Player Stock Ticker
The Wolf's Big Board:     Tuesday, August 22, 2017       Tier One - The Big Three ($65 - $75)   1 ) David Johnson (ARI) RB1   2 ) Le'Veon Bell (PIT) RB2   Tier Two - High-end WR1 and RB1s ($50-$65)   3 ) Antonio Brown (PIT) WR1   4 ) Julio Jones (ATL) WR2   5 ) Mike Evans (TB) WR3   6 ) Odell Beckham JR. (NYG) WR4   7 ) LeSean McCoy (BUF) RB3   8 ) AJ Green (CIN) WR5   9 ) Jordy Nelson (GB) WR6   10 ) Melvin Gordon (LAC) RB5   11 ) Jay Ajayi (MIA) RB6   12 ) DeMarco Murray (TEN) RB7   13 ) Michael Thomas (NO) WR7   14 ) Devonta Freeman (ATL) RB8   15 ) Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) RB9   Tier 3 - Remaining WR1s, Potential RB1s, and Gronk ($38 - $45)   16 ) Dez Bryant (DAL) WR8   17 ) Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE1   18 ) Todd Gurley (LAR) RB10   19 ) DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) WR9   20 ) Amari Cooper (OAK) WR10   21 ) Brandin Cooks (NE) WR11   22 ) Isaiah Crowell (CLE) RB11   23 ) TY Hilton (IND) WR12   24 ) Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR13   25 ) Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR14   Tier 4 - High-End RB2 and WRs (with No.1 upside), Elite TEs ($25 - $35)   26 ) Jordan Howard (CHI) RB11   27 ) Marshawn Lynch (OAK) RB12   28 ) Tyreek Hill (KC) WR15   29 ) Keenan Allen (LAC) WR16   30 ) Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR17   31 ) Davante Adams (GB) WR18   32 ) Terrelle Pryor (WAS) WR19   33 ) Ty Montgomery (GB) RB13   34 ) Christian McCaffrey (CAR) RB14   35 ) Dalvin Cook (MIN) RB15   36 ) Joe Mixon (CIN) RB16   37 ) Leonard Fournette (JAX) RB17   38 ) Lamar Miller (HOU) RB18   39 ) Travis Kelce (KC) TE2   40 ) Michael Crabtree (OAK) WR20   41 ) Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR21   42 ) Carlos Hyde (SF) RB19   Tier 5 - Remaining #2 RB & WR options, elite QBs, High-End TE1s ($15 - $25)   43 ) Tom Brady (NE) QB1   44 ) Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB2   45 ) Bilal Powell (NYJ) RB20   46 ) Mark Ingram (NO) RB21   47 ) Eric Decker (TEN) WR22   48 ) Jordan Reed (WAS) TE3   49 ) Golden Tate (DET) WR23   50 ) Alshon Jeffery (PHI) WR24   51 ) Allen Robinson (JAX) WR25   52 ) Greg Olsen (CAR) TE4   53 ) DeSean Jackson (TB) WR26   54 ) Doug Martin (TB) RB22   55 ) Adrian Peterson (NO) RB23   56 ) Spencer Ware (KC) RB24   57 ) Willie Snead (NO) WR27   58 ) Danny Woodhead (BAL) RB25   59 ) Jamison Crowder (WAS) WR28   60 ) Sammy Watkins (LAC) WR29   61 ) Tevin Coleman (ATL) RB26   62 ) Mike Gillislee (NE) RB27   63 ) Jimmy Graham (SEA) TE5   64 ) Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE6   Tier 6 - Flex RBs, Upside WR3s, Quality TE1s and Elite QB ($10 - $15   65 ) Kelvin Banjamin (CAR) WR30   66 ) Julian Edelman (NE) WR31   67 ) Rob Kelley (WAS) RB28   68 ) Theo Riddick (DET) RB29   69 ) Stefon Diggs (MIN) WR32   70 ) Brandon Marshall (NYG) WR33   71 ) Jarvis Landry (MIA) WR34   72 ) DeVante Parker(MIA) WR35   73 ) LeGarrette Blount (PHI) RB30   74 ) Ameer Abdullah (DET) RB31   75 ) CJ Anderson (DEN) RB32   76 ) Zach Ertz (PHI) TE7   77 ) Hunter Henry (LAC) TE8   78 ) Martellus Bennett (GB) TE9   79 ) Jeremy Maclin (BAL) WR36   80 ) Cameron Meredith (CHI) WR37   81 ) Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) WR38   82 ) Pierre Garcon (SF) WR39   83 ) Drew Brees (NO) QB3   84 ) Matt Ryan (ATL) QB4   85 ) Delanie Walker (TEN) TE10   Tier 7 -Elite Bench Plays, Last Startable WRs and RBs, Quality QB1s   86 ) Derrick Henry (TEN) RB33   87 ) CJ Prosise (SEA) RB34   88 ) Donte Moncrief (IND) WR40   89 ) Terrance West (BAL) RB35   90 ) Thomas Rawls (SEA) RB36   91 ) James White (NE) RB37   92 ) Tyrell Williams (LAC) WR41   93 ) Randall Cobb (GB) WR42   94 ) Corey Davis (TEN) WR43   95 ) Frank Gore (IND) RB38   96 ) Jonathan Stewart (CR) RB39   97 ) Paul Perkins (NYG) RB40   98 ) Derek Carr (OAK) QB5   99 ) Jameis Winston (TB) QB6   100 ) Marcus Mariota (TEN) QB7   101 ) Kirk Cousins (WAS) QB8   102 ) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB9   103 ) Philip Rivers (LAC) QB10   104 ) Cam Newton (CAR) QB11   105 ) Dak Prescott (DAL) QB12   106 ) Russell Wilson (SEA) QB13   107 ) Duke Johnson (CLE) RB41   108 ) Kareem Hunt (KC) RB42   109 ) Andrew Luck (IND) QB14   110 ) Tyrod Taylor (BUF) QB15   111 ) Jack Doyle (IND) TE10   112 ) Kyle Rudolph (MIN) TE11   Tier 7 - High End "Penny Stock" Bench Assets   113 ) Jamaal Williams (GB) RB43   114 ) Eddie Lacy (SEA) RB44   115 ) Joe Williams (SF) RB45   116 ) Robby Anderson (NYJ) WR44   117 ) Zay Jones (BUF) WR45   118 ) John Brown (ARI) WR46   119 ) Jamaal Charles (DEN) RB46   120 ) Eric Ebron (DET) TE13   121 ) D'Onta Foreman (HOU) RB47   122 ) Taylor Gabriel (ATL) WR47   123 ) Jacquizz Rodgers (TB) RB48   124 ) Darren Sproles (PHI) RB49   125 ) Marvin Jones (DET) WR48   126 ) Ted Ginn Jr (NO) WR49   127 ) Mike Wallace (BAL) WR50   128 ) Kenny Golladay (DET) WR51   129 ) Jonathan Williams (BUF) RB50   130 ) Alvin Kamara (NO) RB51   131 ) Samaje Perine (WAS) RB52   Tier 8 - Remaining "Penny Stocks" to consider   132 ) Josh Docston (WAS) WR52   133 ) Corey Coleman (CLE) WR53   134 ) Adam Thielen (MIN) WR54   135 ) Marlon Mack (IND) RB53   136 ) Julius Thomas (MIA) TE14   137 ) Austin Hooper (ATL) TE15   138 ) Jared Cook (OAK) TE16   139 ) OJ Howard (TB) TE17   140 ) Eli Manning (NYG) QB16   141 ) Andy Dalton (CIN) QB17   142 ) Matthew Stafford (DET) QB18   143 ) Carson Palmer (ARI) QB19   144 ) Matt Forte (NYJ) RB54   145 ) Branden Oliver (LAC) RB55   146 ) Kenny Britt (CLE) WR57   147 ) Cordarelle Patterson (OAK) WR58   148 ) Rex Burkhead (NE) RB56   149 ) Tarik Cohen (CHI) RB57   150 ) Nelson Agholor (PHI) WR59  

