clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy football rankings, rest of season: Tight ends

Streaming tight ends really isn't working this season. What's the other option?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Picking a tight end this season has been almost impossible, unless you were one of the lucky few to get the top guys. Ultimately, what that has meant is people have become de facto streamers at tight end, picking guys in the right matchup. In Week 12, I bet far too many people were forced to use Coby Fleener, Jacob Tamme, even Niles Paul in an effort to stop the bleeding.

Those three combined for 38 receiving yards.

In short, picking a tight end on a week-to-week basis has been more sadness than happiness, and, while playing the matchups and add/dropping on a weekly basis is nice, it has not been going well.

Maybe, then, it's better to just find a guy and go with him. That's why we're here now, checking in with rest-of-season position rankings for the very end of the fantasy regular season and the fantasy playoffs.

With tight ends, it still ain't easy. So I'm doing a little thought exercise today. Divide a player's performance into four categories: "Boo," "Eh," "Huh" and "Wow." Here's how I'll define those categories for tight ends (it'd be different at other positions):

Boo: Two fantasy points or fewer. The guy played, but might as well not have.

Eh: Three to six fantasy points. It helped you, but only a little, and you're left feeling like you could've done better.

Huh: Seven to nine points. These guys probably scored a touchdown and did little else, or they had a bunch of yards. Either way, you're happy to have used them, but you aren't exactly doing back flips.

Wow: Anything in the double digits. You're happy with these guys 100 percent of the time.

There are small ranges at these spots, but when you're deciding which tight end to use, you have to nitpick. So I took the 32 tight ends owned in at least 5 percent of Yahoo! leagues (and with enough games played for a breakdown to matter) and looked at how their performance breaks down:

Player Games
played
Boo Eh Huh Wow
Jimmy Graham 11 2 2 1 6
Julius Thomas 10 3 0 3 4
Rob Gronkowski 11 0 2 3 6
Greg Olsen 11 1 3 1 6
Antonio Gates 11 3 2 2 4
Jason Witten 11 2 5 3 1
Martellus Bennett 11 2 3 2 4
Larry Donnell 11 5 1 2 3
Vernon Davis 9 6 2 0 1
Coby Fleener 11 4 2 2 3
Travis Kelce 11 2 4 3 2
Delanie Walker 10 1 4 2 3
Zach Ertz 11 4 4 1 2
Dwayne Allen 10 2 1 2 5
Heath Miller 11 6 2 1 2
Owen Daniels 10 3 4 1 2
Charles Clay 10 3 5 0 2
Jordan Reed 6 3 2 1 0
Kyle Rudolph 5 2 2 1 0
Jordan Cameron 6 2 3 0 1
Mychal Rivera 11 6 2 1 2
Jared Cook 11 5 3 2 1
Jacob Tamme 11 8 2 1 0
Ladarius Green 10 6 4 0 0
Niles Paul 11 6 4 0 1
Tim Wright 11 5 2 0 3
Garrett Graham 10 7 2 1 0
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 11 7 3 1 0
Scott Chandler 11 6 1 3 1
Jermaine Gresham 11 5 5 0 1
Jace Amaro 11 6 4 0 1
Andrew Quarless 11 6 2 2 1

Things that stood out to me:

  • Holy crap, Rob Gronkowski has been ridiculous.
  • Holy crap, Vernon Davis has been terrible.
  • The guys like Heath Miller and Mychal Rivera who are so often picked up because "heck, they always play," are the guys who get one point a bunch of times, but rarely excite you.
  • Jason Witten hasn't done much on the top end, but he also hasn't bottomed out like Miller/Rivera. He's the guy you scowl about, start, then shrug when he's just acceptable.

  • And, the reason for my little exercise, Tim Wright. I've been driving this point home for weeks, and will probably retire it after this. Once you're past the top six or seven tight ends, these guys are all just about equally likely to put up a "Boo" or an "Eh" game. And when you're stuck down there, all you want is a guy who could pop. You want the best chance you can get for a touchdown. Wright has six touchdowns this year, on only 23 catches.

    I can't speak for our other rankers, two of whom had Wright 25th among tight ends, one of whom didn't have him ranked at all. But for me, he's No. 14. If I am stuck with a Zach Ertz or a Kyle Rudolph, I'm looking at my roster and seeing a guy who might put up two points. I'd much rather just accept those occasional awful games and capitalize on the Tim Wright touchdowns.

    That said, let's go to the Rest of Season rankings:

    Tight end rankings, rest of season

    (DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)

    Rank Consensus Team DK DC JD SK
    1 Rob Gronkowski NE 1 1 1 2
    2 Jimmy Graham NO 2 2 2 1
    3 Julius Thomas DEN 3 3 3 7
    4 Antonio Gates SD 6 4 11 3
    5 Greg Olsen CAR 4 6 4 13
    6 Delanie Walker TEN 9 7 5 6
    7 Martellus Bennett CHI 10 8 7 4
    8 Jason Witten DAL 5 11 9 5
    9 Travis Kelce KC 11 5 6 8
    10 Larry Donnell NYG 7 9 10 9
    11 Owen Daniels BAL 12 10 8 10
    12 Coby Fleener IND 13 16 14 11
    13 Dwayne Allen IND 8 12 19 19
    14 Mychal Rivera OAK 23 15 12 12
    15 Jordan Reed WAS 17 13 20 18
    16 Kyle Rudolph MIN 24 18 13 15
    17 Charles Clay MIA 21 19 16 14
    18 Heath Miller PIT 15 14 17 --
    19 Vernon Davis SF -- 20 18 17
    20 Zach Ertz PHI 20 17 23 22
    21 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TAM 25 22 15 24
    22 Jared Cook STL -- 23 22 16
    23 Jace Amaro NYJ -- 21 21 21
    24 Tim Wright NE 14 25 25 --
    25 Scott Chandler BUF 19 24 24 23
    -- Jordan Cameron CLE 16 -- -- --
    -- Marcedes Lewis JAC 22 -- -- 20
    -- Niles Paul WAS 18 -- -- --
    -- John Carlson ARI -- -- -- 25

    ★★★

    Join FanDuel to earn big money in one-week fantasy leagues. Sign-up and earn a 100% deposit bonus.