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2017 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings – Tight Ends

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Greg Olsen (CAR)

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

Olsen's initials are GO but OG might be more appropriate. He plays one of the most physically demanding -- and injury-riddled -- positions in the NFL, but somehow he hasn't missed a game since 2007. Just showing up this often is worthy of our praise, but we'll double down on the adoration, given how productive Olsen is. His touchdown count was a disappointment in 2016, but he was fourth in catches at the position and second in yards. It was enough to make Olsen the No. 3 TE in PPR scoring (No. 2 in standard). Here's how he's ranked the last five seasons: third, fifth, fifth, seventh, seventh. Olsen is also the only tight end in league history to top 1,000 yards receiving three consecutive years, showing no sign of aging even as he prepares for his age-32 season. The Panthers added two notable pass-catching threats in the draft -- RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Curtis Samuel -- so there might be a bit more competition for the ball this year. But we're willing to bet Olsen lands in the 120-130 range for targets -- like he has for three years running -- and last year's touchdown count was the low end of Olsen's range. You're making one of the safest picks imaginable when you cut the check on Carolina's veteran.

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