RankingsJune 10, 2013

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Dynasty Tier Breakdown: Tight Ends

By Stever

This final installment of Dynasty Tier Breakdown will look at tight ends. These rankings are intended for 0.5 PPR dynasty leagues.

Tier 1
1. Jimmy Graham, NO
2. Rob Gronkowski, NE

Both Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski are on another level when it comes to tight ends. With Sean Payton back as the Saints’ head coach, look for Graham to have a bounce-back season. The health of Rob Gronkowski is a concern, as he only played in 11 games in 2012. He is scheduled for back surgery in mid-June. It is something to keep an eye on. Graham and Gronkowski carry WR1 price-tag in dynasty.

Tier 2
3. Aaron Hernandez, NE
4. Jason Witten, DAL
5. Kyle Rudolph, MIN

Aaron Hernandez has yet to play all sixteen games in his three-year career. When he is on the field though, he can put up elite numbers. Jason Witten continues to produce top-five stats in the Dallas offense. He recently turned 31, but he should continue to get plenty of targets. Kyle Rudolph will be entering his third season in 2013. He has shown plenty of promise, but his upside is capped with Christian Ponder at quarterback.

Tier 3
6. Jared Cook, STL
7. Vernon Davis, SF
8. Dennis Pitta, BAL
9. Greg Olsen, CAR
10. Jermichael Finley, GB
11. Tyler Eifert, CIN
12. Tony Gonzalez, ATL
13. Martellus Bennett, CHI

Now with the Rams, Jared Cook should be used plenty in the passing game, which was not the case in Tennessee. When Colin Kaepernick took over, Vernon Davis struggled; however, I expect him to have a bounce-back year with Crabtree out. Dennis Pitta will see an increase in targets without Anquan Boldin on the Ravens. Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen should continue to get targets due to the lack of weapons outside for Cam Newton. Jermichael Finley has not reached his potential. In his contract year, Finley must improve. Despite having Jermaine Gresham, the Bengals selected Tyler Eifert. His short-term outlook is not as bright as his long-term one with Gresham under contract until 2015. At 37, Tony Gonzalez is a great option for competing dynasty teams. The new Bears’ tight end Martellus Bennett should see plenty of targets.

Tier 4
14. Dwayne Allen, IND
15. Owen Daniels, HOU
16. Fred Davis, WAS
17. Brandon Pettigrew, DET
18. Jermaine Gresham, CIN
19. Jordan Cameron, CLE
20. Heath Miller, PIT
21. Travis Kelce, KC
22. Coby Fleener, IND
23. Antonio Gates, SD
24. Zach Ertz, PHI
25. Dustin Keller, MIA

Going into his second season, Dwayne Allen’s upside is capped due to teammate Coby Fleener. Owen Daniels has limited upside, but he is still a solid bye-week fill-in. Fred Davis will be a free-agent next season; he could have a decent pay-day if he proves healthy. Brandon Pettigrew had a disappointing 2012 season and should not be trusted as more then a TE2. With the addition of Eifert, Jermaine Gresham upside is limited. Jordan Cameron has plenty of hype surrounding him with Norv Tuner and Rob Chudzinski in Cleveland. I would not be surprised if he puts up TE1 numbers this season. Without Mike Wallace, Heath Miller could see an slight increase in production if he is fully recovered from suffering a torn ACL. Rookie Travis Kelce has plenty of long-term potential in Andy Reid’s offense. Despite a poor rookie performance, Coby Fleener should start to put up TE2 numbers, as he will get an increase in targets. Antonio Gates struggled with the rest of the Chargers offense in 2012. He should have a bounce-back season, but his age and injuries are a reason for concern. Something to keep an eye on is how the Eagles use Zach Ertz. He has good upside in CHip Kelly’s high-octane offense. With Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, Dustin Keller has decent potential.

Stever is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Stever in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of 11stever11
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