2017 fantasy football TE profiles, projections (1-24)

2017 projections coming soon ... stay tuned.

Injuries have been the story of Rob Gronkowski's career, and in 2016 he battled a hamstring injury and then a punctured lung before a back injury finally landed him on injured reserve and required surgery. When healthy, Gronk is the unquestioned TE1 in fantasy and it's not particularly close. Concern over his health is warranted (he's had at least three reported back surgeries), but his upside keeps him atop our rankings. Since 2010 he leads all tight ends with five double-digit touchdown seasons, and only three other players have two or more ( Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates). The addition of Brandin Cooks could cut into Gronk's target share a bit, which had hovered around 20 percent in 2014 and 2015, but even with fewer looks Gronk's efficiency and scoring prowess make him the clear-cut No. 1 at his position.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 38 tgt | 25 rec | 540 yds | 3 TDs | 72.0 fantasy points

Last year's top scoring tight end, Travis Kelce was finally given the star treatment in the Chiefs' offense he deserved. Kelce became a focal point of the passing attack, receiving roughly 22 percent of the passing targets and making the most of them, with six 100-plus yard games. The only thing holding Kelce back from true superstardom is a lack of scoring opportunities, as the Chiefs spread the ball around so much, especially in the red zone. Tyreek Hill is likely to steal some high-value looks once again, but the release of Jeremy Maclin could signal a change in this becoming more of Kelce's offense. That ascent to the top option in this passing attack makes him a safe tight end to target with top-five upside.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 117 tgt | 85 rec | 1,125 yds | 4 TDs | 138.0 fantasy points

It's hard to find a more consistent tight end in fantasy than Greg Olsen. He hasn't missed a game since 2007 (his rookie year) and has posted three straight 1,000-yard seasons with an average of over five touchdowns per year in that span. In fact, he hasn't finished lower than eighth in fantasy scoring among tight ends since 2011, with three straight top-five finishes. Olsen's three touchdowns last year can likely be attributed to the down year the Panthers offense had in general, but with Cam Newton likely being much healthier after shoulder surgery, Olsen and the offense as a whole should be able to bounce back nicely. Those looking for reliable weekly tight end scoring should look no further than old G-reg.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 129 tgt | 80 rec | 1,073 yds | 3 TDs | 127.3 fantasy points

Few tight ends have flashed as much tantalizing talent as Jordan Reed in recent years. The only hangup with Reed is his health, as he's missed 11 games over the last three years and his career could be in jeopardy if he suffers another concussion. Assuming Reed stays fit for the 2017 campaign, he could push himself into new statistical heights seeing as an additional 214 targets are up for grabs in D.C. after the departures of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency. Reed is the ultimate risk-reward tight end option, but one absolutely worth taking in the middle rounds.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 89 tgt | 66 rec | 686 yds | 6 TDs | 102.6 fantasy points

Delanie Walker (predictably) regressed from his impressive 2015 totals, but in doing so gave fantasy players a clear look at his real role and potential output in the Titans' ascending offense. In both 2014 and 2016 Walker saw roughly 20 percent of the team targets and finished with around 800-900 yards. The big question for 2017 will be if he maintains that market share with rookie Corey Davis entering the fray and Rishard Matthews trying to build on his breakout 2016 season. Walker's ceiling in a more crowded passing attack takes a hit, but he's an excellent mid-tier TE1 to look for in the middle rounds.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 102 tgt | 65 rec | 800 yds | 7 TDs | 123.1 fantasy points

It took a season to iron out the kinks, but Jimmy Graham and the Seahawks finally got on the same page in 2016. Instead of simply pummeling Graham with more targets, they started putting him in more advantageous situations before targeting him. This led to Graham playing a higher percentage of his snaps in the slot (30 percent vs. 22), allowing him better mismatches. This led to both more yards per catch (14.2 vs. 12.6) and more yards after the catch per reception (5 vs. 4.8), and an uptick in red-zone efficiency (four scores on 17 targets vs. one score on eight). Graham seems entrenched as the second option behind Doug Baldwin in an offense that has increased its passing attempts in five straight seasons. Graham's ceiling won't reach that of his New Orleans days, but he now has a defined role fantasy players can rely on in Seattle.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 95 tgt | 65 rec | 923 yds | 6 TDs | 124.3 fantasy points

Similar to Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert has dazzled fantasy players with his talent and touchdown-scoring prowess for years, but injuries have routinely been his undoing. Heading into 2017, Eifert will be recovering from back surgery he received late last December, and his health will once again be in question. If healthy, Eifert is among the best red-zone threats and touchdown scorers in the league. Over the last two years, nearly 15 percent of his targets have ended up as a score. Monitor Eifert's recovery closely (right now he's unsure if he'll be ready by training camp) the rest of the summer. If all systems are go by Week 1, Eifert should climb up draft boards. But if health questions linger he'll slide into deeper rounds, carrying more risk than some might be comfortable with.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 47 tgt | 29 rec | 394 yds | 5 TDs | 69.40 fantasy points

Kyle Rudolph shattered most of his previous career bests in 2016, notching new highs in targets, catches and yards. Numerous factors contributed to this breakout in 2016, including Minnesota's shoddy offensive line play, the departure of Norv Turner, and an inept running game that forced the team into more short passes. Per ESPN Stats and Info, Rudolph ran a route on 58 percent of his snaps and was targeted on a career-high 23.7 percent of said routes. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen will likely cut into that market share more in 2017, but Rudolph's red-zone dominance figures to remain constant. He saw nearly 33 percent of Sam Bradford's targets near the end zone in 2016, offering him at least a safe scoring floor if his catches and yardage regress a bit in 2017.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 132 tgt | 83 rec | 840 yds | 7 TDs | 126.0 fantasy points

One year after catching passes from Tom Brady, Martellus Bennett somehow found a way to upgrade to a younger model -- Aaron Rodgers. The Packers offense has long needed a seam-stretching tight end, and when Jared Cook was on the field last year the whole group, and especially Rodgers, performed exponentially better. The worry with Bennett is how the targets will be distributed in Green Bay, where Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams will all be looking to get theirs as well. Projecting Bennett at about 16 percent of the targets (Jermichael Finley's 2011 share) would leave the Black Unicorn with about 94 looks, which would be 21 more than he received in New England. The upside with Bennett in the high-powered Green Bay offense is tremendous, and he could very well be the steal of plenty of fantasy drafts.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 73 tgt | 55 rec | 701 yds | 7 TDs | 113.1 fantasy points

Rookie tight ends rarely make a fantasy impact, which makes Hunter Henry's 2016 campaign even more impressive -- especially since Antonio Gates played in 14 games. Standing 6-foot-5 and boasting 4.6 speed, Henry offered Philip Rivers a more athletic mismatch than the 36-yeard old Gates. While Gates will be returning for another season, this workload split figures to shift more heavily in Henry's favor. Per Football Outsiders' Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement metric, Henry was the league's fifth-most productive tight end. Now, Rivers and Gates have a long-standing bromance that could curb Henry's statistical breakout in 2017, but Henry's fantasy ceiling in what could be one of the league's best offenses is worth chasing.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 53 tgt | 36 rec | 478 yds | 8 TDs | 109.40 fantasy points

The Colts finally found their No. 1 tight end, but it wasn't Coby Fleener or Dwayne Allen. No, it was the undrafted Jack Doyle out of Western Kentucky who emerged as the most reliable tight end of Andrew Luck's career, earning himself a three-year contract after a strong 2016 effort. With Allen now also out of the picture, Doyle should be firmly in charge of the tight end targets in Indy, though former hoops player (trope alert!) Erik Swoope might mix in here or there. With Luck healed up, this offense could really make some noise in 2017, and Doyle figures to be a key contributor. His draft price is much lower than other big-name tight ends, but Doyle's ceiling is right up there with the best of them.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 81 tgt | 50 rec | 631 yds | 3 TDs | 86.4 fantasy points

The king of late-season fantasy points, Zach Ertz once again delivered as the season began to fade away. To be specific, 58.9 percent of Ertz' fantasy points came in December and January last season, which was right on par with the 58.6 percent he racked up in that period in 2015. Every year some buy into the "Ertz breakout," but after three seasons of teasing it'll be tough to buy in again. Especially with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith coming in to eat up some targets. Fortunately for those giving Ertz another shot, he'll come at a discounted price this year in fantasy drafts.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 106 tgt | 78 rec | 816 yds | 4 TDs | 109.40 fantasy points

For the most part, Eric Ebron has been steadily improving throughout his NFL career, increasing his target, reception, yardage and yards per reception totals for three straight years. The one area he still needs work is in finding the end zone, as he's taken just one trip to the painted area in two of his three seasons. Perhaps that's set to change in 2017. Ebron is sort of entering a make-or-break year (though the team did pick up his fifth-year option) while Anquan Boldin and his 22 red-zone targets from last year have left the building. Boldin was operating as a hybrid WR-TE at times last year, and Ebron could see a number of those high-value targets roll his way. Considering his current draft price, Ebron is among the best high-end TE2s to grab late and hope he makes the leap into the top tier at his position.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 85 tgt | 61 rec | 711 yds | 1 TDs | 83.2 fantasy points

Julius Thomas went from the pinnacle of the tight end position to afterthought seemingly in the blink of an eye. That's what happens when you follow-up back-to-back 12-touchdown seasons with injury-plagued, lackadaisical efforts in Jacksonville with a combined nine scores. Thomas will now look to resurrect his career under Adam Gase in Miami. Gase was his coordinator during those 12-touchdown seasons in Denver, but Peyton Manning isn't under center in Miami, so expecting an immediate return to that level would be foolish. Still, there's reason for optimism here ... at least enough to warrant a late-round flier for Thomas in deeper leagues.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 51 tgt | 30 rec | 281 yds | 4 TDs | 52.1 fantasy points

While Antonio Gates might lack the athleticism that helped him dominate early in his career, the veteran is still a savvy player capable of producing in fantasy. He saw 40 more targets than Hunter Henry last year, but that figures to even out if not begin to flip this time around. Gates will be 37 when the season starts and battled injuries last year. He's a safe, likely touchdown-dependent TE2 but it's hard to envision too much upside with Henry ready to take over as the Chargers' No. 1 tight end.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 93 tgt | 53 rec | 548 yds | 7 TDs | 94.8 fantasy points

Zach Miller was a trendy sleeper heading into last season, but the Bears offensive woes and injuries conspired against his attempt at a breakout campaign. Entering his age-33 season and coming off a Lisfranc injury (which requires a long recovery), it may be tough to trust Miller in fantasy. Add in the fact that the team drafted Adam Shaheen, a super-athletic project at tight end, and the sun appears to be setting on Miller's fantasy relevance. He's a low-end TE2 for 2017.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 64 tgt | 47 rec | 486 yds | 4 TDs | 72.6 fantasy points

The end is near for Jason Witten's remarkable career. Last year was the first time since his rookie season (in 2003!!) that he failed to accumulate at least 700 receiving yards. With his touchdown upside minimal, Witten is best left for PPR leagues, as he's had 64-plus catches in every season accept his very first in the league.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 105 tgt | 63 rec | 851 yds | 3 TDs | 109.40 fantasy points

Rookie tight ends rarely make an impact in fantasy, but when one enters the league with the rare combination of size, athleticism, receiving skills, and blocking ability of O.J. Howard, it's worth some attention. Howard will have to compete with Cameron Brate for tight end targets, and might be a year away from being a weekly fantasy starter, but his raw talent is worth a shot in deeper leagues considering he's attached to a potentially high-flying Buccaneers offense.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: -- tgt | -- rec | -- yds | -- TDs | -- fantasy points

When it comes to rookie tight ends in 2017 blessed with immense natural gifts, David Njoku fits that bill, and might even be in a better position to succeed early than O.J. Howard. The Browns traded back into the first round to draft Njoku back in April and promptly cut veteran Gary Barnidge as a result. Njoku should see the field early and often, but his workload is a big question mark in a Browns offense still searching for its identity (and quarterback). The upside is worth chasing in deeper leagues, though, as Njoku offers a lethal size-speed combination at the position.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: -- tgt | -- rec | -- yds | -- TDs | -- fantasy points

Austin Seferian-Jenkins getting released early last season opened the door for Cameron Brate's breakout season. The 6-foot-5 tight end only saw 14 percent of the team's targets, but was a force in the red zone commanding nearly 23 percent of the targets and scoring eight touchdowns inside the 20 (second-most in the league). Unfortunately, any chance for Brate to repeat that success went out the window when the team selected O.J. Howard in the first round of the NFL Draft. That relegates Brate to low-end TE2 status as his already small portion of the passing game likely just got smaller.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 81 tgt | 57 rec | 660 yds | 8 TDs | 114.0 fantasy points

Saints tight ends had a history of dominating in fantasy ... until Coby Fleener came to town. Despite playing in all 16 games, the inconsistent Fleener managed just a 12 percent share of the team targets, amounting to 631 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-6 Fleener had fewer targets inside the 10-yard line than Michael Thomas, Travaris Cadet, Brandin Cooks, and Willie Snead. With a minute target share and poor red-zone potential Fleener is an uninspiring TE2.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 81 tgt | 50 rec | 631 yds | 3 TDs | 87.3 fantasy points

Charles Clay wasn't even a blip on the fantasy radar for much of last season, but did finish strong. In his final three games with Tyrod Taylor (we'll throw out the Week 17 EJ Manuel start), Clay was the highest-scoring tight end, notching four touchdowns and 209 yards. The odds aren't great he maintains that production into 2017, but Clay could be worth a stash in deeper leagues as the pass-catching corps in Buffalo is pretty barren behind Sammy Watkins and rookie Zay Jones.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 87 tgt | 57 rec | 552 yds | 4 TDs | 79.2 fantasy points

C.J. Fiedorowicz really didn't find his way into the Texans offense until Week 4, but from then on he was a quietly reliable PPR contributor. He averaged over seven targets, four catches and 46 yards per game in a Brock Osweiler-led offense. Averaging those 12 games for a full season puts Fiedorowicz in the 700-yard, five-touchdown range, which is fringe TE1 territory. A lot could change with a new quarterback under center, but Fiedorowicz is a nice deep sleeper to consider at the end of drafts or off waivers.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 89 tgt | 54 rec | 559 yds | 4 TDs | 79.9 fantasy points

It should surprise no one that Austin Hooper's rookie season was accompanied by little fanfare. Rookie tight ends typically don't make a big statistical impact, and Hooper was no exception (his 27 targets ranked 45th at the position). However, with Jacob Tamme out of the picture and a year of experience under his belt, the athletic Hooper could be set for a breakout campaign. Hooper is part of a crowded passing attack, so reaching for him in drafts is ill-advised. But he's certainly a player to watch in training camp and the preseason to see if is role is truly set to expand.

 </content:power-ranking>

2016 stats: 27 tgt | 19 rec | 271 yds | 3 TDs | 45.1 fantasy points

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
See all the Action

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.