2018 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Tight End Tier Rankings 1.0

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You'll draft a bunch of running backs and receivers and wait for a bargain at quarterback, but tight end is the position you might need to build your entire strategy around.

Really, all you should want is a tight end who will deliver more than 7.0 Fantasy points per week. That's been roughly the top-12 average at the position since 2013.

The top three tight ends are pretty much set — Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce in some order. For them, seven points isn't what we're after; they should deliver like a top-20 receiver.

Following them are four tight ends who figure to be popular, whether because they're well-known Fantasy names (Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham) or because they carry significant potential to become well-known Fantasy names (Evan Engram, Trey Burton). Again, seven points per week isn't too high a bar for them to jump over. They'll all be gone by the end of Round 7.

Miss out on those seven and you're pretty much relegated to streaming and beginning the year with a has-been like Jordan Reed or Tyler Eifert or an above-average starter like Kyle Rudolph or Delanie Walker. You'll have to be a little lucky to find seven Fantasy points regularly with these guys. This scenario isn't ideal — Hunter Henry's torn ACL suffered in late May certainly didn't help the depth at the position.

If you opt for one of the first seven tight ends, you should resign yourself to the idea of drafting them at a fair value. Don't hope to steal one. Gronk in Round 2, Ertz and Kelce in Round 3 or any of the other tight ends beginning in late Round 5 is precisely when to lock in.

If you whiff then you might as well late until the end of the draft, find a tight end with an early-season schedule you like or an outlook that provides upside and go with him.

Before you draft any tight end, just ask yourself if he can come through with more than 70 yards in a given week or score every time you start him. If you think he can, draft that man. If not, let someone else have him.

Tight ends are mostly touchdown-dependent. Remember that and draft accordingly.

Gronk! Almost Gronk Very Good
Round 2 Round 3 Rounds 5, 6
Rob Gronkowski Zach Ertz Evan Engram

Travis Kelce Greg Olsen


Jimmy Graham


Trey Burton



Start-worthy Stream-worthy Speculative
Round 9 Round 10+ Round 13+
Jordan Reed George Kittle Cameron Brate
Kyle Rudolph Tyler Eifert Mike Gesicki
Delanie Walker David Njoku Antonio Gates

Jack Doyle
Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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