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Week 1 Tight End Rankings - Standard Leagues

Heath offers up his Week 1 standard league tight end rankings.

Welcome back to the best time of the year, folks. Fantasy football is upon us. For my part, I will offer up standard league tight end rankings each week by Thursday afternoon. My sole focus this year at FakeTeams is getting the tight end position right. So feel free to keep returning to this space each week to dialogue about a position that can get a little funky.

1. Rob Gronkowski

2. Jordan Reed

3. Travis Kelce

4. Delanie Walker

5. Coby Fleener

6. Greg Olsen

7. Julius Thomas

8. Gary Barnidge

9. Dwayne Allen

10. Jared Cook

Week 1 has some interesting angles. No Tom Brady means some of the luster is gone from Rob Gronkowski—but you never bench Gronk if you own him. Logically, what Gronk lacks in efficiency these first four weeks, he should make up for with volume. I got burned multiple times last season when I pushed Gronk to the #2 spot...I’m not making that mistake again in 2016. Start this stud every week.

Greg Olsen has a brutal matchup, as do Cam Newton and the entire Panthers offense. This game should be far from fantasy-friendly, and I am staying away from it if I can. All that said, Olsen should still be Cam’s favored target as Kelvin Benjamin is going to be on a snap count. Olsen is a solid volume play that will almost never going give you a bagel--but his upside is capped in this matchup against Denver. I rank Olsen three spots lower than the expert consensus over at FantasyPros.

Jared Cook is my guy for top ten upside this week. I have him 10th at the position but he could easily outperform that. I’m giving some credit to Jordy Nelson where it is due, as the Packers maintain that he will not be limited against the Jaguars. Cook sounds like the third fiddle in this offense, though...which is an excellent place to be if your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.

11. Antonio Gates

12. Zach Ertz

13. Jason Witten

14. Clive Walford

15. Martellus Bennett

16. Eric Ebron

17. Vance McDonald

18. Zach Miller

19. Charles Clay

20. Will Tye

21. Jimmy Graham

22. Jesse James

23. Kyle Rudolph

24. Cameron Brate

Zach Ertz and Jason Witten both take a hit due to their quarterback situations being in flux, but it's the same argument with Gronk--targets should make up for some loss in efficiency.

If I had to choose a Tampa Bay tight end, it would be Cameron Brate. Austin-Seferian Jenkins continues to get himself into trouble, and it sounds like Brate is more trusted in the red zone. To me, it’s a major indictment of ASJ’s game if they are still listing him as a co-starter with Brate. If the guy has been tough to rely on this far, I'd imagine Brate has a better chance at coming down with a red-zone score.

25. Austin Seferian-Jenkins

26. Jordan Cameron

27. Virgil Green

28. Richard Rodgers

29. Crockett Gillmore

30. Tyler Kroft

Virgil Green is another big departure for me. I don’t feel that working the middle or the seam against Luke Keuchly is a place I want my tight end to be. If a Denver receiver does some damage, I think it will be Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders on a deep ball. Green has had some positive buzz this season but I’m not ready to use him yet—not even as a second tight end.

Let’s jump on it this week and feel free to haggle with me in the comments.