The Great Tight End Debate

Jimmy Graham: Fantasy FootballShould tight ends be drafted early in fantasy drafts?

“I will never take a tight end in the first three rounds!” is all I have heard this year from people playing fantasy football. From the so called “experts” all the way down to the most casual player. For the most part everyone seems to have the same opinion- but should they?

As everyone knows, the NFL has become more of a passing league. Teams are starting to put up video-game-type stats. In a lot of team’s cases the tight ends have become the top two receiving options. Teams are looking for ex-basketball player types, which has created a huge mismatch for their opponents to try to cover.

The NFL is a copy cat league and every year more teams will look to improve on this strategy. So my question is why would you not draft a TE early in your fantasy drafts?

Other than the top few running backs and quarterbacks, there are a ton of question marks. Running backs have health concerns, shorter shelf lives, or get stuck in committees. Wide Receivers also seem to get banged up more often.

The last few years tight ends have constantly either out performed or performed as expected based on their ADP. Besides Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, you can’t get more consistent than some of these tight ends.

Yes some will have fluke seasons for the better or worse, but every year when you look at ADP, you see the same names. Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez are guys that can be counted on almost every year, not to mention the Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski’s of the world.

Tight ends also seem to stay healthier than running backs or wide receivers. It seems like almost every year you can find RBs or WRs on the waiver-wire throughout the season. There are exceptions but for the most part you don’t get this with the TE position, therefore making it more difficult to obtain a true difference maker.

Is there risk taking a tight end early? Sure there is. Fantasy football is all an educated guess in itself. There is a risk with every move you make, but history shows more consistency with tight ends. Will they outscore the other positions? Maybe….Maybe not, however they will be more consistent each week.


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