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2013 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings – Tight Ends

A list of the top tight ends to draft for the 2013 fantasy football season in PPR leagues.

1. Jimmy Graham (NO)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Jimmy Graham's 2013 projected stats.

While Graham failed to live up to 2011's lofty expectations, he still had an impressive season. He nearly topped 1,000 yards receiving in 15 games, and his nine touchowns were only two off his previous season's pace. His 135 targets ranked second among tight ends, though his per-target average dipped 1.5 yards last season. While part of his regression from 2011 was probably due to missing coach and offensive mastermind Sean Payton, a bigger factor was a nagging wrist injury during the second half of the season; after scoring eight touchdowns in his first nine games, he scored only once more in Week 17. The wrist also contributed to an NFL-high 14 dropped passes. Graham underwent wrist surgery in January and should be ready for the start of the season. An athletic player, Graham uses his 6-7 frame to go up and get the ball in traffic. He also has enough speed to outrun opposing defenses as evidenced by his 32 catches of 20-plus yards the last two seasons. It also helps to have an accurate passer in Drew Brees, who for the second consecutive season attempted more passes to Graham than anyone else on the team.

2. Rob Gronkowski (NE)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Rob Gronkowski's 2013 projected stats.

Gronkowski was putting up historically good numbers for the second year in a row when a broken forearm derailed him in Week 11. He missed the next five games before returning Week 17 only to break his arm again in the divisional round of the playoffs. He ultimately required four arm surgeries, as an infection complicated matters. When healthy Gronkowski was easily the league's best tight end. He averaged 13.2 fantasy points per game in standard formats, tops among tight ends and third among all receivers, and his 11 receiving touchdowns ranked fourth among all receivers this despite playing only 11 games. At 6-6, 265, Gronkowski is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Using his size, Gronkowski can cut inside or out, shielding the defender from making a legal play on the ball. As a result he's made several highlight-reel diving catches in the end zone of which few tight ends are capable. Gronkowski's 17 red-zone targets last year were second among tight ends to Heath Miller, who had only three more despite playing four more games. The bottom line: Gronkowski's health is the only thing capable of slowing him down, and it just might as he also had back surgery in mid-June that typically requires a 12-week recovery, putting his return date sometime in September. As a result, there's a decent chance Gronkowski misses a game or two, and it's even possible the team places him on the PUP list, forcing him to sit out the season's first six weeks.

3. Jason Witten (DAL)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Jason Witten's 2013 projected stats.

Despite a preseason spleen injury that limited him to eight catches in the first three weeks, Witten finished 2012 with 110 receptions, an NFL record for tight ends. He led the position in targets with a career-high 149 and topped 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his career. Somehow, he scored only three touchdowns, though, his lowest total since his rookie year. He now has just eight touchdowns the last two seasons, revealing Tony Romo's tendency to look elsewhere inside the red zone, especially from in close Witten had only two looks inside the 10 and none inside the five. Heading into his eighth season, Witten has never missed a game. He isn't the fastest player but runs crisp routes and has reliable hands. The emergence of Dez Bryant along with an occasionally healthy Miles Austin allows Witten to work between the numbers without being double-teamed. Witten should again get his yards he's averaged more than 1,000 the last six years but the nine touchdowns he scored in 2010 continue to look like an outlier.

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