Good tight ends in fantasy football are hard to come by. Last season, only 9 tight ends had over 100 fantasy football points and Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots was the only player with over 150. The top 12 tight ends averaged only 7.4 points per game.
There are only two or three tight ends worth taking in the first three rounds. Any other ones will probably end up being a reach, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. I know the margin of victory in my games can often be between 5-7 points, so a tight end who can get an extra score or another 1-2 receptions for 15-25 yards might be the difference between the playoffs and the consolation bracket.
With much further ado, here are the top five fantasy football tight ends for 2015:
1. Rob Gronkowski
This one is a no-brainer. Coming off a season where he compiled 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, Gronk will continue to put up similar numbers while leading all tight ends in fantasy football points. That is if he stays healthy, something he was able to do last season for the first time since 2011. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him go as high as the first round in some drafts, he has scored 50 touchdowns in his last 55 games.
2. Jimmy Graham
He still had 10 touchdowns but his yardage was down from 2014 and Graham didn’t have any catches over 30 yards. He was injured, nursing a shoulder injury, and he now comes to the Seattle Seahawks once again being the clear cut No. 1 receiving option. There’s no way he’s going to approach the targets or touchdowns that he did during his peak with the New Orleans Saints, but Graham is still the clear cut second-best tight end in the NFL. Russell Wilson will look his way and he will put up nice numbers.
3. Greg Olsen
Olsen had his first career 1,000-yard season last year, and was real close to being No. 2 on this list. He has been extremely consistent since being traded to the Panthers, scoring at least five touchdowns each year. The last three seasons have been the only times he gained over 800 yards and last season his chemistry with quarterback Cam Newton took off. At least 800 yards and a handful of scores is his floor this season.
4. Julius Thomas
Thomas is going to be a giant part of the Jaguars offense. He had 12 touchdowns in 13 games, while that number probably won’t be matched, he only had 489 receiving yards last season. The Jaguars will likely use him all over the field, and much higher yardage can be expected. Thomas remains a top option for fantasy football tight ends.
5. Martellus Bennett
Bennett has emerged over the last two seasons with the Bears as a massive target in the red zone. His 916 yards also showed he can do it all over the field. Another season with a couple handfuls of scores and 800 yards are so is likely to happen, no matter who or how bad his quarterback may be.
A few tight ends that didn’t make the list could be worth a late round pick. Jason Witten has been Romo’s security blanket for a long time now, and is usually good for a couple scores here and then. I’ve mentioned Jordan Reed as sleeper and if he stays healthy he can put up numbers. Travis Kelce has been the Kansas City Chiefs top option, we’ll see if that lasts with Jeremy Maclin there. Finally, Antonio Gates, suspended for a few games and aging, may be worth a late-round pick.