With fantasy football set to start up soon, one position that has really gained attention in recent years is tight end.
With the New England Patriots claiming their fourth Super Bowl in the last 15 years, one proverbially big reason for that is the Pats patented two-tight end attack featuring Rob Gronkowski. As Tom Brady’s primary weapon, Gronk has single-handily changed how TE’s are used both on the field and in terms of value in fantasy football.
Based on scoring and projected stats from yours truly, here are the top tight ends that you need to scoop up in your draft.
1.) Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots: The top TE in the game today, thanks to playing in Bill Belichick’s tight-end friendly offense, look for Gronk to have another monster year as Brady’s top target: Projected stats according to Rob: 1,749 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns.
2.) Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys: The reliable security blanket of Tony Romo, Witten will continue to be one of the top TE’s in fantasy, due to the shocking defection of DeMarco Murray to the hated Eagles: Projected stats according to Rob: 1,314 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns
3.) Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins: The biggest shock—and possible reach—due to his history of concussions, Cameron leaves a horrid QB situation in Cleveland for an established one in Miami for one of the NFL’s up-and-coming QB’s in Ryan Tannehill. Projected stats according to Rob: 1,186 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns
4.) Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks: Still a top-end option in fantasy football, the recently acquired Graham may struggle in Seattle’s run-based offense, but playing in the harsh elements of the Pacific Northwest with Russell Wilson could prove beneficial. Projected stats according to Rob: 1,171 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns
5.) Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: An oldie but goodie, Gates will once again be Philip Rivers main man in San Diego’s vertical passing offense. Projected stats: 1,008 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns
6.) Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos: The longtime veteran tight end of the Houston Texans, and most recently the Baltimore Ravens, will see a career rebirth catching passes from Peyton Manning in replacing Julius Thomas. Projected stats: 986 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns
7.) Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers: One of the most underrated pass-catching tight ends in the NFL today, Olsen will once again be a featured playmaker in Carolina’s revamped offense. Projected stats: 969 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns
8.) Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers: One of the most athletic and physical pass-catching tight ends in the league today, look for Davis to once again be one of Colin Kaepernick’s top targets in 2015. Projected stats: 943 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns
9.) Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars: The top tight end target in free agency, the former Denver Bronco playmaker goes from catching passes from Peyton Manning to Blake Bortles is a border-line gamble for owners, but Thomas is primed to become one of Bortles’ go-to targets. Projected stats: 889 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns
10.) Maxx Williams (R), Baltimore Ravens: The lone rookie on this list, Williams has the size, strength and athleticism to make the Ravens not regret letting Daniels leave for Denver, and give Flacco a deadly red-zone target. Projected stats: 804 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns