The tight end position was, well, let's just say it's seen better days in the realm of fantasy football. This past season, only seven players scored more than 150 PPR points, which is the fewest since 2008, and several of the tight ends who finished in the top 10 were unreliable at best. Regardless, let's dig a little deeper into who was the most productive when the football was in their hands. And no, I'm not talking about just overall points scorers.
While the final scoring leaders offer a look at how well a player performed in the stat sheets, it fails to offer us a complete picture of how good the player really was for fantasy fans. In the case of the tight ends, here are the position's top 12 players (minimum 40 touches) in fantasy points per touch:
1. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts (3.22 fantasy points per touch): Ebron is coming off a career season that saw him average a touchdown for every 4.9 times he touched that football. That's pretty strong, and some might suggest unsustainable for next season. Still, Ebron is going to be well within the TE1 mix in 2019.
3. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (2.86): Kelce is now the unquestioned king of the fantasy tight ends, finishing first in PPR points for the third straight season. His 1,336 yards would have also set a new NFL record at the position if it weren't for Kittle. Kelce will be a second-rounder in 2019.
5. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (2.79): Have we seen the last of the "great Gronk?" His point-per-touch average dropped 0.51 points compared to last season, and his three touchdowns is a career low (minimum 13 games). If he decides to return for another season, Gronkowski won't be a top-50 pick.
7. Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers (2.66): You might not believe it, but McDonald was 10th in PPR points among tight ends last season (and he had more points than Gronkowski). Still, he's not going to be in the TE1 conversation in 2019 drafts. Instead, expect him to be a late-round backup at best.
9. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (2.57): Njoku ranked eighth in touches and ninth in PPR points among tight ends, but he was widely unreliable with nine games finishing 21st or worse at the position. Still, the Browns offense has a ton of potential for next season so Njoku will remain a No. 1 option.
Notes:O.J. Howard didn't make our list due to his lack of overall touches (34), but his 3.54 points-per-touch average was impressive nonetheless. Injuries are the only thing that will keep him from putting up career numbers next season. ... Greg Olsen also missed our required touch total for this list, as the once-durable veteran has now missed 16 combined games over the last two seasons. What's amazing is that Olsen hadn't missed a single game in his previous nine seasons. While he plans to return to the gridiron in 2019, Olsen's fantasy value is pointing downward. ... Austin Hooper was the sixth-best tight end based on PPR points last season, but he wasn't reliable. In fact, 57 percent of his points came in just five games. Hooper also saw a slight decline in his PPT average (2.30) compared to 2017 (2.44). ... Jordan Reed finally stayed healthy for a season (well, mostly healthy), but his 2.22 points-per-touch average wasn't what you would call impressive. He'll be a borderline No. 1 fantasy tight end in 2019.