Fantasy Football Rankings 2017: Post-Free Agency Tight Ends

Though a few big-names remain homeless, the main waves of free agency have come crashing down.  Thus, it’s crucial to reexamine our original 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings with all of these movers & shakers in mind.  Indeed, the draft and training camps will alter these lists even further, but this stage of the offseason deserves to be captured on it’s own.

As such, The Wolf will be releasing a new set of Post Free Agency rankings throughout the next two weeks. We’ve already given you the most in-depth QuarterbacksRunning Back, and Wide Receiver rankings around. Now, we turn our attention to Tight Ends, before combining this all into a Post Free Agency Top 100 Big Board. These are THE most comprehensive rankings out there, and, as such, each position will be broken into multiple pages via tiers, with a cumulative cheatsheet at the end of each group.

Though many moves have been swept under the radar, the tight end position saw some major free agency swings. From Jordan Reed becoming THE main weapon in Washington, to Martellus Bennett finding a new home in Green Bay, and even RSJ favorite Jack “The Beanstalk” Doyle ascending to clear-cut starter status in Indy, 2017’s  tight end fantasy outlook is vastly different than a few months ago. Catch up on all the action with the most in-depth tight end rankings around.

Emoji Key:

↗= riser

↘= faller

🔥 = guys we are higher on

💩= guys we are lower on

**Scoring Note – These rankings assume 1/2 PPR mentality, as it’s both the best scoring format and also the most common.

 

Tier 1 – The Elite

True fantasy game-changers that offer a weekly edge at the position. Look at them around the second and third round turn, especially once the #1 options at RB and WR drop off. 

1) Rob Gronkowski (NE)

Stock Neutral Update:  Though the newly added Brandin Cooks will demand a heavy target share, Gronkowski’s touches, especially in the red zone, should remain relatively untouched.  If anything, the added attention added by another true downfield threat should only help Gronkowski roam more freely underneath and through the seams.

Previous: Amidst very real injury concerns, Gronkowski remains the TE1 for two main reasons:

  • He’s arguably the best talent to ever play the position
  • He’s attached to the GOAT quarterback

This combination creates a weekly ceiling and advantage over your opponents that’s simply unmatchable. Consequently, Gronkowski maintains a worthwhile investment in Round 2, as a full season of health — unlikely as it may be– would lead to fantasy titles; in these rare instances of 15+ games, Gronk has always topped 1,100 yards and double digit TDs.

Of course, his recovery from a December back surgery, his third such operation and eighth total surgery since entering the NFL, is a major red flag. Nonetheless, Gronkowski’s fratastic parade behavior and recent comments to ESPN suggest he’s right on track for another dominant return:

“For sure,” Gronkowski replied when asked if he’d be ready for the start of 2017.  “I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I can possibly play. My mindset is to keep on going.”

The risk is real, but if you’re capable of finding gems at the skill positions late (follow us, and you will be), then the field-separating ceiling is so worth the low floor.

2) Jordan Reed (WAS) 

Stock Up Update:  Yes, Reed was already my #2 TE, but, as THE main weapon in Washington, he now rises into a tier that once belonged solely to Rob Gronkowski Following the departures of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, two 1,000 yard wideouts, Jay Gruden singled out Reed as the biggest beneficiary, stating “the offense now runs through” him. On our fourth Episode of the Fantasy Fullback Dive, Washington sports radio and TV personality Grant Paulsen shared this sentiment, echoing Gruden’s words and adding:

“This offense is going to run from the middle of the field, between the numbers, tight end Jordan Reed it’ll run through him. He’ll be a fantasy gem if and when he plays. There are a ton of yards to go around. If he plays 13 games he catches 87 yards for somewhere around 1,000 yards and goes for 9 TDs…We are talking about, in my opinion, the best pass-catching tight end in football outside of probably Rob Gronkowski, and he can do a lot of things Gronk can’t. I’ve had Redskins coaches tell me there’s one other guy in the world that can do what Reed is capable of, and that’s Aaron Hernandez who’s behind bars.”

Paulsen’s projections put Reed on a per-game pace of 6.7 catches, 77 yards, and .7 TDs, or right around 15 FPs (1/2 ppr). These would be truly difference-making stats.  Reed was already the only tight end to top 20 FPs more than once last season (three times), and, as Kirk Cousins’ primary target, he could do so even more frequently in 2017.  Should he remain healthy for 13+ games, a huge if indeed, Reed will be a season-changer.

