The Composite Tight End Rankings (August Edition)

jimmygraham

This post reflects the update to our tight end rankings. If you’d like to skip straight to the rankings, they’re located at the bottom of this page. However, all of the rankers have offered some comments and context is always key, so we recommend reading the comments as well.

My TE strategy is now in flux based on the possibility that Josh Gordon’s appeal may succeed. I had settled pretty firmly on Jordan Cameron as my TE to target based on the expectation that he could see an overwhelming amount of targets. However, Cameron now has a shoulder injury and Gordon may have a half-decent chance of winning his suspension, so I’m probably off that idea for now. My fallback plan is probably going to be getting a mid-tier TE like Charles Clay or even a cheaper option like Delanie Walker. It would be great to be able to target a high upside player like Ladarius Green, although at this point I think he could be a waste on your roster as a tweener. He might have some really huge weeks, but might also disappear for weeks due to his timeshare with Antonio Gates. — Fantasy Douche

My TE rankings were in more in line with ADP than were my quarterback and running back evaluations. I’m apparently in the minority in thinking that John Carlson could have a few decent games (my TE25, ADP undrafted). Bruce Arians doesn’t use his TEs a lot in Arizona, but reports out of training camp are that Carlson has been their most reliable receiving TE, ahead of Robert Housler and Troy Niklas. I continue to believe that Eric Ebron doesn’t belong among the elite TEs, but my ranking for him (TE23) is 10 spots lower than average (ADP TE13). I was surprised to see that my ranking for Joe Fauria (TE34) was lower than his ADP (TE21), but that’s OK with me – the more he scores, the more he dances, and the more he dances, the more likely we are to see him do the worm on the field. – Jim Kloet

Two things: a healthy Rob Gronkowski is better than a healthy Jimmy Graham. In 50 career games, he has scored 43 touchdowns. He was quite literally put on this earth to score many, many fantasy points. I don’t even really think it’s a question given that Gronk is already back at training camp and participating at a high level. Another is the Green ranking. You’re probably saying “Davis, he isn’t even a TE1 on his own team, much less in fantasy.” To that I respond that if San Diego decides they care about scoring TDs, I’ll be too low on him. Their ideal personnel is probably Gates and Green both on the field, given the Vincent Brown-ness of their WR personnel, so do yourself a favor and start buying Ladarius stock. – Davis Mattek

On a per-game basis, Gronkowski outscored Graham in 2011 and 2012. In his shortened season last year, he did not. If you’d rather wait on TE, legitimate third and fourth options in Julius Thomas and Cameron have emerged. It’s not just a two-man show anymore. However, lots of work has been done to show that streaming TEs off the waiver wire on a weekly basis can be just as effective, and less costly, than investing in a stud. – WTF

After the top few players at the position, there’s not a lot of separation. Here are the TEs I like more/less than the rest of the RotoViz rankers.

I Like More I Like Less
Toilolo, Levine ATL TE Amaro, Jace NYJ TE
Allen, Dwayne IND TE Green, Ladarius SDC TE

Toilolo is pretty good in the red zone, which the Falcons might need this year. His draft slot and age also argue in his favor. He’s also a player that Sharks seem to like. Dwayne Allen was good before injury, and reports are that he should be on the field a lot. – James Todd

Go big or go home. The science backs it up. And according to my rankings Dennis Pitta is one of the worst TE1s of all time. I’m high on Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, who I think could have a Gronk-esque TD-infused rookie year. Last year, Gates was a top-12 TE. Again. For the 167th year in a row. I think of him as the Frank Gore of TEs. Until he no longer submits top-12 production, he should probably just be considered a top-12 TE. The same logic applies to Brent Celek, except that he’s a top-20 TE. And I’m also the highest on Brandon Bostick: good athlete, improving blocker, versatile, and strong production in his last collegiate season as a wide receiver. Adrien Robinson? I guess so. – Matthew Freedman

