Top 30 fantasy tight ends ranked by 2015 FPPT

Tight end was supposed to have been one of the thinnest positions in fantasy football last season. Instead, it thrived.

A total of four players recorded over 1,000 yards, and six finished with over 150-plus fantasy points. So, can we find any hidden gems or potential busts for the upcoming 2016 campaign? Let's find out. In the fourth and final part of a four-part series on positional effectiveness (quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers) it's time to move on to the position that could bring with it a ton of draft bargains.

Here are the top 30 fantasy tight ends from 2015 ranked not by total points, but by their FPPT average.

1. Tyler Eifert, Bengals (2.68 FPPT): Eifert broke out in the stat sheets last season, finishing sixth in fantasy points among tight ends despite missing three games due to injuries. He was an absolute touchdown machine too, finding the end zone once for every four touches he recorded. Eifert was also targeted 16 times in the red zone, making him a valuable asset.

2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (2.55 FPPT): Gronkowski's rank should come as no surprise, as he was targeted 120 times and boasted a high touch-to-touchdown ratio (7.9). He was also targeted 19 times in the red zone, so Tom Brady makes the most of his targets to the big man from Arizona. Gronkowski is the lone tight end who is worth a top-30 overall pick in drafts.

3. Zach Miller, Bears (2.17 FPPT): Deep sleeper, anyone? Miller didn't see much action in the first seven games of 2015, but he came on in the second half with five touchdowns on a mere 31 catches (6.2 ratio). With Martellus Bennett now in New England, Miller figures to take on a bigger role in Chicago's offense and has some nice late-round potential for owners.

4. Gary Barnidge, Browns (2.00 FPPT): Was there a bigger sleeper in fantasy football last season than Barnidge? He went from non-existent on the fantasy landscape to a superstar, finishing second in points among tight ends. Barnidge was second in targets at his position as well, and finished as the most targeted tight end in the red zone (8.7 touch-to-touchdown ratio).

5. Crockett Gillmore, Ravens (1.98 FPPT): Gillmore didn't touch the ball a whole heck of lot last season, posting 33 catches (47 targets) in 10 games. He did find the end zone once for every 8.25 times he hauled in a pass, but that won't matter much with Maxx Williams and Ben Watson both in the mix for targets at the position. Gillmore is likely to be undrafted.

6. Greg Olsen, Panthers (1.95 FPPT): Olsen has emerged into one of the best tight ends in fantasy land, so it's no surprise to see him ranked among the top players in points-per-touch average. The 2015 campaign was his best based on points too, as he raised his FPPT average from 1.63 to 1.95 (2014). He's also scored no fewer than six times a season since 2012.

7. Ladarius Green, Chargers (1.92 FPPT): I can see the stars in the eyes of fantasy fans now. In the four games Green played last season without Antonio Gates, he averaged almost 11 fantasy points and scored 2.31 points per touch. Now in the Steel City and without Martavis Bryant in the mix, Green figures to be a popular breakout candidate in fantasy drafts.

8. Jordan Reed, Redskins (1.81 FPPT): Reed had a slow start to last season, but what he did in his final 10 games was nothing short of spectacular. Over that time, he posted 63 touches with 10 touchdowns (6.3 touch-to-touchdown ratio) and averaged almost two full points per touch. While injuries are still a concern, Reed has vaulted himself into a top-50 overall choice.

9. Eric Ebron, Lions (1.78 FPPT): Can Ebron meet his statistical upside next season? That remains to be seen, but his FPPT average is at least reason for optimism ... as is the potential for more targets in the pass attack without Calvin Johnson in the mix. Ebron, who scored a touchdown for every 9.4 times he caught the football, will be worth a late-round pick.

10. Richard Rodgers, Packers (1.76 FPPT): The fact that Rodgers finished in the top-10 in FPPT average last season could bode well for Jared Cook in 2016. Rodgers scored eight touchdowns (or one for every 7.25 catches), but his role in and around the red zone is likely to decline with Cook now in the mix. In fact, Rodgers is all but undraftable right now.

11. Vance McDonald, 49ers (1.69 FPPT): No one knows what the Niners offense is going to look like at this point, but McDonald looks like the favorite to start at tight end ... at least for now. If he is used in the red zone under new coach Chip Kelly, McDonald could have some daily fantasy value.

