by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Every season there seems to be a tight end or two who rises out of obscurity to be a TE1 producer. Does that mean we should simply wait on tight end until the tail end of your draft? Don’t be so hasty, as there is some elite talent who could easily give you an advantage over the rest of your league. Who should we be targeting? Who may be overvalued? Let’s take a look at how the rankings currently look, as there’s a clear riser up the rankings:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots (1)
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs (2)
- Zack Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles (3)
- Evan Engram – New York Giants (4)
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans (5)
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings (7)
- Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers (6)
- Trey Burton – Chicago Bears (11)
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers (8)
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins (9)
- Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts (10)
- David Njoku – Cleveland Browns (12)
- George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers (14)
- Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders (15)
- O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NR)
Dropped Off Rankings:
- Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals (13)
- The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs was recently asked if he would take the over/under of 600 yards for Trey Burton in 2018 and his answer is definitely intriguing. Biggs said that, “I’d go over. If Burton remains healthy, he’s a lock to put up more yards than that. He certainly could challenge Martellus Bennett’s franchise record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end at 916 (2014).” Maybe that’s a stretch, but it shows the type of potential impact Burton could have under the new coaching staff (which he showed in the team’s third preseason game, putting up 4 receptions for 45 yards and 1 TD). After the top names are off the board, consider him a must target option.
- Katherine Terrell of ESPN recently tweeted, “Another interesting topic that came up during Marvin Lewis’ presser today was about Eifert and the challenges of having a player on a rep count to get him through the year. For example, if he hits 50 snaps, would you have to back down? Lewis said “Well I hope he never gets 50.” That shows the risk involved in investing in him, so consider him nothing more than a boom or bust option.
- We all know the upside of Greg Olsen, but at 33-years old and with strong reviews for rookie Ian Thomas there’s clearly a lot of risk involved (especially coming off an injury plagued campaign). We obviously wouldn’t avoid him, but he has to fall down the rankings as he is likely on the downside of his career.
- We recently looked at O.J. Howard as a potential breakout TE1, which you can read by clicking here.
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings: