Click here for complete dynasty tight end rankings.
- The top four is a consensus with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Julius Thomas, and Jordan Cameron.
- Big risers this month include rookie Colt Lyerla, who doesn’t have much competition in Green Bay; Adrian Robinson who is the de facto starter for the Giants now; and rookie C.J. Fiedorowicz in Houston where new coach Bill O’ Brien loves to run with two tight ends.
- The drops this month include two second year, Rice University products in Luke Willson of Seattle and Vance McDonald of San Francisco. Neither have progressed past second string in their respective offenses but still have some potential if they get opportunities.
Click here for complete dynasty tight end rankings, now with Rotoworld rankings included.
- Top six remains the same with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed at the top.
- Big risers this update include Vance McDonald of the 49ers. Vernon Davis is now 30 years old and McDonald is the current candidate to replace him; same goes for McDonald’s Rice teammate Luke Willson in Seattle, playing behind now-28-year-old Zach Miller; the last big riser is Atlanta’s Levine Toilolo. With Tony Gonzalez’ retirement (almost) official, Toilolo steps in as the starter in a high-powered offense.
- The big drops this update include the previously mentioned Miller; the Eagles Brent Celek, 29, who will be giving more snaps to Zach Ertz; the other big drop includes Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis, who could be a decent buy-low candidate if Jacksonville draft’s a quarterback in May.
- The new entries to the rankings include Houston’s Ryan Griffin, who immediately looks appealing thanks to Owen Daniels’ release; and the Giants Adrien Robinson who is currently the starter in New York thanks to Brandon Myers signing in Tampa.
Click here to see the latest dynasty tight end rankings heading into 2014.
- Colts tight end Dwayne Allen jumped up a bit. I’m guessing it has more to do with fellow Colts tight end Colby Fleener‘s ability to take the starting job after Allen’s injury and run with it. Allen has more upside.
- Dolphins tight end Charles Clay continues to move up as he was one of the few bright spots on the Dolphins offense this year. That team has many holes but Clay gives them some stability at the position.
- Two rookies enter the rankings – Oakland’s Mychal Rivera and Seattle’s Luke Willson. Both played sparingly this year but showed flashes of ability. They’ll be playing for starting jobs in 2014 so now is the time to snag them.
- Meanwhile, Seattle’s incumbent tight end, Zach Miller, continues to drop, likely because of the small chance he has of coming back to Seattle. Miller appears to be at the end of the line.
- Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez continues to drop but until those retirement papers are filed, I’m expecting Gonzalez back next year.
While updating the latest tight end rankings, there were several rookies that stood out. If you’re in a dynasty league, adding unknown rookies at the end of your draft can result in the next Dennis Pitta. And while such rookies as Tyler Eifert, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and Jordan Reed have already popped up on dynasty rankings, there’s several others that haven’t. Let’s take a look at a few that you may want to become familiar with before your dynasty draft.
- Dion Sims (MIA) – At 6′ 5″ and 262 pounds, Sims has the prototypical build of a successful tight end. Brought it primarily as a blocker and backup to newly-signed Dustin Keller, Sims has nonetheless seen a lot of the field in OTA’s. Keller only played in eight games last year due to injuries so if history repeats itself, look for Sims to play even more snaps. Long-term, if Sims can evolve as a pass catcher, he can ride the wave that Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace are creating.
- Vance McDonald (SF) – While carrying the same size as Sims (6′ 4″ / 267), McDonald actually has the opposite profile heading into his NFL career in that he was primarily a receiving tight end and rarely lined up in the three-point stance. Drafted in the 2nd round to take Delanie Walker’s role in the offense, he’s impressed the coaches and the quarterbacks so far with his catching ability. Of course, teams have yet to start making contact and the 49ers have yet to determine if McDonald can fulfill his primary duty of blocking so they can free up Vernon Davis. McDonald has entered into an ideal dynasty fantasy situation with a young franchise quarterback, a great team foundation that should be good for years to come and a tight end playing in front of him who will turn 30 next year with an expiring contract not long after.
- Chris Gragg (BUF) – While Gragg is a tad shorter than either Sims or McDonald (6′ 3″), he was, without a doubt, the fastest of the bunch coming out of the draft after clocking a 4.5 40-time. Thanks to Scott Chandler still recovering from his ACL tear suffered at the end of last season, Gragg has been taking the first team snaps in OTA’s. Already, Coach Doug Marrone has mentioned using him vertically to create matchup problems with his combination of size and speed. I believe Gragg will have the earliest opportunity of these sleepers to contribute early. His dynasty prospects are even better as he’s playing behind Chandler, who not only turns 28 this year but has an expiring contract as well.
- Luke Willson (SEA) – Perhaps the most physically impressive sleeper of the bunch, Willson stands at 6′ 5″ and 251 pounds with a 4.51 40-time. He’s also the biggest question mark after making only 78 catches in his entire collegiate career at Rice. Additionally, he spent his senior season missing six games to injury while backing up Vance McDonald (see above). But with incumbent Zach Miller coming off a torn plantar fascia in the playoffs and previously thought second stringer Anthony McCoy tearing his Achilles not long ago, the door is wide open for Willson to make an impression. In fact, he already has at rookie minicamp in May. Willson was able to get behind the defense, make tough catches, and find the end zone. Willson’s performance in training camp will be the sole factor in just how much he contributes early. For dynasty, he’ll have to outperform no less than three candidates for the starting job. But with no clear-cut leader, that may not be difficult.