Sunday, August 13, 2017

2017 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings

Earlier today, I have updated our positional fantasy football rankings for both point-per-reception (PPR) and standard-scoring formats.

Here are our 2017 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings:

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

When healthy, Gronkowski is as good as it gets. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old tight end has missed five-plus games in three of the past five seasons. That said, Gronk has averaged nearly 70 yards per game with a total of 69 touchdowns in 88 career games.

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,125) and 100-yard games (six) and led the position in fantasy points scored despite scoring only four touchdowns. While Kelce has never scored more than five touchdowns in a season, he was targeted 16 times in the red zone last season -- only three TEs were targeted more inside the 20. With Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore, Kelce should be even more of a focal point of the passing offense and has a chance to finish as fantasy's TE1 even if Rob Gronkowski plays a full season.

3. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

Missing multiple regular-season games every year, Reed missed another four games last season and durability is obviously the main concern with Reed. Recently visiting renowned foot specialist Dr. Anderson, there was "nothing earth-shattering" as a result of the visit, but it's unclear how long Reed (toe/ankle, active/PUP) will be sidelined. Since Kirk Cousins became the team's starting quarterback in 2015, Reed has averaged the equivalent to a 16-game pace of 94/1,008/10.

4. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Olsen scored only three touchdowns, his lowest since his rookie season (2007). As steady as it gets, Olsen has three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and has played all 16 games every year except his rookie season. Olsen has finished as a top-seven fantasy tight end in five consecutive seasons and only Travis Kelce scored more last season.

5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

In his comeback from a torn patellar tendon, Graham had 65 catches for 923 yards and six touchdowns. All three of his 100-yard games occurred in the first half of the season with a 38/545/3 split (compared to 27/378/3 over the final eight games). One more year removed from the injury, Graham has a chance to post similar (or even better) numbers in 2017.

6. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

The good news: 18 touchdowns. The bad news: 22 games. Unfortunately, Eifert has missed more games (26) than he has played (22) over the past three seasons, but he has been a dominant red-zone target, when healthy, with 18 touchdowns during that stretch.

7. Martellus Bennett, Green Bay Packers

Going from Tom Brady to Aaron Rodgers won't hurt Bennett's fantasy value. In fact, his outlook has improved. Not that Rodgers doesn't spread the ball around, but I'd expect Bennett to see a larger share of targets in Green Bay than he saw in New England (13.27 percent) last season. And considering Rob Gronkowski missed half of the season and the Patriots added Brandin Cooks this offseason, Bennett would have been lucky to get 13 percent of the targets from Brady this season.

8. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Rudolph shattered previous career highs with 83 receptions (previous career high: 53) and 840 yards (previous: 495) while scoring seven touchdowns. Rudolph should come close to those numbers once again in 2017.

9. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Over the past two seasons, Ertz has a minimum of 75 catches and 816 yards each season and he once again closed the season strong. Over his final five games last season, Ertz caught 40 of 54 targets for 443 yards and three touchdowns. Ertz is a solid back-end TE1, but adding Alshon Jeffery (and Torrey Smith) to the receiving corps caps Ertz's upside some going into 2017.

10. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

With more than 100 targets in each of the past three seasons, Walker has a minimum of 800 receiving yards each season with a total of 222/2,778/17 over that span. Going into his age-33 season, Walker may not post similar numbers to what he's put up over the past few seasons with more weapons for Marcus Mariota, but he remains a viable TE1 for fantasy owners in 2017.

- Continue reading our Fantasy Football TE Rankings

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Good luck in your 2017 fantasy football league(s)!