk has dominated the league at his position since being drafted. He is Tom Brady’s number one choice in the passing game and it boosts his value having one of the best quarterbacks in the league throwing his way. Last year Gronk hauled in 72 Receptions, 1,176 yards, and 11 touchdowns on 120 targets. Even though Brady is out on suspension the first four games, Gronk is worth the pick in the first round as he receives so many looks both inside the red zone and out.
Jordan Reed, WSH
Jordan Reed exploded as one of the top fantasy tight ends last season. Kirk Cousins had an instant connection with the now fourth year tight end and threw his way 114 times connecting on 87 of those passes. He had 952 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. With many other receiving distractions around him and a strong connection with his QB, Reed should have another strong season.
Greg Olsen, CAR
Since signing with the Panthers in 2011, Olsen has been one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets having at least 5 TD receptions in every season. In the last four seasons he has been targeted over 100 times each season. Cam Newton obviously looks for Olsen especially in the red zone. Look for Olsen to continue to get many targets and even have some pressure taken off of him with the return of Kelvin Benjamin.
Travis Kelce, KC
Travis Kelce has emerged over the last two seasons as a dominant force for Fantasy owners. Kelce was targeted over 100 times last year hauling in 72 receptions and 875 yards. Kelce gets a lot of looks in the red zone and out mostly due to the fact that there is not much receiving talent outside of him and Jeremy Maclin on the Chiefs. Kelce should be good for about 75 receptions, somewhere around 900 yards, and 5-7 TD’s for fantasy owners based on his stats over the last two years.
Tyler Eifert, CIN
Last season Eifert finally had the year fantasy owners have been expecting. Eifert was able to lead the league in TD’s for tight ends with 13. Although he only had 52 receptions and 615 yards he has a higher value because it seems that Andy Dalton likes to look for Eifert when in the redzone. He is somewhat of a risk though as he has yet to have a played a full season due to injuries and sounds like he may miss the first few games of the season.
Gary Barnidge, CLE
No one expected a Browns tight end to be one of the top performers in fantasy last season but he showed everyone. Barnidge had the season of his career having been targeted 125 times, catching 79 of those passes for 1043 yards, and 9 TD’s. With the addition of RG3, Barnidge, could possibly help him resurrect his career and help himself have a big year again. Barnidge will definitely get a lot of looks and I expect him to have another great year.
Jimmy Graham, SEA
The once top tight end in the league for fantasy owners has now fallen. Graham’s first season as a Seahawk was nothing but disappointment that ended in an injury for the owners of Graham. Graham had less than 50 receptions, 605 yards, and only two TD’s. Although Graham had a slow season he did show hope as he started to gain more looks and catches from Russell Wilson right before his injury. Now having been on the team for over a year, look for Graham to have a much better season. Also without Marshawn Lynch in the backfield possibly more passing on the Seahawks offense and more looks his way when near the end zone.
Julius Thomas, JAC
After having a two great back to back years for Denver, Thomas, had a disappointing season for fantasy owners in his first year on the Jaguars. After two back to back season with 12 TD’s, he dropped down to 5 last season. He also had less than 50 receptions and less than 500 yards. This season I expect a big turnaround for the 6th year tight end. Last season, Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, and Allen Hurns showed how explosive this offense can be and Thomas should gain a lot of targets with the pressure now being on the receivers. Watch for possible Denver numbers in the TD category for Thomas this season.
Ladarius Green, PIT
Green signed with the Steelers this past offseason and underwent surgery in January to repair his ankle. So although there is a possibility he misses some games, Green is one of the most athletic tight ends in the league. He also learned from a future hall of famer in San Diego, Antonio Gates. When Green gets on the field and if he can stay healthy, he will have an immediate impact on a high powered offense. He will get a lot of looks as Antonio Brown requires double coverage and teams also have to worry about Le’Veon Bell.
Delanie Walker, TEN
Last season Walker had the best season of his career with a rookie as his QB. Marcus Mariota targeted the TE a whopping 133 times, connecting on 94 of those passes, for 1088 yards and 6 TD’s. All these stats were career highs for the 10 year veteran and they look to continue the duo as the Titans have beefed up their offense adding RB Demarco Murray, WR Rishard Matthews, and first round pick Jack Conklin on the OL. Walker is obviously Mariota’s favorite target and should get much of the same looks this year.
These Tight Ends are all bound to have good season’s or repeats of what they did last season. Finding the right one can really help your fantasy team this season so it’s important to make sure that you really study up on them. They are players that you can usually find deeper in the drafts that can sometimes give you the worth of a first round pick. Make sure you pay attention to the position this season and these guys could help carry you to a Super Bowl victory.