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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings – Tight Ends

A list of the top tight ends to draft for the 2016 fantasy football season.

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1. Rob Gronkowski (NE)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2016 Projections View Rob Gronkowski's 2016 projected stats.

Another chapter was added to the Legend of Gronk last season. Gronkowski set an NFL record for tight ends with his fifth double-digit TD season, averaged 16.3 YPC to tie (Vernon Davis) for the highest of any 50-catch TE since 1979 and led the position in yards for the third time in his career, a number only three TE since the merg-er have exceeded. And those three - Tony Gonzalez (7), Shannon Sharpe (5), Todd Christensen (4)- needed 17, 14 and 10 seasons, respectively. Gronk has played six (and two were cut short by injury). He led TE last season with five 100-yard games (no other had more than three) and never went more than two weeks without scoring. He also led the position with 22 catches of 20-plus yards (4th in the NFL) and five of 40-plus. All of which is to illustrate the obvious Gronk is unstoppable. His burst in and out of cuts, huge catch radius, massive hands, speed and size are too much for slower linebackers and smaller DBs, whether it's at the goal line (11 targets inside the 10, five TDs) or in the open field (549 YAC, 1st). A knee injury cost him Week 13, but health is less a concern this year after consecutive 15-game seasons. And while the Patriots signed Martellus Bennett, the last time Gronk shared the position for a full season - in 2011 with Aaron Hernandez - he went 90-1,327-17.

2. Jordan Reed (WAS)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2016 Projections View Jordan Reed's 2016 projected stats.

Reed finally had a healthy season last year, for the most part, and delivered on what he had teased his first two years. He led the position in catch rate, snagging 76.3 per-cent of his targets, and touchdowns and tied for second in catches. At 6-3, 237, Reed is not a big TE, but he plays big in the red zone. Ten of his 11 TDs came inside the 20, where he caught a TE-high 16 passes on 21 targets, including 9-of-11 inside the 10 for a position-leading seven scores. He also benefited from the return of DeSean Jackson, who missed all but 13 plays of the first seven games. With Jackson stretching the field beginning in Week 9, Reed was free to work underneath, increasing his YPT from 7.4 to 9.0 and becoming Kirk Cousins' favorite target. He sprained an MCL in Week 11, but that didn't stop him down the stretch, as he came up biggest in the fantasy playoffs, averaging nine receptions and 111 yards with five TDs in Weeks 14-16. Health is still a concern, however. Reed missed two games with what is believed to be his fourth concussion, at least. His previous concussion caused him to miss six games in 2013. As long as he stays healthy, though, he should get the chance to produce. Jackson isn't much of a red-zone threat, Pierre Garcon will be 30 when the season starts, and while Josh Doctson is 6-2, he's a rookie.

3. Greg Olsen (CAR)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2016 Projections View Greg Olsen's 2016 projected stats.

After his first 1,000-yard season, Olsen entered last year staring regression in the face as the Panthers, finally, looked to have more receiving options. But Kelvin Benjamin suffered a season-ending injury and second-round pick Devin Funchess failed to develop, leaving Olsen as the only reliable target for Cam Newton. Olsen saw 28.2 percent of the team's targets, second most to Cleveland's Gary Barnidge among TE. In fact, he was six catches from matching Carolina's next two leading receivers (Ted Ginn, Jerricho Cotchery) combined. All of which led to career highs in nearly every category. The Panthers use the versatile Olsen all over the field, but last year they took better advantage of his 4.51 speed as he was targeted in the 21-30-yard range 14 times, up from two in 2014, helping him post 20 receptions of 20-plus yards (2nd), 14.3 YPC (2nd) and 8.9 YPT (3rd) - all career highs by a good margin. At 6-5, 253, Olsen was a steady presence in the red zone, as well, garnering 18 targets, nine inside the 10 - this on a team that led the league in red-zone rushes by 23 -though he only converted four. The Panthers will continue to use Olsen more as a wide receiver than a tight end, but Benjamin is expected to be healthy for camp and Funchess should improve in Year 2, providing more competition for targets.

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Tight End Rankings

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