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2016 Fantasy Football Tiered Tight End PPR Rankings (August)

Welcome to the next round of analyzing our 2016 fantasy football rankings here at RotoBaller, as our best and brightest have put their minds (and numbers) together to drop some serious knowledge on the world. The rankings come from Nathan Powell, Zach Wilkens, Nick Mariano, Frankie Soler and myself, Bill Dubiel.

This will be an in-depth look at the tight end PPR rankings, where we’ll analyze some tiers and check in on some polarizing names and trends as draft season descends upon us. More in-depth breakdowns by position will follow for both standard and PPR formats, so don’t touch that dial after this episode ends!

First order of business - for those that want to play along, you can also click here to access our rankings assistant page (for all types of formats). I've pasted the entire table in this article below, but it's a long list. Our handy rankings tool shows you all of our staff rankings, player news, ADPs, tiers, target rounds and more. You can easily filter, sort, and export all sorts of ranks – standard, half-PPR and PPR leagues, tiers, rookies, dynasty formats, keeper values and more. It's all in one place, and all free.

Editor's Note: Purchase a full season NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS Premium), and also get MLB Premium + DFS for free through October. Premium DFS lineup picks, expert lineups, tools and more - seven days a week. You can see screenshots of our NFL Premium and MLB Premium and DFS tools. What are you waiting for?

 

2016 Tight End PPR Rankings Analysis (August)

Tier One

Gronk Tier. Gronk catch. Gronk smash. Gronk score. Gronk spike.

I don't need to waste kilobytes extolling the virtues of the most dominant tight end of this generation. Take him at any point after Pick 10 and nobody will laugh at you. Or else.

Tier Two

"I won't own Jordan Reed in any leagues this year," he said, polishing the belt he won on the back of Jordan Reed's incredible 2015 late-season run. There is a ton of upside here - he's the second-best TE in football when healthy - but a now-inflated ADP and the impossible-to-ignore injury history make him a draft dodge for me.

Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker are known quantities, although Walker's value should improve slightly as he siphons off some of the early-season targets that likely would have gone to Dorial Green-Beckham. Travis Kelce is going in the back end of the fifth round in most leagues, and while I don't HATE that value, I will be waiting a few more rounds longer to take a lesser tight end. Come the end of the season the difference between Kelce and my replacement-level guy will be negligible. I'd much rather take a shot on John Brown, Giovani Bernard, Duke Johnson, or similarly-priced skill players at that point in the draft.

Tier Three

Gray Barnidge was the big surprise at this position in 2015, and his ranking here certainly reflects that. Unfortunately I think his production will drop in 2016 given that there are many more mouths to feed in Cleveland (Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor, Josh Gordon, Duke Johnson), and while Barnidge is the most reliable option there I don't see him averaging 7.8 targets per game again.

I feel like I'm caught in a time loop. Here we are again in August, and I'm hearing how the tight end is going to play "a major role in the offense" in Philly. I'm just crazy enough to believe it this year. Ertz saw 112 targets in 15 games last year, and he's the number two option in the passing game behind Jordan Matthews this year. 80 catches for 900 yards and five scores in the eighth round--sign me up.

Tier Four

Martellus Bennett may actually be the third-best option in the pass-heavy New England offense in 2016 behind only Gronk and Julian Edelman. Bill Belichick has used two-tight end sets to great effect in the past (see: Gronk and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in 2011), and the Patriots didn't add Bennett to have him block. Would it shock anybody if he hauled in 70 balls for 800 yards and seven scores? Not this guy. I'm totally fine taking a flier on Bennett at his current ADP (round 10-11) and then either playing the matchups with him.

I've actually found myself taking a good long look at Eric Ebron in the 13th round this year. While he hasn't impressed so far in his young career, this could be his breakout year (to use a cliche and overused fantasy analysis phrase). Tight end is infamous for being one of the hardest positions to learn get acclimated to at the NFL level, and Ebron actually had a quietly solid year in 2015 (47-537-5). With Calvin Johnson gone, there are going to be a healthy chunk of targets up for grabs, and if Ebron can show his stuff in the early goings he could carve out a nice role in the Jim Bob Cooter-ific Detroit offense.

Tier Five and Beyond

It's truly a shame about Ladarius Green. I was looking forward to seeing what he could do in the explosive Pittsburgh offense, but the bevy of long-term injury issues he's currently dealing with makes him untouchable in redraft leagues.

After a nice little scare in the preseason, it looks Austin Seferian-Jenkins is climbing back up the depth chart in Tampa Bay. He's much more naturally-gifted than Cameron Brate, and I expect ASJ to win the starting TE job outright by the time the season opens. If he does in fact get the job, I believe he'll threaten top-15 production by season's end.

Jimmy Graham's downfall has been incredible to watch, and not in a good way. I don't see him as any more than a TE2 this season or at any point in the future.

Keep an eye on Hunter Henry in 2016. The heir-apparent to Antonio Gates will have the season to study under the future Hall-of-Famer, and he has apparently impressed in training camp. With a tight end-friendly quarterback in Philip Rivers, Henry should be able to flash his potential in 2015 and start to make an impact as early as 2017.

 

PPR Tight End Rankings and Tiers

Tier Player Overall Rank
1 Rob Gronkowski 10
2 Jordan Reed 41
2 Greg Olsen 45
2 Travis Kelce 63
2 Delanie Walker 66
3 Gary Barnidge 81
3 Coby Fleener 83
3 Tyler Eifert 84
3 Julius Thomas 95
3 Zach Ertz 96
4 Antonio Gates 100
4 Dwayne Allen 132
4 Martellus Bennett 134
4 Jason Witten 141
4 Eric Ebron 142
5 Ladarius Green 148
5 Zach Miller 151
5 Jimmy Graham 154
5 Charles Clay 160
5 Jordan Cameron 161
6 Jared Cook 168
6 Austin Seferian-Jenkins 175
6 Clive Walford 181
6 Benjamin Watson 183
6 Kyle Rudolph 192
6 Will Tye 204
7 Richard Rodgers 207
7 Vance McDonald 220
7 Cameron Brate 228
7 Jace Amaro 230
7 Austin Hooper 231
7 Zach Miller 238
7 Jacob Tamme 239
7 Jeff Heuerman 243
7 Lance Kendricks 246
7 Hunter Henry 256
7 Maxx Williams 265
7 Josh Hill 286
7 Owen Daniels 287

 

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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.




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