Previous Assessment: With a huge weekly ceiling but cavernous injury floor, Reed is essentially Gronkowski-lite.  Emphasizing his upside, Reed turned in another top-10 tight end season despite missing four games and playing severely hampered in at least four others. In fact, in three of his truly healthy eight games, Reed topped 20 fantasy points — week swinging numbers from a desperately thin position. Kirk Cousins may be on the outs, which would be worrisome for Reed; nonetheless, Reed has the athleticism to succeed with most signal callers, and an even greater share of targets could be funneled his way if Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson depart.

Tier 2 – High-end TE1s

Though this crew doesn’t carry quite the week-swinging ceilings of Gronk or Reed, they still are head-and-shoulders above the majority of seam-stretchers in terms of consistency.

3) Travis Kelce (KC)

Though, as a human, I despise Kelce with every fiber of my being, it’s time to shed personal biases. This tool flat out balled in 2016, finishing as fantasy’s clear TE1 after topping 1,110 yards and scoring double digit 1/2 PPR points in nine of 16 weeks — by far the most consistent output at the position.  Even more impressive, Kelce accomplished these numbers despite scoring only four times; you’d have to imagine, with his 6’5″, 260 LB frame and ability to dunk on 110 lb females that these stand for an uptick. And, unlike those above him, Kelce has been an iron man throughout his NFL career, not yet missing a start in the past three seasons.  He’s surpassed Greg Olsen as the ideal floor target, and Kelce could vault into Gronk territory with even a modest bump in TDs.  If you hate the injury risk Gronk and Reed bring, especially at their price, wait a round and pluck Kelce.

4) Greg Olsen (CAR)

The poster boy for high floor tight ends, Olsen topped 1,000 yards and finished among fantasy’s top five seam-stretchers for the third straight season.  Even with Kelvin Benjamin returning, Olsen remained Cam Newton’s primary target; however, the big bodied wideout did steal some red zone love from “Third Leg G-Reg,” as He-Man’s TDs dipped to only three in 2016. Should Cam rebound as he’s capable, Olsen could see his scores double or even triple. Even at 32, Olsen should, at worst, yield 1,000 yards and a top-five TE finish; this type of consistency amidst such a wildly undependable field makes him a highly valuable fourth or fifth round investment.

5)  Jimmy Graham (SEA)

Graham’s 2016 bounce back from a torn patella was nothing short of remarkable, given this injury almost always ends careers. Yet, by midseason, Graham was leaping over defensive backs and flashing the most athleticism we’ve seen since his 2013 Saints’ days, ultimately piling up 923 yards and 6 TDs to a TE4 fantasy finish. Even scarier, given his complete focus on rehab, Graham had no offseason time to build a rapport with Russel Wilson; the two also reportedly had minimal practice time together as well, with Graham rarely suiting up until game day. Graham believes entering 2017 at full health and having time to work with his quarterback will yield one of his best season’s yet:

“Everything’s in the rear view,” he said. “So imagine how I played this year. I mean, I barely practiced, honestly, during the week, just to be ready for the games.

“Going through this offseason, being with Russ out there in California, you know I’m going to fly out there and train with him and really get that chemistry down because I wasn’t able to do that with him last year. It’s only going to get better.”

“I still feel like I’m 21,” he said. “Most people said that I would never be the same and I still feel fast, I still feel big and I still feel unstoppable.”

Though a full-blown return to his “challenge Gronk” days remains unlikely, stronger health and a stronger rapport should allow Graham to build upon his wildly successful 2016.  Over 1,000 yards and 7-8 TDs is well within his reach.

6) Tyler Eifert (CIN)

In the mold of Gronk and Reed,  Eifert is extremely injury prone, but brings week-winning upside whenever he plays.   At 6’6″, 250 lbs, Eifert is a genuine red zone monster — he’s hauled in 18 TDs over his past 21 games, and Andy Dalton loves letting the big man go up and make plays in the end zone. Yet, Eifert’s injury floor is just as real, if not more so, than Gronk and Reed; additionally, he’s been a bit more TD-or-bust, and does not offer the weekly yardage floors of those other options.

Positively, Eifert’s two highest 2016 yardage outputs (9 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD and 5 catches, 96 yards) came in his only two full games with AJ Green, suggesting a sneaky yards ceiling does indeed exist when defensive attention is elsewhere.  But, to realize this, Eifert will need to stay on the field, which has proven impossible for the young tight end thus far.

Read on to learn about remaining TE1s, or check out the last page for our Cheat Sheet

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