In traditional redraft fantasy football, there are core positions and secondary positions. Quarterback, running back and wide receiver are the core positions. If you draft well at the core spots you should have a good shot at making your leagues playoffs. If your draft went “Meh”  or the injury bug bites your team, you need to make up points to be competitive. A tight end with a good matchup can do that. You’ll notice when you sit down and start ranking tight ends for fantasy a few things jump out at you.

Ranking Tight Ends for Fantasy

Especially in PPR leagues, your tight end offers a chance for you to swing the point meter back in your favor. Getting a tight end that will be targeted by his offense is the key. Without opportunity, no amount of talent will help. You want that opportunity to happen where it can maximize the number of points for you. Always look at the matchup. If you are streaming tight ends then match-ups are the key to your good fortune.

RankNameTeamStrength of Schedule vs Tight EndsComments
1Travis KelceChiefs23I think this is the year. With a young quarterbac and tons of speed on the outside I think Kelce has a year for the ages. Led all TE last year in receptions.
2Rob GronkowskiPatriots21Gronk is Gronk. If he's healthy he is among the best that have ever played the position.
3Zach ErtzEagles24The breakout that the fantasy community had been waiting on happened last year. Third in receptions last year 4th in Targets. The opportunity will be there.
4Delanie WalkerTitans30Walker has finished no worse than 7th in fantasy points per game for the past 4 consecutive seasons.
5Greg OlsenPanthers7Back from Injury. There is no one Cam Newton would rather throw the ball tto.
6Jordan ReedRedskins15In two of the past three years Reed has led all tight ends in points per game in PPR leagues.
7Jack DoyleColts31Second in the league last year with 80 receptions. If not for Ebron in a Colts uniform I'd have him higher.
8Kyle RudolphVikings4Solid performer every year. 8 touchdown catches in 81 targets. Look for similar numbers this year.
9Jimmy GrahamPackers10I am in the minority. I don't think Graham will be Rodgers #1 target. With Nelson gone I think Rodgers will spread the ball around in the red zone.
10Cameron BrateBuccaneers11Caught 5 passes inside the red-zone. All 5 went for a touchdowns.
11Evan EngramGiants13Lots of fantasy mouths to feed. This ranking is more a reflection of that then his talent.
12Tyler EifertBengals19Another guy who is uber efficient in the red zone. Didn't play much last year but in the 2 years previous he caught 17 passes in the red-zone for 16 touchdowns.
13David NjokuBrowns14Tyrod Taylor will throw the ball to his tight end. Similar offensive situation as Kelce. Njoku should benefit from a spread out defense.
14Charles ClayBills17No matter who plays QB for the Bills this season, Clay is the best option not named McCoy to catch the ball.
15Trey Burton Bears5Burton finally getting a chance to be the main guy. Tough group of defenses to face as a TE has me not as high on him as most.
16Ben WatsonSaints9Watson has a proven relationship with Drew Brees. He will have a few games this year where he blows up. but only a few.
17Austin Seferian-JenkinsJaguars29A really nice spot for the athletic Seferian-Jenkins. Defenses are manageable and a talented but you group of wide receivers could see him become Bortles security blanket quickly
18Austin HooperFalcons3Third toughest schedule against TE and a lot of targets for Matt Ryan to spread the ball around too. Love the talent not the situation.
19Jared CookRaiders25Could really surprise this year. Easier schedule and new offense, Cook had the 10th most targets last year.
20Jake ButtBroncos20Needs to beat out Austin Traylor.
21George Kittle49ers6Could move up this list as the year goes on.
22OJ HowardBuccaneers11Will still see usage despite being behind Brate on the depth chart
23Ricky Seals-JonesCardinals27New quarterbacks might be a boon for Seals-Jones.
24Eric EbronColts31Lots of talent. If Doyle goes down he could blow up.
25Mike GesickiDolphins16I have little faith in the Dolphins offense. I do have faith that Gesicki will get targeted.
26Blake JarwinCowboys22Has an opportunity seize the spot although there is a position battle. If Jarwin comes out of the pack he can make some waves.
27Vance McDonaldSteelers18Lots of talent sometimes leaves McDonald out in the cold,
28Hayden HurstRavens11I think he will be asked to block more than catch this year.
29Ed DickinsonSeahawks8Graham had an insane 26 red zone targets last year. If Dickinson gets the majority of those and comes through he could move up the list.
30Luke WilsonLion1I'll have to see how the new Lions TE does. Ebron gone to Indy but what will the offense look like.

In Conclusion

Core position or not, tight ends can be an integral part of winning your league. If you can grab one of the top players at the position or trade for one of them great! If you didn’t or can’t then all is not lost. It’s all about playing the match-ups and finding the best pieces each week to fit your team.

Want to continue the conversation? Got a fantasy question? You can find Dean Williams on Twitter and Pinterest @badappleFFB or at FPC_Titans

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