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2017 Fantasy Football Rankings – Tight Ends

A list of the top tight ends to draft for the 2017 fantasy football season.

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1. Rob Gronkowski (NE)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2017 Projections View Rob Gronkowski's 2017 projected stats.

When Gronkowski plays a full season, or the majority of one, he's money in the bank. He's ranked first, fifth, first and first in tight-end PPR scoring in his four most productive seasons, and one of those years was only an 11-game campaign. His touchdown rate was oddly down last year, but he also averaged a ridiculous 21.6 yards per catch. With Tom Brady still churning along at a high rate, Gronkowski enters every season as a threat to score double-digit touchdowns. But the obvious fly in the ointment is that Gronk gets hurt, a lot. He missed 24 games in the last five years, with a laundry list of injuries: forearm, back, hip, hamstring. Last year it was a strained back, a punctured lung and a pectoral strain. Gronkowski looked healthy at press time; he was a full participant at May OTAs, and the team didn't even bother to hold him out of rain-marred practice sessions. Spring is the most optimistic time on the NFL calendar, but it's encouraging to see Gronkowski doing his thing without reservation. Tight end is one of the biggest collision positions in the NFL, so almost anyone you grab is going to be subject to risk. Are you upside- or floor-driven with your early picks? That probably answers how to approach Gronkowski in 2017.

2. Jimmy Graham (GB)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2017 Projections View Jimmy Graham's 2017 projected stats.

Graham looked out of place during his injury-riddled Seattle debut two seasons ago, but he made an inspiring comeback last year. He tripled his touchdown count, spiked his YPC and was back among the top four on the TE scoring board after a one-year absence. Anyone in the Seattle passing game has to accept that he's trading volume for efficiency. Graham averaged 138 targets during his four busiest New Orleans seasons, but he didn't even make 100 last year, despite playing all 16 games. Graham did rank third among tight ends in red-zone targets, though he only caught six and turned four into scores. One of the takeaways from Graham's 2016 effort -- a torn patellar tendon is no longer a death sentence. That's the injury he encountered in 2015, but he didn't look like a compromised player at all last year. His 4.56 speed from the 2010 Combine mostly seems to be intact, and at 6-7, 265, he's still one of the premier athletes at a position loaded with physical marvels. Four Pro Bowl trips in six years is heady stuff, and Graham should have plenty in the tank entering his age-30 season (he turns 31 around Thanksgiving). But with Seattle's offensive philosophy, Graham doesn't carry the same type of upside he had in the pinball New Orleans days.

3. Travis Kelce (KC)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2017 Projections View Travis Kelce's 2017 projected stats.

For the most part, 2016 goes down as a glorious breakthrough year for Kelce, a 6-5, 260-pound athletic freak who is often compared to Rob Gronkowski. He led all tight ends in yards last year and was just one catch from the TE reception crown (Dennis Pitta finished first; use that as your bar bet, then drink for free all night). With Jamaal Charles out of the mix and Jeremy Maclin also injured much of the year, the Chiefs were forced to move outside of their comfort zone and Kelce was a major beneficiary. Alas, it still felt like some production was left on the table. Kelce only hauled in eight of his 18 red-zone targets, and four touchdowns is a light return for someone who catches 85 balls. Part of the blame goes to Alex Smith, who isn't used to making any kind of throw unless it's wide open. But at the end of the day, we're still going to approach Kelce with optimism. The arrow is pointing up after he topped 100 yards in five of seven games to close out 2016, pushing him to a No. 1 finish among tight ends in any reasonable format. And with Jeremy Maclin gone, there's potential for growth beyond last season's 117 targets. Smith isn't going to keep him from fantasy greatness, nor is Andy Reid. Heading into his age-28 season, Kelce is one of the few tight ends worth an early selection.

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Tight End Rankings

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Offensive Line Rankings

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