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Week 1 Tight End Rankings

Need help deciding which Tight End to select for your week one lineup? Robert gives you his top 32 TE rankings for the first week of the regular season.

Dustin Bradford

Football is finally going to be starting this week, which means it's time for owners to find themselves pondering who to start.  No need to worry, as the writers here at Fake Teams will help you out along the way to a championship season.  Yesterday we covered the QB, RB, and WR positions, so now it is time to tackle the TE's.  Below are the top 32 TE's in order for week one, and some added commentary below on a few guys.  Because it is the first week of the season, I rarely make big adjustments from my preseason ranks to my week one ranks, since we are not completely sure yet which defenses are going to be great match-ups, or a poor match-up.  Basic philosophy going into the first week is to start the guys you drafted to start, unless you took an injury prone guy who is currently healthy as a backup, but that will apply to other positions.

Rob Gronkowski:  Currently he is healthy, and while he is healthy I don't foresee him ever rankings outside my top three, as he one of the elite guys, with a QB that loves to throw him the ball.  Would have ranked first if I could tell for certain that there would be no lingering effects from that torn ACL he had.

Greg Olsen:  Get ready for Cam Newton to look his way often.  With the emergence of Kelvin Benjamin in the preseason, Tampa Bay will have to respect an over the top deep threat, opening up the middle of the field for Olsen.

Vernon Davis:  I was down on Davis in the preseason, but this is because of how poor the Cowboys defense is.  Some may look at that as a positive for Davis, but when the 49ers can power run all over Dallas, they will not need to throw the ball too often.  Colin Kaepernick also prefers to throw the ball to Michael Crabtree, as when Crabtree was healthy, Davis saw a big decrease in targets.

Kyle Rudolph:  The Norv Turner magic for Rudolph in Minnesota may begin in week two, as they will be playing against a better than advertised Rams defense.  One of the strengths to this Rams defense last season was their ability to stop opposing Tight Ends.  The Rams ranked as the worst team for an opposing TE to go up against, as all opposing TE's would combine for only 5 points per game.

Heath Miller:  It was a slow 2013 for Heath Miller, but remember that he was recovering from a torn ACL in December of 2012.  He is not qualified as a freak athlete, so his recovery time should take longer than those like Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Robert Griffin III, and Rob Gronkowski.  Big Ben has always had a good connection with Miller, and his one TD a season ago can be considered a fluke as the left for dead Jericho Cotchery had 10.  He should get 60 yards in this game, with a better than fifty percent chance of scoring as well.

Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates:  I may be completely wrong in ranking Green ahead of Gates to start the season, but one of these guys will score a TD against the porous Cardinal defense.  Patrick Peterson can't guard Green, as he will have to try and shutdown Keenan Allen, which will leave him open for some big gains and a potential score.  If I could 100% guarantee that Green is the go-to-guy, he would have ranked in the top ten, but Gates lingers on.

Garrett GrahamRyan Fitzpatrick seems to have a knack for finding his Tight End for TD's going back to his days with Scott Chandler in Buffalo.  I think this magic may continue to help Graham, as they face Washington who let up 10 TD's to Tight Ends last season.

If you want to know my rationale for ranking a guy above or below someone, or where they were ranked, let me know in the comment section, and I will let you know my reasoning.

Now lets dive into my rankings:

Rank Player Team
1 Jimmy Graham New Orleans
2 Rob Gronkowski New England
3 Julius Thomas Denver
4 Jordan Cameron Cleveland
5 Jason Witten Dallas
6 Greg Olsen Carolina
7 Dennis Pitta Baltimore
8 Vernon Davis San Francisco
9 Jordan Reed Washington
10 Martellus Bennett Chicago
11 Heath Miller Pittsburgh
12 Ladarius Green San Diego
13 Kyle Rudolph Minnesota
14 Zach Ertz Philadelphia
15 Charles Clay Miami
16 Tyler Eifert Cincinnati
17 Garrett Graham Houston
18 Delanie Walker Tennessee
19 Dwayne Allen Indianapolis
20 Marcedes Lewis Jacksonville
21 Austin Seferian-Jenkins Tampa Bay
22 Antonio Gates San Diego
23 Travis Kelce Kansas City
24 Eric Ebron Detroit
25 Jared Cook St. Louis
26 Timothy Wright New England
27 Coby Fleener Indianapolis
28 Levine Toilolo Atlanta
29 Jace Amaro New York Jets
30 Owen Daniels Baltimore
31 Mychal Rivera Oakland
32 Richard Rodgers Green Bay