The Composite Dynasty TE Rankings


I think it’s probably time that someone draws a distinction between two important kinds of scarcity that impact fantasy leagues. I’ll call these two kinds of scarcity Structural Scarcity and Temporal Scarcity.

Structural Scarcity is the balance between supply and demand as dictated by the rules of the game. Most fantasy leagues start 2 RBs, while they start just 1 QB and TE (most of the time). So scarcity related to RBs is structural.

But at certain times it can be the case that QBs or TEs are scarce – not because of the rules of the game, but because of quirks in the NFL. In 2011 it was the case that fantasy league winning QBs were actually briefly scarce. But the rules never changed, so in 2012 everyone went into their draft thinking they needed to get one of the top QBs, only to find out that the scarcity involved was not permanent. That’s what I mean by Temporal Scarcity.

I think it’s the case that the current perception as to the scarcity of elite TEs is almost certainly a Temporal Scarcity. Most leagues still start just 1 TE, and while TE premium leagues are becoming more popular, all those leagues do is just give you more options of players to start in a flex. There isn’t a long term structural reason to expect scarcity at the TE position.

This can be illustrated by the fact that the hurdle to get over in terms of becoming an elite TE is actually low. It doesn’t require years of honing the craft. Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas have all parlayed lots of athleticism and very little experience into being top TEs.

So we can’t expect that there is a moat keeping elite athletes out of the elite TE ranks.

The number of elite TEs will be a function of the total universe of elite athletes that can get into that 250 pound range, along with the number of teams willing to develop those players into TEs. Not every physical specimen will work out of course. But that’s fine because there are enough of these types of players that the hit rates can still be low and we can still fill out 12 spots in a fantasy league.

Yeah, but Jimmy Graham was a league winner in 2013, you might say. That’s fine. But that’s why I’m drawing the distinction between the kinds of scarcity. From a structural standpoint there’s nothing to protect his place as a league winner. There are now a bunch of TEs coming through the ranks that have the potential to float into and out of the top 4 or so at the position. The number that actually make that leap will be dependent on offensive scheme, but there isn’t any other factor that can keep them out of that elite tier. Similarly, there isn’t a structural reason like fantasy roster rules or scarcity of available athletes to make TEs scarce.

In fact, you might argue that the basketball player TEs are only lighting a path for teams to follow in terms of TE development. If it’s the case that college and pro teams have just been so horrible at TE development that basketball players actually make better TEs than players with years of experience, eventually someone will figure out what the league is doing wrong and correct it.

Having offered that thought, I give you our composite dynasty TE rankings.

The rankers are: FD = Fantasy Douche, DM = Davis Mattek, MF = Matthew Freedman, SS = Shawn Siegele, SS2 = Scott Smith,WTF = Whisky Tango Foxtrot, BF = Bryan Fontaine, CTK = Coleman Kelly CR = the Composite Ranking

Graham, Jimmy NOS TE121111121
Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE212222212
Thomas, Julius DEN TE334333353
Cameron, Jordan CLE TE443445444
Reed, Jordan WAS TE5561154535
Green, Ladarius SDC TE9910986776
Davis, Vernon SFO TE610175671067
Ebron, Eric DET TE7691310813108
Ertz, Zach PHI TE81351071416149
Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE12151512111111810
Pitta, Dennis BAL TE181271912109911
Olsen, Greg CAR TE1314187141281312
Eifert, Tyler CIN TE147820915171513
Seferian-Jenkins, Austin TBB TE10191181518121614
Amaro, Jace NYJ TE19816161717201215
Allen, Dwayne IND TE15181215169192216
Witten, Jason DAL TE20112961313152017
Clay, Charles MIA TE161713141920182118
Bennett, Martellus CHI TE211614211816231119
Kelce, Travis KCC TE222024182019251820
Fleener, Coby IND TE172126222121242321
Walker, Delanie TEN TE242325282222211722
Gates, Antonio SDC TE252730172326223123
Cook, Jared STL TE262819292528283224
Lyerla, Colt GBP TE273128262829143825
Miller, Heath PIT TE282931302423293326
Fauria, Joseph DET TE232236343125273427
Escobar, Gavin DAL TE293420242934352828
Finley, Jermichael GBP TE302433352727333629
Graham, Garrett HOU TE329932363024302430
Robinson, Adrien NYG TE313621233535993031
Toilolo, Levine ATL TE113240403233372732
McDonald, Vance SFO TE333922253999381933
Willson, Luke SEA TE359927273730402634
Niklas, Troy ARI TE342599992631323735
Fiedorowicz, C.J. HOU TE363723993399992936
Wright, Tim TBB TE373039374036313537
Gresham, Jermaine CIN TE382642393638999938
Rivera, Mychal OAK TE399937993899392539
Griffin, Ryan HOU TE409943319932344040
Housler, Robert ARI TE994034993437999941
Bostick, Brandon GBP TE999938329999999942
Pettigrew, Brandon DET TE999999389939369943
Celek, Brent PHI TE999999339940999944
Daniels, Owen BAL TE993835999999999945
Chandler, Scott BUF TE993399999999999946
Lewis, Marcedes JAC TE993599999999999947
Myers, Brandon TBB TE999941999999999948
Keller, Dustin FA TE999999999999999949
Miller, Zach SEA TE999944999999999950
Quarless, Andrew GBP TE999946999999999951
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