You might hear the title phrase a time or two at your fantasy football draft when it comes to the tight end position. A year or two back if you didn't land Rob Gronkowski at the tight end position it wasn't terrible. Then you could get Jimmy Graham then with the New Orleans Saints now with the Seattle Seahawks or Julius Thomas then with the Denver Broncos now with the Jacksonville Jaquars. That's no longer the case as Graham and Thomas aren't top tight ends anymore. Even with Jimmy Garoppolo as his quarterback for the first 4 weeks of the season Gronkowski will still be a 1st round very early 2nd round pick in most of not all fantasy drafts. Where Gronkowski gets drafted depends on your leagues scoring system and how many teams are in the league. I'm in a 20 team league that has to start 3 tight ends a week. So if you do miss out on Gronkowski where do you go to get a tight end or in some cases two.

Who's out there at tight end besides Gronkowski. If he stays healthy Jordan Reed of the Washington Redskins could be a big threat at tight end. Reed had 87 catches, but more importantly 11 touchdowns in 14 games last season. Reed plays with an accurate quarterback in Kirk Cousins and if he can stay on the field he might catch even more passes. Greg Olson was a 1000 yard (1104) receiving tight end for the Carolina Panthers last season. He caught 77 passes and had 7 touchdowns. The concern you have t have with Olson is the fact that he was the only healthy receiving threat the Panthers had on offense. Will his numbers drop with the healthy return of some of Cam Newton's other targets. Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs is always thought of as a top tight end, but hasn't put up the numbers to belong there. Last season Kelce had 72 catches and 5 touchdowns and remember he's on a team that can't seem to complete touchdown passes to wide receivers. Is this the year Kelce joins the elite tight ends or is he going to be another draft bust. Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans had a big season in 2015. He caught 94 passes for 1088 yards and 6 touchdowns. Tennessee added running back DeMarco Murray to their offense and with the improvement of Marcus Mariota can Walker match his numbers from last season. With a move to New Orleans to play for the Saints can Colby Fleener have a bounce back season. With Andrew Luck missing significant tome last season Fleener's numbers tanked. He caught 54 passes and scored 3 touchdowns.  Fleener will pair with Drew Brees who had great success throwing the football to Graham; so maybe Fleener will get back to form. Can Gary Barnidge of the Cleveland Browns repeat his 2015 season with Robert Griffin III (RG III) as his quarterback? Barnidge had a breakout season in 2015 catching 79 passes for 1043 yards and 9 touchdowns. RG III still has to prove himself as a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he'll have a reliable player at tight end to get the football to. If he takes advantage of Barnidge there's a chance his numbers improve, but I'm not sold on that happening. Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals is another tight end that just can't seem to stay healthy. Eifert played in 13 games last season. He caught 52 passes, but became a big target around the goal line for Andy Dalton as he caught 13 touchdown passes. Eifert's 13 touchdown passes led all tight ends last season. Eifert is still recovering from ankle surgery and is on the PUP list right now. Could Dwayne Allen be a breakout guy in 2016? With Fleener off to New Orleans Allen moves into the #1 tight end spot with the Indianapolis Colts. Allen only had 16 catches and 1 touchdown in 2015, but the return of a healthy Andrew Luck should automatically make those numbers better. Ladarius Green was the aire apparent to Antonio Gates in San Diego for quite some time. Gates is still the Chargers starting tight end and Green has now moved on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Heath Miller retired after last season. Miller was a great bail out option for quarterback Ben Rothlisberger and will see if Green can fill that role. Green is another tight end that seems to get hurt quite a bit and he did miss 3 games last season. Can he breakout in Pittsburgh?

There's 10 tight ends in no particular order, but there are a few more out there. I mentioned Gates in San Diego. Graham and Thomas are still starting NFL tight ends. They're just not putting up the huge numbers they use to, but they're both still good players. Jason Witten is still getting catches for the Dallas Cowboys. There are a lot of people who like Jared Cook now that  he's going to be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. 

See even if you don't land Gronkowoski in your fantasy draft t here are still plenty of quality tight ends you can land later in your draft.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment.   

Published by John Burke