It’s been a true pleasure running through this top ten positional rankings series. Getting to glamour and rave about the amazing young talent we have in our game has me more excited than ever to get the season underway.
In today’s edition, which is, unfortunately, the final one, we have ourselves an especially interesting group of tight ends. With four players age 23 or younger, and five who are at least 28, there’s a deep pool of talent available for rebuilding and contending owners alike.
Let’s dig into our top ten dynasty fantasy football tight ends!
This series will take us through the top ten of the four major positions and will be updated every July and January. Consider this the 2018 Pre-Season Edition.
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1) Travis Kelce, TE KC | 2017 Finish: TE 1 | Age: 28
Let’s just review some numbers. Since 2014, Travis Kelce has placed as a top-eight tight end four times, finished as the top scoring TE twice, and has missed a total of one game. That’s just about as impressive as it gets. As we look into 2018 and beyond for the former Cincinnati Bearcat, we shouldn’t expect anything less than continued excellence. Until proven otherwise, Kelce is the most valuable tight end in dynasty.
2) Rob Gronkowski, TE | 2017 Finish: TE 2 | Age: 29
Rob Gronkowski may just be the best tight end to ever strap on the shoulder pads. The man we affectionately call “Gronk” dominates in every facet of the game. As long as Tom Brady is back behind center, he should continue to be the best bet in fantasy to finish as the TE1 at years end. Despite his success and relatively young age, retirement talks have been hot surrounding the eight-year vet for a while now. Gronk is a risk, but for a contending team looking to put themselves over the edge, he may just be your best option.
3) Zach Ertz, TE PHI | 2017 Finish: TE 3 | Age: 27
It wasn’t long ago that I was explaining why I was selling Zach Ertz. After further research and thought, my mind may be beginning to change. I previously painted a picture of a quality, yet overhyped tight end coming off a career year that would be very difficult to repeat. However, now, I like to think he’s here to stay. Ertz has always been a yardage machine. If he can follow up his eight touchdown 2017 with semi-similar output this fall, he’ll be right back in tier one once again next summer.
4) Evan Engram, TE NYG | 2017 Finish: TE 5 | Age: 23
The baby of the group. Evan Engram may be about a half a decade younger than Kelce, Gronk, and Ertz, but he’s got more than enough talent and proven production to belong in the top tier. Engram’s polish as a receiver and surprising touchdown totals made him a must start by the end of his rookie season. Going into year two, look for Engram to once again place in the top ten with ease.
5) David Njoku, TE CLE | 2017 Finish: TE 24 | Age: 22
I’m really excited to see David Njoku in this newly constructed Browns offense. The rookie out of Miami quietly had an inspiring first-year campaign, and we have to believe this is only the beginning. Njoku has all the talent of a future high-end TE1, and at 22 years old, has one of the brightest futures in the NFL. The hype is very real. It’s time to go all in on Njoku.
6) Hunter Henry, TE LAC | 2017 Finish: TE 14 | Age: 23
I know. It’s hard to get very excited about a player who has zero value in 2018. But in two seasons as a Charger, Hunter Henry has done nothing but show that he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. The 2016 second-rounder has yet to finish as a TE1, but now that Antonio Gates is out of the picture in Los Angeles, Henry should have no problem finishing in the top-12 on a yearly basis.
7) O.J. Howard, TE TB | 2017 Finish: TE 21 | Age: 23
I’m just counting down the days to when O.J. Howard is the undisputed starter in Tampa Bay. The Alabama product was the first tight end taken in the ridiculously stacked 2017 class, and like Njoku, has all the tools he needs to become an every-week difference maker. Howard has already proven himself to be a legitimate red zone threat. As long as his pass-play snaps continue to increase, we can expect his receptions and yardage to see a healthy uptick as well.
8) Kyle Rudolph, TE MIN | 2017 Finish: TE 8 | Age: 28
There’s really nothing not to like about Kyle Rudolph. Is he a sexy pick? No. But it’s hard to find someone with as much as he’s got to offer at this point. Rudolph is still very much in his prime, is in a great situation in Minnesota, and is coming off two consecutive top-eight finishes. The former Notre Dame star has never been one to rack up the yards. But if he can keep up the high touchdown totals, he’ll continue to be a formidable TE1.
9) Jimmy Graham, TE GB | 2017 Finish: TE 6 | Age: 31
It’s really hard to believe that Jimmy Graham is 31 years old. It seems like just yesterday that after an unbelievably good 2013, he was being considered by many as the best tight end in football. Am I the only one who wishes he was still a Saint? The connection between him and Drew Brees was among the most fun to watch in the league, and it’s just too bad that it got cut short.
While his 1,000-yard seasons are almost certainly behind him, I’m hopeful that he and Aaron Rodgers can quickly develop chemistry in the red-zone. Don’t be surprised if Graham makes it back-to-back seasons with double-digit touchdowns this fall.
10) Greg Olsen, TE CAR | 2017 Finish: TE 49/Injury | Age: 32
Isn’t this the same guy who auditioned to be an analyst for Monday Night Football just a few months ago? Unfortunately, yes. Luckily, impending retirement talks are just about the only negative aspect of Greg Olsen’s value. With injury history, production, situation, and talent all on his side, he’s very well deserving of his top ten billing. His age is obviously unideal. But if we can get even two more seasons out of him as a high-quality TE1, I have no issue paying this kind of price to get him.
Have a question about your team, a current player, or a potential trade? Please leave a comment below. I’m always glad to interact with readers. If you have a more specific and in-depth question, or would like advice for your team that you want to talk more about, just shoot me an email at [email protected] I hope you enjoyed the article!