TEs in the NFL have been receiving expanded roles in the NFL in the recent years. They’re getting bigger, faster, and they are hard to cover. Graham is difficult to contain, which is why he received almost a unanimous No. 1 rank among the RotoViz staff, with the exception of Davis Mattek. Matthew Freedman and I seem to be on island, as we are much higher than everyone else on ranking Jason Witten at five. It is hard for me to ignore his consistent targets and steady play, which can be a rarity at the TE position. My strategy this year is to play the waiting game (sort of). I am looking to grab a TE between rounds nine and 11, possibly later depending on how the draft shakes out. I’ve been able to snag Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, or Greg Olsen in the majority of mocks within that frame.  — Justin Bailey

In the words of Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first you’re last.” That would be my draft strategy here. Graham is the No. 1 and the Queen on your redraft board. Gronk is intriguing but I won’t take him before the third. Clay is the TE I am targeting most. He is the only legit red zone target on the team and is a matchup nightmare. Allen is another late target who could put up nice TD totals for those willing to wait. Witten has had a nice run but is on my do not draft list as Gavin Escobar will be more involved this year. – Scott Smith

The rankers are: FD = Fantasy Douche, DM = Davis Mattek, MF = Matthew Freedman, JK = Jim Kloet, AM = Aaron Messing, JB = Justin Bailey, SS = Scott Smith, JT = James Todd, WTF = Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, CR = Composite Ranking

*Update: To view our ranks vs. ADP, check out this message board thread. 

PlayerFDDMMFJKJBAMSS2JTWTFCR
Graham, Jimmy NOS TE1211111111
Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE2122422222
Thomas, Julius DEN TE4334233333
Cameron, Jordan CLE TE3448344444
Reed, Jordan WAS TE5696955785
Pitta, Dennis BAL TE78133668656
Olsen, Greg CAR TE61287886567
Witten, Jason DAL TE810595910998
Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE1096107712879
Davis, Vernon SFO TE1177511137101110
Ertz, Zach PHI TE12111517101013111011
Clay, Charles MIA TE1315101412119131312
Bennett, Martellus CHI TE14131113161211141413
Green, Ladarius SDC TE1551421141617241214
Eifert, Tyler CIN TE9142215151719151715
Allen, Dwayne IND TE16241711191516121816
Walker, Delanie TEN TE20222512171914181517
Gates, Antonio SDC TE22171219261815162118
Miller, Heath PIT TE23191616242025171619
Ebron, Eric DET TE24232123132518211920
Fleener, Coby IND TE17362418182321202021
Graham, Garrett HOU TE25202720251426192722
Kelce, Travis KCC TE26182825222123222223
Cook, Jared STL TE19212922232224252424
Seferian-Jenkins, Austin TBB TE28251924212722332625
Amaro, Jace NYJ TE27163031202820342326
Gresham, Jermaine CIN TE29303428322428353027
Toilolo, Levine ATL TE18313535313729233127
Griffin, Ryan HOU TE30272338273427303729
Fauria, Joseph DET TE323731342932272530
Wright, Tim TBB TE312638283033293631
Rivera, Mychal OAK TE3328273035352832
Celek, Brent PHI TE343318372639383433
Escobar, Gavin DAL TE353239333130373234
Bostick, Brandon GBP TE2120402635
Willson, Luke SEA TE37293239322936
Lewis, Marcedes JAC TE3637293441313136
Daniels, Owen BAL TE39303238283938
Pettigrew, Brandon DET TE383933363336363939
Robinson, Adrien NYG TE2638373340
Finley, Jermichael GBP TE404029333541
Miller, Zach SEA TE3426424042
Carlson, John ARI TE2543
Fiedorowicz, C.J. HOU TE323544
Lyerla, Colt GBP TE39373445
Chandler, Scott BUF TE40404040363846
McDonald, Vance SFO TE353647
Niklas, Troy ARI TE383848
Housler, Robert ARI TE3649
Quarless, Andrew GBP TE394050