2015 Fantasy Rankings – Top 10 Tight Ends
By Josh Trotta
Next up on our list of Top Ten’s is maybe the hardest to predict position in all of fantasy Tight Ends. The TE in use to be guys who where too big and slow to be wide receivers. Not now! Now the Hybrid TE has revolutionized NFL offensives and fantasy owners around the world love this new style of TE’s. In fantasy run blocking or pass blocking doesn’t matter, all that matters is how many times your guy can get into the endzone! Every year a TE comes out of nowhere and shocks the entire fantasy community. Last year it was Julius Thomas and the year before that it was Jordan Cameron. Like one of our favorite fantasy writers Matthew Berry always says “you either are the first to pick a TE or your the last”. You just don’t know what your going to get out of the group out side of maybe one or two guys each year.
So without wasting anymore of your time let’s count down our top ten TE’s of the 2015 season!
1. Rob Gronkowski – GRONK is a defenders worst nightmare and all he does is catch touchdowns and yell SIXTY NINE! Gronk has to be the first TE off the board come draft day. A double digit touchdown threat year in and year out in a pass first offensive scheme, means Gronk will get plenty of chances to show off his amazing talent. Red flags are burning bright right now as Brady is still suspended for 4 games and no one know’s how that will impact the Patriots biggest offensive weapon. Injury’s are always a concern with Gronk but if he can stay healthy again this year you won’t be sorry you picked him as early as you did.
2. Jimmy Graham – Departed New Orleans in the offseason for the pacific north west and the Seattle Seahawks. Graham much like Gronk is a physical freak who is a nightmare matchup any where on the field but even more so in the redzone. With Brees Graham was a top 5 fantasy TE each year except for last. Now in Seattle look for Graham to rebound from last year and get back to his pro bowl form but don’t expect the same numbers that he had in NO. Seattle is a run first team with Lynch as the primary weapon in the redzone. Graham has to be the 2nd TE taken off the board.
3. Travis Kelce – Kelce is a physical freak with rare combination of size and blazing speed. Last year Kelce was a steal at TE finishing the season as the 6th best at his position and he wasn’t even the starter! Now he is the man in KC and look for him to have a break out year. Alex Smith loves passing to the TE and with the addition of Maclin, Kelce should see more open space in the middle of the field. Travis Kelce could end up battling Gronk for the fantasy TE title.
4. Greg Olsen – Could be the safest pick of all the TE’s. Consistent each and every year in Carolina, Olsen is one of the most reliable TE’s and what fantasy owner doesn’t love that? Olsen is deserving of the 3rd spot on our list but lost out due to Kelce’s potential upside. With Olsen you know exactly what you are going to get nothing more, nothing less. Cam Newton’s and the way the offense utilizes Olsen hurt his overall fantasy value but fear not fantasy owners. Picking Olsen is a safe way to insure yourself a quality start each and every week from your TE spot.
5. Martellus Bennett – All signs point to this being the year Bennett becomes a fantasy star. Adam Gase and John Fox come over from Denver who just last year led Julius Thomas to an unbelievable fantasy season with 12 touchdowns and Brandon Marshall has moved on to New York. Bennett had a great season last year with over 90 catches for over 900 yards and he found the end zone 6 times. This is a make or break season for Cutler so look for him to rely on the players he trusts and that could mean a monster season for our number 5 TE of 2015.
6. Jason Witten – Witten is as solid as they come as a TE and he is a much better real TE then a fantasy one. Last year Witten posted lows in receptions and yards but a change in philosophy may be coming with the departure of Demarco Murray to Philadelphia which could see those numbers jump right back up. Equipped with the leagues best offensive line and talented players around him, it shouldn’t be hard for Witten to meet or exceed last years numbers and be a solid starter for you each and every week.
7. Julius Thomas – Thomas was a beast last year hauling in 12 touchdowns in Denver and by the end of October some were thinking he was on pace for the greatest fantasy season a tight end had ever seen. Injury’s and Manning’s own issues slowed Thomas’s pace and by the end of the season many were disappointed by his play. Now out of Denver, Thomas took the money and is now in Jacksonville which means Peyton Manning is no longer throwing him football and their is no one else for the defense to cover. Everything points to a major let down in 2015 for Orange Julius but lets hope he and Bortles can have great chemistry and it allows for his freakish athletic ability to take over. Don’t hold your breath, neither will we.
8. Zach Ertz – Last year Ertz was our choice for the breakout star of the year at TE and well it never came true. He has splashes of what made him our choice but Brent Celek impacted his ability to break out in fantasy drastically. Only in his third year every fantasy owner hopes that this is the year Chip Kelly looks to make Ertz the number one guy in Philadelphia and help fill the hole that Maclin left. It’s a slim chance but if your towards the end of your draft and your looking for a TE Ertz is not a bad pick.
9. Dwayne Allen / Coby Fleener – The two headed monster they have in Indy is a perfect fit to Luck and the style that Indy wants to play with. Allen the better blocker of the two was the starter last year before getting hurt and has tremendous upside in the redzone but lacks the skill set to eat up yardage and make defenders miss in the open field. Fleener can do just that and is asked to be a hybrid TE/WR for the Colts when he is in the game. Scoring 8 touchdowns and gaining over 700 yards last year Fleener flourished when Allen went down to injury. We don’t know who is going to be the guy in Indy yet but who ever it is, will have a great foundation to have a solid year.
10. Antonio Gates – What a bounce back year for Gates a season ago. After not posting a top ten finish the past 4 years, Gates who everyone left for dead came out of no where and posted a gem of a season. He finished with 12 touchdowns and over 800 yards receiving. A four game suspension for PEDs will definitely hurt but if he can come back to last years form then you should have a top 5 TE for the second half of the season. Grab his handcuff Green if you are looking to draft Gates this season, so you’re protected.
Well there you have it! Another top ten list is in the books and we are another week closer to national draft day and you picking your team for the season. Like always please let us know what you thoughts are of the list and if you would have ranked them any differently. Be on the look out for the next installment of our IDP rankings and our final top ten list of the season.