Tight End Drafting Advice

Tight End Advice for 2013

I think that it is pretty safe to say that there aren't going to be many break out stars like Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham this season. A lot of the elite tight ends are starting to age and get injured a lot. For that reason, I wouldn't take a tight end very high in the draft this season. If you do, take Jimmy Graham, but only if you can get him in the mid-3rd round (going to be pretty unlikely).

You should stay away from the rest of the crop of Tight Ends this season until the 5th or 6th round at the earliest. Instead, you should check which teams are targeting their TEs more often over the first two to three weeks of the regular season. There will probably be a starting TE that will go un-drafted who will show promise as a FFL starter. Especially look at the teams that target the TE in the red zone.

If you want an elite Tight End this season, I would target Jason Witten or Tony Gonzalez in the 5th round of your draft. One tight end that should get more looks this season is Jermichael Finley. Green Bay's offense has changed and he should start to see a lot more targets.

I would avoid drafting the following Tight Ends this season: Vernon Davis, Kyle Rudolph, Antonio Gates, Brandon Pettigrew, Zach Sudfeld. You should also avoid Rob Gronkowski, but this is only because he will probably be drafted to high by someone else.

Looking for a later round TE to draft? Try to get Brandon Myers (NYG), Jared Cook (StL), Greg Olsen (Car), Coby Fleener (Ind), Jordan Cameron (Cle), Mychal Rivera (Oak), or Travis Kelce (KC).

This is a year unlike any other for the Tight End position in fantasy football. What you have are two legitimate threats that score touchdowns in bunches: Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. Both of these guys should outscore more than 2/3 of the running backs on a weekly basis.

Don't be surprised to see these guys go off of the board in the mid-second to mid-third rounds. This is a lot higher than I've ever taken or suggested to take a TE before. Even back when Antonio Gates was far and away the best TE, I only would suggest 5th or 6th round pick for him.

However, both of these players act as legitimate wide receivers on these two teams and they go to both often in the red zone.

If you do not get one of these two Tight Ends, don't reach for one until the start of the 6th round. The rest of the pack just doesn't have the consistent production that Gronk and Graham do.

There is a group of Tight Ends that are really close to each other in talent and potential: Antonio Gates, Aaron Hernendez, Brandon Pettigrew, Jermichael Findley, Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez. That makes a total of 8 accepted/great starting TEs by my count.

If you see these tight ends start to go fast, make sure you pick up one before it is too late. Otherwise, you may be going week to week with your TE and may need to make up scoring in other positions.

Previous Tight End Advice

Tight Ends are traditionally a question mark when it comes to most fantasy football owners. Simply stated, there aren’t enough consistently productive tight ends in the NFL; there aren’t even enough for every fantasy owner in your league to have one.

Most NFL teams don’t have large scoring roles for the tight end position, so it’s important to find a tight end that is a basic part of his team’s passing game.

So when should you draft your team’s tight end?

Inevitably, someone will take Antonio Gates in the 3rd or 4th round of almost any fantasy football draft. If you draft him, it may pay off because Gates will be by far the most productive tight end. Make sure before you pick him that there aren’t any great running backs left on the board. Antonio Gates is on par with or better than most wide receivers in the league.

If you don’t draft Antonio Gates, try drafting one of the second class tight ends in the league, as they will be the only other consistent scorers at the tight end position, save a couple of sleepers. In most fantasy football drafts, plan on drafting these tight ends between the 6th through 8th rounds.

In the late rounds of the fantasy football draft, any tight end that you draft is risky. Once the known point scoring tight ends are gone, the only players left won’t be worth the pick. It will probably be better to watch for free agent tight ends after the first week or two of the football season.