2016 Fantasy Football Rankings - PPR Rankings - Tight Ends

- Updated: Sunday, August 28th

Scoring: These rankings are based on point-per-reception (PPR) scoring -- one point per 10 rushing yards, six points per rushing touchdown plus one point per reception, one point per 10 receiving yards and six points per receiving touchdown.

These rankings are from Kevin Hanson and are for the 2016 NFL season.

Here are our 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Tight End Rankings:

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Counting 10 playoff games, Gronkowski has a total of 75 touchdowns in 90 career games. And with the exception of his seven-game 2013 season, Gronk has double-digit touchdowns in five of his six NFL seasons. Gronk is one of the league's biggest mismatches and the clear-cut top option at his position. If there's any concern, it's a potential slow start (based on Gronk standards) with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension to begin the season, but Gronk is in a tier by himself atop the position group.

2. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in a total of 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. On the year, only Rob Gronkowski and Gary Barnidge scored more fantasy points than Reed. Durability is the obvious concern, but I expect Reed to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position after Gronk.

3. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Olsen followed up his first career 1,000-yard season with another (77/1,104/7) and scored fourth-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2015. The durable and consistent tight end enters 2016 as a top-three tight end.

4. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

In his third season with the Titans, Walker blew away previous career highs in receptions (94) and yards (1,088) and tied a previous career high in touchdowns (six). Walker had 52-plus yards in each of his final 12 games of the season and due to that level of consistency, he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 11 of 16 weeks last year. While he may not repeat last year's production, he's my TE5 heading into 2016.

5. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce's 2015 numbers (875 yards and five touchdowns) were very similar to his 2014 numbers (862 yards and five touchdowns). Among tight ends, only Rob Gronkowski (2,300), Greg Olsen (2,112) and Delanie Walker (1,978) have more receiving yards than Kelce (1,737) over the past two seasons.

6. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints

With 50-plus catches in each of the past three seasons, Fleener should have an opportunity to exceed that production by a considerable amount. In the team's first season without Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson essentially came out of nowhere to finish as a top-eight fantasy tight end in 2015. Playing with Drew Brees and with Watson gone, Fleener could not have landed in a better spot as a free agent.

7. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. Obviously, he'll slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum. One thing working in his favor is that coach Doug Pederson has said that he "fully expects" to feature Ertz in the red zone.

8. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars

Missing much of training camp and the first four games last season, Thomas did not make the impact that he or the team expected when they signed him to a lucrative free-agent contract. Thomas should post much better numbers in 2016 provided he can stay healthy, but he has missed multiple games in each of his three seasons as a starter.

9. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

Gates missed five games, but still finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015 at 35 years old. In fact, his 57.3 yards per game was a four-year high. If Keenan Allen stays healthy for a full season, he may average fewer yards, but he remains the favorite red-zone target of Philip Rivers and a top-12 option at the position despite heading into his age-36 season. In fact, Rivers recently stated that it's a goal to get Gates eight TDs to pass Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time by a tight end.

10. Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots

Bennett is at least a back-end TE1 heading into his first season in Foxboro as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets with Rob Gronkowski and Bennett. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end with Gronk out.

11. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns

It was the atypical 30-year-old breakout for Barnidge last season as he finished with 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which exceeded his NFL production from 2008 to 2014 combined. In fact, only Rob Gronkowski scored more fantasy points than Barnidge in standard-scoring formats (TE4 in PPR) last season. While he may not finish as a top-five producer once again, he enters the season as a viable starting tight end.

12. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Averaging a touchdown per game, Eifert finished 2015 with 52 catches for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns over 13 games and the sixth-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2015. Exceeding 53 yards in only three games with all of those games occurring by Week 5, Eifert averaged only 37.88 YPG over his final eight games played. When healthy, however, Eifert should see a per-game boost in targets given the turnover in the receiving corps. That said, durability has been an issue and there's a good chance that Eifert (ankle) won't be ready for Week 1.

13. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.

14. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Graham failed to make the impact that many expected. In fact, Russell Wilson's strong performance in the second half of the season mostly occurred with Graham injured. Starting training camp on the active/PUP list, Graham (patellar tendon) has since been activated, but it's unclear how effective he'll be coming off his significant injury.

15. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions

In his second season, Ebron finished with 47 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns. It was an up-and-down year, but he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in half of his 14 games played. Following Megatron's retirement, the former top-10 pick should be more involved in the passing game and could finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end provided he stays healthy.

16. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears

With Martellus Bennett now in New England, Miller takes over as the team's top tight end. With Bennett sidelined over the final three weeks of the season, Miller hauled in 18 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown during that span.

17. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

Missing the final three games of first season with the Bills, Clay had 51 catches for 528 yards, both of which were three-year lows, and three scores. Scoring the 20th-most fantasy points among tight ends following back-to-back top-15 seasons, Clay is expected to be more involved in the offense in 2016. I expect Clay to finish second on the team in receptions behind Watkins.

18. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

In his age-33 season, Witten finished with 77 catches for 713 yards (career-low 9.3 Y/A) and three touchdowns. While there is virtually no upside with Witten, he had 11 games with 40-plus yards. As much as that sounds like I'm setting the bar low (and I suppose I am), only four other TEs had as many such games last season: Rob Gronkowski (13), Greg Olsen (13), Travis Kelce (12) and Gary Barnidge (11).

19. Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders

OC Bill Musgrave says that Walford "has a lot of ability, so we’re looking for him to be a big part of what we do." Despite his ATV accident that required surgery, Walford says he's "more comfortable" in the offense and he should easily exceed his rookie-season production (28/329/3) in year two.

20. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers

Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Given the team's lack of offensive weapons, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season.

21. Virgil Green, Denver Broncos

Only one quarterback on the roster has thrown an NFL pass and it's possible that quarterback does not make the final 53-man roster. Playing in a TE-friendly offense and with inexperience at quarterback, Green has some upside and sleeper appeal as the team's top tight end.

22. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins

Cameron had a disappointing first season with the Dolphins and accepted a pay cut in part because Julius Thomas told Cameron that "he HAS to play for Gase." (Thomas had 24 touchdowns in 27 games over his two seasons as a starter with the Broncos.) That said, it's been a drop-filled and disappointing preseason and camp for Cameron so far.

23. Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers

Expected to start over Richard Rodgers, Cook signed a free-agent deal with the Packers and has plenty of upside although he recently had foot surgery.

24. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Here's the good news: Rudolph played a full 16-game season for the first time in three years and set a career high in receiving yards. The bad news? His career high was 495 yards. Rudolph is a low-upside TE2.

25. Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers gave Green a large contract this offseason to take over for retired Heath Miller. If (a HUGE if) Green is ready for the start of the season, he should shatter previous career highs and he has fantasy top-10 upside. Following offseason ankle surgery in January, Green still remains on the active/PUP list. Although Green denies it, reports are that he's on PUP due to recurring headaches, which could threaten his season or even his career. At a minimum, it seems more likely than not that Green will at least begin the regular season on the reserve/PUP list. If so, Jesse James would have upside as a sleeper tight end.



Here are the next 25 tight ends:

26. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
27. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
28. Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons
29. Will Tye, New York Giants
30. Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams
31. Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore Ravens
32. Jace Amaro, New York Jets
33. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
34. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
35. Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens
36. Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers
37. Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers
38. Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans
39. Niles Paul, Washington Redskins
40. Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers
41. Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
42. Darren Fells, Arizona Cardinals
43. Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders
44. Larry Donnell, New York Giants
45. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
46. Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos
47. Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals
48. Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints
49. James O'Shaughnessy, Kansas City Chiefs
50. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

- Standard-scoring Fantasy Football TE Rankings

More Rankings from Hanson: More of our 2016 fantasy football resources: Good luck in your 2016 fantasy football league(s)!