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Fantasy points per target analysis: Top 20 2016 TEs

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Fantasy football is all about points. The more you score, the better chance you have to win.

(It ain't rocket science, folks).

While traditional scoring leader lists offer a look at how well a player did overall during a given season, it doesn't take into effect such factors as games missed and injuries. So, let's take a deeper look into the numbers to see how our heroes performed when the football was in their hands. In the case of the tight ends, we examined how well players performed on a per target basis with notes on snap percentage as well. This exercise helps us find which tight ends did the most with their opportunities to produce points, and which ones needed lots of chances to be relevant.

Here's a look at your top 20 fantasy tight ends from last season, ranked based on their fantasy-point-per-target averages (minimum 350 snaps).

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (1.89 FPPT): Gronkowski saw just enough snaps (354) to make our list, and it's no surprise that he's atop the list of the top point-per target tight ends. He was on pace for over 1,000 yards and scored a touchdown on eight percent of his overall targets.

2. Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (1.77 FPPT): Henry scored a touchdown on an incredible 15 percent of his targets, which is the reason he finished second in this research and 11th in fantasy points overall at the position. He has a chance to be an elite fantasy player in the near future.

3. Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots (1.55 FPPT): Bennett ranked 20th in targets among tight ends last season and saw his lowest total (73) in that department since 2011. The good news is that he did have a high FPPT average overall, and his chances should increase in the Packers offense.

4. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (1.51 FPPT): Allen made the most of his 52 targets, scoring six touchdowns in what would be his final season with the Colts. Fantasy owners might expect more success in New England, but a massive increase in targets isn't in the cards in a crowded pass attack.

5. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (1.48 FPPT): Eifert scored a touchdown on 11 percent of his targets, so his success in the red zone and potential as an elite fantasy tight end isn't in question. What is in question is his durability. Eifert has missed a combined 26 games in the last three seasons.

6. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.41 FPPT): Brate was sixth in fantasy points but 15th in targets among tight ends, which means he made the most of his opportunities. In fact, he found the end zone on almost 10 percent of his targets. You have to wonder if that's sustainable next year.

7. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (1.40 FPPT): McDonald was 25th in points and 35th in targets among tight ends last season, but he did score on almost nine percent of his targets. His final 2016 totals showed that he was highly touchdown dependant, which will limit his value next season.

8. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (1.31 FPPT): While inconsistent at times, Graham still finished seventh in targets (95) and fourth in fantasy points among tight ends a season ago. Here's an interesting note, however ... Graham averaged 138 targets (approximately 43 more) in his four best seasons in New Orleans.

9. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (1.21 FPPT): Walker saw a decline in targets (102) last season compared to his 2016 totals (133), but his touchdown percentage went from four to seven. Overall, Walker has now ranked fifth in fantasy points among tight ends in each of those last two campaigns.

10. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (1.19 FPPT): Davis was on the field for 63 percent of Washington's snaps last season, and his target totals (59) were 26th at the position. He did make the most of his opportunities, but continued limitations in that category limit his overall draft value.

11. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (1.18 FPPT): The top-scoring fantasy tight end, Kelce posted career bests across the board last season. You have to wonder if he has hit his stats ceiling, however.
T-12. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (1.15 FPPT): Reed was a major disappointment for fantasy fans a season ago, though he was second in fantasy points per snap average (0.20) behind Gronkowski.
T-12. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (1.15 FPPT): Doyle was 13th in fantasy points and 18th in targets among tight ends, and the departure of Allen means he could see increases in both categories.
14. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (1.13 FPPT): Miller was on pace for 102 targets and 116 fantasy points (10 games) before going down to an injury. He'll be worth a late-round look in 2017 drafts.
15. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (1.08 FPPT): Despite being in a great position to succeed, Fleener failed to make a serious impact. He was on the field for 58 percent of New Orleans' snaps.
16. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (1.02 FPPT): Gates was targeted on 15.9 percent of his total snaps and scored eight times. He was also tied for fourth in fantasy points per snap (0.16).
17. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (1.00 FPPT): Ertz finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among tight ends last season, but the addition of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith hurts his value.
18. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (0.99 FPPT): Olsen was second in snap percentage (93) and second in targets (129) among tight ends, but his FPPT average was hurt due to a lack of touchdowns (3).
19. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (0.98 FPPT): Ebron missed three games a season ago, but he still recorded a career-best 85 targets. His major fantasy problem was his lack of touchdown catches (1).
20. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (0.95 FPPT): Rudolph ranked an impressive fourth in snap percentage (92) and first in targets (132) among tight ends during what was his best fantasy season.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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