by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Tight end remains one of the more frustrating positions to fill, as options tend to rise and fall without warning. If you don’t have one of the truly elite options you could be digging for an option consistently. So who are the players we want to target? Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently stand given the recent news:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots (1)
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs (2)
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers (3)
- Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks (9)
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins (4)
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles (5)
- Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals (6)
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans (7)
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings (13)
- Martellus Bennett – Green Bay Packers (8)
- Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts (10)
- Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints (11)
- Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers (12)
- O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14)
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans (15)
- Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons
- Julius Thomas – Miami Dolphins
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
- Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills
- Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Evan Engram – New York Giants
- David Njoku – Cleveland Browns
- Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Dwayne Allen – New England Patriots
- No one is going to question the upside of Jordan Reed, but is there any chance he stays healthy and plays all 16 games? He’s already banged up a bit as he battles a toe injury and only once has he played more than 12 games in his four NFL seasons (his career high is 14 games played). He could be a Top 3 option if he played every game, but the risk of missed time (especially as he already fights through an injury) has to keep his ranking suppressed.
- Another tight end who is battling injury questions is Tyler Eifert, who underwent back surgery that helped limit him to 8 games last season. He’s a big threat in the red zone when on the field, and that helps to keep his value elevated assuming he’s healthy (and the early word is that he is).
- We were already high on Zach Ertz and the trade of Jordan Matthews only helps his outlook. Ertz continues to show flashes of his potential, and he should be among the go to targets from Week 1 now.
- Jimmy Graham may have been handcuffed by his recovery from a torn patellar tendon last season, and it likely helped to limit his production. A year removed he should be healthy and ready to produce gaudy numbers this time around. While it would be easy to think he’s more name value, don’t make that mistake.
- The Detroit Lions are expected to utilize more two tight end sets this season, in the wake of losing Anquan Boldin in the offseason. That should free Eric Ebron up to be more of a weapon in the passing game, as opposed to having to block, and could mean some gaudy numbers. After the top names come off the board, he has as much upside as anyone.
- Could Dwayne Allen take a page out of the Martellus Bennett handbook? It’s not a player with a trustworthy role, but he could have some big weeks as a go to target in the red zone for Tom Brady.
Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Preseason Rankings: