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2015 Tiered Dynasty Rankings: Tight Ends (TE), Tiers 1 and 2


Today we’re looking at tiers one and two of our tight end dynasty / keeper rankings. This position typically has the largest difference in value between PPR and non-PPR formats, and the rankings here reflect my combined analysis for both formats.

I will only be giving my top 25 tight ends, as it gets pretty thin from there on out as any experienced fantasy player knows. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments @Roto_Dubs.

More rankings: QuarterbacksRunning Backs (Tier 1)Running Backs (Tiers 3, 4)Wide Receivers (Tier 1)Wide Receivers (Tier 2)Wide Receivers (Tiers 3, 4)Wide Receivers (Tiers 5, 6)Tight Ends (Tiers 3, 4)Top 200 (Standard)Top 200 (PPR)Rookie Rankings

 

Tiered Dynasty Rankings: Tight End, Tier 1

1) Rob Gronkowski, 26, NE

Do I really need to justify myself with Gronk at number one? He has 60 touchdowns in 73 career games played, and when healthy is arguably the hardest player to cover in football. I always advise against taking a tight end in the first round, but Gronk will make you consider it for the next few years.

 

2) Travis Kelce, 25, KC

I like Kelce over the incomparable Jimmy Graham for a couple of reasons. While Graham has pretty much always been a touchdown machine, I think Kelce could match him in that capacity once he gets the amount of targets he deserves. For reference, he was the sixth fantasy tight end and didn’t even play as many snaps as teammate Anthony Fasano. He should be Alex Smith’s top option in the red zone, and I expect his incredible size/speed combo to propel him to fantasy stardom in 2015 and beyond.

 

3) Jimmy Graham, 28, SEA

Don’t take my Kelce love as a knock on Jimmy Graham. He is still one of the best red zone threats of this generation, and that shouldn’t change now that he’s in Seattle. However, he probably won’t see as many looks from the 5 yard line, as the Seahawks are still an incredibly run-heavy team. He's also dealt with a fairly severe shoulder injury last season, which makes me slightly nervous for his prospects going forward. He’s still a monster, but he’s not going to be the monster people drafted in the first round as recently as a year ago.

 

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4) Zach Ertz, 24, PHI

I know people have been calling for an Ertz breakout for two seasons now, but I really do think the third time is the charm. He began to show his skills in 2014, posting 702 yards on 58 catches in just under 50% of the team’s snaps. Brent Celek can’t keep it up for much longer, and I expect this is the year that Ertz finally busts loose. With Jeremy Maclin now in Kansas City, it could be Ertz who steps up as a reliable option in the red zone for Sam Bradford.

 

5) Greg Olsen, 30, CAR

G-Reg stays in the top tier because he’s a model of consistency, which is unheard of at the tight end position. In his last three seasons, he’s had 843, 816, and 1,008 yards receiving. He’s had five, six, and six touchdowns. Roughly 850 yards and six touchdowns from a tight end? Sign me up.

 

Tiered Dynasty Rankings: Tight End, Tier 2

6) Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 22, TB

ASJ has all of the tools to be a great fantasy tight end, right down to the blocking skills that will keep him on the field. He didn’t do much to impress as a rookie, but then again most players (particularly tight ends) don’t. Seferian-Jenkins’ immediate impact will rely almost entirely on Jameis Winston, as the Buccaneers look like they’ve settled on him as the tight end of the future. If Winston plays well in 2015, I expect ASJ to become fantasy-relevant. If Winston struggles with the learning curve, we may see another lackluster fantasy season. His rank here is all about future upside. It helps that Winston consistently targeted his tight end in college too.

 

7) Julius Thomas, 27, JAC

Talk about a change of scenery. “Orange Julius” is orange no more, and will catch passes from Blake Bortles instead of Peyton Manning, hence his rank. He’s got top five tight end talent, but the fact that the Jaguars offense will rarely find the red zone makes Thomas no more than a low-end fantasy starter. He’s also the clear top option in the passing game, which means he’ll draw extra attention. I simply don’t like him in 2015, and I won’t until his situation improves.

 

8) Martellus Bennett, 28, CHI

Bennett had a career year in 2014, reeling in 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. While I don’t expect him to repeat those numbers in 2015, there is no reason he can’t come close to them. With Jay Cutler’s favorite red zone weapon (Brandon Marshall) now gone, Bennett might pick up some of the slack as rookie Kevin White establishes himself. If Jay Cutler has a decent year, Bennett might be a top five tight end come December.

 

9) Jordan Cameron, 26, MIA

Jordan Cameron is the ultimate risk/reward play in 2015. With three concussions so far in his pro career, he could be one vicious hit away from ending his career. However, if he does stay healthy, he has the talent to finish in the top five. He should be an important part of Ryan Tannehill’s arsenal in Miami especially in the red zone. In 2013 he had 917 yards on 80 catches and seven touchdowns in just 15 games, and that’s the kind of production he’s capable of. But you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?”

Well, do ya punk?

 

10) Charles Clay, 26, BUF

The Buffalo Bills paid a hefty price to get Charles Clay in red and blue, and hopefully that’ll make sure that he is used properly. Clay is an over-the-top monster who can stretch the field and drive defenses crazy, but if he’s not used that way his fantasy output could be disappointing. His situation will also rely heavily on Buffalo’s questionable quarterback play (and questionable is putting it mildly)—if there is nobody to get the ball to him Clay can’t do much. Either way, I’m pretty sure we’ll see him approach 800 yards and five touchdowns.

 

11) Eric Ebron, 22, DET

Eric Ebron was almost universally drafted far too early last year, as he proved to be utterly useless from a fantasy perspective. He couldn’t do enough to win a starting job from Brandon Pettigrew, and finished with just 248 total yards on 25 receptions and one touchdown. Like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, I’m chalking the lackluster season up to the typical learning curve that rookie tight ends experience. He should be able to supplant Brandon Pettigrew this season and become a great post-hype sleeper. If he can’t do that this season, it won’t take many more years to do it.

 

12) Kyle Rudolph, 25, MIN

I admit that I was one of the suckers who put faith in Kyle Rudolph last year. Unfortunately, he missed six games due to sports hernia surgery, and failed to impress in those he did play in. He is only three years removed from a nine-touchdown season, and that is where his upside lies. He is a beast in the red zone, and as the Vikings offense improves overall he should have many more opportunities to make a difference. He’s got top ten tight end ceiling in 2015, and if he can break loose a little more in the middle of field he could soar even higher.

 

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Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.