12. Antonio Gates, Chargers (1.66 FPPT): Gates saw a massive drop in his FPPT average compared to 2014, but that's to be expected after his decline in touchdowns. With Green out of the mix, however, the veteran should see consistent targets in the San Diego offense. He remains a No. 1 tight end.

13. Julius Thomas, Jaguars (1.64 FPPT): Like Gates, Thomas' drop in end-zone visits causes a parallel drop in his FPPT average compared to 2014. However he still averaged a touchdown for every 9.2 catches and the prospect of playing a full season in a pass-laden offense is a positive thought.

14. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (1.63 FPPT): Kelce might have finished seventh in fantasy points among tight ends last season, but more was expected from the talented pass catcher. He wasn't much of a threat to score, as Kelce found the end zone once for every 14.4 catches he made in the passing attack.

T-15. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (1.62 FPPT): Rudolph caught a touchdown for every 9.8 receptions he made last season, which wasn't good enough for a player whose value is dependent on end-zone visits. Rudolph, who had nine scores in 2012, has now averaged just 3.6 touchdowns per year in the last three years.

T-15. Jordan Cameron, Dolphins (1.62 FPPT): The more we see (or don't see) from Cameron, the more it seems like his breakout 2013 campaign was a fluke. Since then, he's averaged 55.5 fantasy points a season and 1.88 fantasy points per touch. Don't expect a huge turnaround under coach Adam Gase.

17. Delanie Walker, Titans (1.52 FPPT): No tight end in the league had more targets (133) than Walker last season, and it's that volume of opportunities that's a big part of what Walker brings to fantasy fans. In his final 10 games, the veteran averaged almost two full fantasy points per touch.

18. Benjamin Watson, Saints (1.57 FPPT): Watson finished as a top-10 fantasy tight end last season, but his move from New Orleans to Baltimore won't help his fantasy value. While a rise in FPPT average is possible, the veteran's targets figure to fall with Williams and Crockett in the pass attack.

19. Owen Daniels, Broncos (1.52 FPPT): Daniels, who finished 21st in fantasy points among tight ends, was productive in a small number of games. In fact, he averaged an awful 0.56 fantasy points per touch with no touchdowns in his final eight contests. There's not very much value here anymore.

20. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks (1.51 FPPT): Let me give you a point of reference on how much of a bust Graham was last season. In his previous three seasons with the Saints, he finished with an FPPT average no lower than 1.70 including a 2.53 clip in 2013. I still consider Graham a major fantasy risk.

21. Will Tye, Giants (1.49 FPPT): Tye scored three times and averaged a respectable 1.82 fantasy points per touch over his final six games of last season.
22. Charles Clay, Bills (1.39 FPPT): Clay has averaged no fewer than 1.40 fantasy points per touch in each of his last two years. He's no more than a TE2.
23. Coby Fleener, Colts (1.28 FPPT): Fleener averaged almost 2.5 fantasy points per touch in 2014. Imagine what he could do with Drew Brees and the Saints.
24. Zach Ertz, Eagles (1.27 FPPT): Over his final five contests of last season, Ertz averaged 10 targets and better than 1.5 fantasy points per reception.
25. Jared Cook, Rams (1.23 FPPT): Cook's regression as a fantasy tight end continued in St. Louis last season, but better things should await in Green Bay.
26. Jacob Tamme, Falcons (1.22 FPPT): Tamme posted a career-best 657 yards last season, but the fact that he scored one touchdown battered his FPPT average.
27. Martellus Bennett, Bears (1.17 FPPT): In case you're wondering, Aaron Hernandez averaged 1.52 fantasy points per touch in his final year in New England.
28. Jason Witten, Cowboys (1.13 FPPT): Witten's time as a reliable fantasy tight end is all but over, but he should be somewhat better with Tony Romo back.
29. Mychal Rivera, Raiders (1.06 FPPT): Rivera, a one-time deep fantasy sleeper candidate himself, has now lost that status to his teammate Clive Walford.
30. Vernon Davis, 49ers/Broncos (1.04 FPPT): It's hard to believe that just three short years ago, Davis held a fantasy points per touch average of 3.09.

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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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