by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Is there any position where one player has such advantage over the field more than tight end? Jimmy Graham is, by far, the best option (though a healthy Rob Gronkowski could approach him). That’s not to say that there isn’t value past the top, because there’s plenty of it. Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:
- Jimmy Graham – New Orleans
- Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns
- Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
- Jared Cook – St. Louis Rams
- Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears
- Charles Clay – Miami Dolphins
- Garrett Graham – Houston Texans
- Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Timothy Wright – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Vernon Davis is clearly one of the better tight ends in the league, but he’s a step below the elite (in our tiered rankings as part of the Rotoprofessor Fantasy Football Draft Guide, click here for details, he tops the next tier). Found out why by clicking here.
- Obviously Zach Ertz wasn’t a TE1 in his rookie season, but he should get there in Year 2 thanks to his growth late in the year and the departure of Desean Jackson. To read more of our thoughts about him, click here.
- Rob Gronkowski’s ranking is based on the idea that he’ll miss the first few games of the season due to injury. There’s no questioning that he’d be among the elite, if healthy, but he never seems to be able to stay on the field and that obviously is going to impact his draft day value. If we receive word that he’s going to be ready for the start of the season, he’ll fly up to the #2 or 3 spot.
- It’s easy to overlook Charles Clay, but he was one of only seven tight ends to see at least 100 targets in 2013. He converted those opportunities into 69 receptions for 759 yards and 6 TD, consistently producing all season long. There are reasons to expect a regression, including the addition of Knowshon Moreno and hopefully an improved rapport between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace. Regardless, he has the upside to produce like a TE1 for a second consecutive season.
- There’s a slew of potential options for the 15th spot on these rankings, including Kyle Rudolph, Delanie Walker and Eric Ebron. Ebron certainly has the highest upside, though rookie tight ends have a tendency to struggle in their first season. Then again, does anyone really expect the Lions to ask him to block very much?
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: