The usual suspects are up top. There’s some sleepers in this group that always ends with a very thin heard toward the end of the season.
1. Rob Gronkowski
Gronkowski stands alone as the number one tight end this year. He could end up catching 14-16 TD’s. Adding Scott Chandler could take a couple TD’s away. I value him late first early second round depending on your league size. It’s tough for me to take him round one because he could end up in the lower double digits for touchdowns. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. but the yardage and receptions wont be there compared to some of the Receivers you could grab in PPR leagues. Standard leagues I value him as a late first rounder.
2. Jimmy Graham
New team, fresh start for Graham. he will block more this year. Seattle has never utilized the tight end position in past years. I’m sure they will with Graham. 10-12 TD’s are possible. Teams have seemed to figure how to shut him out the last few years. Still a great option for the slim tight end position. I wouldn’t target him until the early 4th round.
3. Martellus Bennett
Martellus Bennett had a huge year with 90 receptions last season. 916 yards and 6 TD’s helped owners in 2014 and he should have another good season. I expect him to catch 80 passes and score 6-7 times. With Brandon Marshall gone and rookie Kevin White injured early in camp, Bennett will have to shoulder along with load with Alshon Jefferey and Matt Forte.
4. Travis Kelce
After playing only one game his rookie year Kelce caught 67 balls and scored 5 times. Everyone always says year 3 is the season things really click for NFL players. Here we are. Kelce was a major part of the offense last season and adding Maclin should only help divert a little attention away from Kelce. I think he’ll catch 75 balls and score 7-8 times this season.
5. Greg Olsen
Olsen had his best statistical season in 2014. A career high in receptions (84) Yards(1,008) and matching his best with 6 touchdowns. Olsen was also targeted 122 times which is a career high. The offense should be a little better this year barring injury. Olsen should again be a steady tight end.
6. Jordan Cameron
Jordan Cameron started his career in Quarterback hell with the Browns. Injuries also contributed to some disappointing seasons. He’s back with a solid QB in Tannehill and the new Miami Dolphin could be a steal for you.
7. Julius Thomas
Peyton Manning’s former tight end got paid by Jacksonville. When it happened I wrote him off to fall off a cliff this coming season. Word out of Jags camp is he and Blake Bortles are developing quite the chemistry. I don’t fully trust him because of the team. I’m giving him a shot as long as I have a backup plan.
8. Kyle Rudolph
I think the Vikings offense is moving in the right direction and a Healthy Rudolph will be huge. Kyle Rudolph was a red zone force in 2012. Rudolph was hit by the injury bug & only played in a combine 17 games the next two seasons. If he can stay healthy this year, Rudolph may end up in the top 5.
9. Antonio Gates
Gates had a bounce back year and then got popped in the offseason for a failed PED test. He will serve a four game suspension. Ladarius Green could be in a feature role with the Chargers while he is out and could be a late round pick with upside. If that doesn’t appeal to you grab someone else to fill-in. gates should be a good starting tight end for you yet again.
10. Delanie Walker
Walker is a solid tight end and got a great chance last season. He only got in the end zone 4 times, but 63 receptions were nice. With a new shiny quarterback Walker could have a more productive year as long as Mariota doesn’t fold.
11. Jason Witten
The 33-year-old Witten has only missed one game his entire career, playing in 15 his rookie season. Witten is still a decent option in Dallas’s passing game. last year he had his lowest total of receptions since 2006. (64) He’s in decline, but Witten is still good enough to catch 75 balls this year.
12. Dwayne Allen
Dwayne Allen lost 13 pounds and looks good coming into the season. If Allen can take another step forward and stay injury free this could be the year for him. He’s a red zone threat scoring 8 touchdowns last year. Allen can be real hit or miss.
13. Tyler Eifert
Eifert is healthy. He should be the main tight end with Jermaine Gresham gone. Coming into year 3 if he stays healthy, Eifert could be a breakout candidate.
14. Zach Ertz
Ertz has reportedly improved on his blocking this season. It will get him on the field more and hopefully more opportunities to catch passes. His production is erratic. I think he can improve his numbers. I’m just not sure how much with all the other good players around him.
15. Eric Ebron
Eric Ebron was a flop last year. He claims he was banged up and is now heathy. He’d be a welcome addition to the offense. He’s worth a shot if you want to keep two Tight ends.
16. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
A serious Break-out candidate here. He’s healthy and not a rookie anymore. Seferian-Jenkins is a huge target at 6’5” and could be a major red zone weapon this year. Don’t shy away from taking a chance on him.
17. Owen Daniels
Daniels with manning will be solid. Daniels always comes through and Manning will se him. Production will be sporadic. But he’ll be worth a fill-in or cheap daily league play a times. he could end up 50 receptions and 5 scores.
18. Coby Fleener
Fleener looked really good at times. Luck gets him the ball a lot but then there are weeks where he does nothing. Fleener can be a nice pick up, especially when Allen is out.
19. Vernon Davis
Davis used to be a top pick. There’s chance he could bounce back. But I’m not counting on him. At this point, it’s a wait and see. Later round pick, if he gets hot early, play him.
20. Crockett Gilmore
Big sleeper here. According to reports from Ravens camp, Gilmore has dominated over fellow competition. He wont tally up a ton of yardage. But he could be a major TD target and at times chain mover. He’s going to be on the field as a blocker as well. Keep an eye on Gilmore. You wont need to draft him.
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