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Jul 31

2014 Fantasy Football Tight End Tiers

Officially ruled a Tight End, Jimmy Graham remains at the top of the position (Photo: Michael DeMocker, Nola.com / The Times-Picayune)

Officially ruled a Tight End, Jimmy Graham remains at the top of the position (Photo: Michael DeMocker, Nola.com / The Times-Picayune)

[QB Tiers] [RB Tiers] [WR Tiers] [TE Tiers]

[2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide]

After establishing himself over the last three seasons as the best player in the NFL at the wide receiver tight end position, Jimmy Graham is back in the gold and black to continue his dominance. While rookie Julius Thomas burst onto the scene last year look out for the return of Rob Gronkowski in 2014.

Tier 1

 
Fantasy Pros: TE/ADP
Jimmy Graham, NO1/9
Rob Gronkowski, NE3/30
Julius Thomas, DEN2/29

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m fully buying into Rob Gronkowski staying healthy for 14+ games this season. If so, he could outperform even Jimmy Graham. Due to the injury history and risk though you have to go with 2013’s top performer just to be safe. Regardless, these are the top two, with a healthy Gronk going above Julius Thomas. I featured Thomas in the 2014 NFL Busts piece because unless you’re a running back, it takes a little more than one year to prove yourself of being worthy of a third round pick. Even still, these three are among the elite pass catchers in the NFL and deserve to be at the top of the tight end tiers.

Tier 2

 
Fantasy Pros: TE/ADP
Vernon Davis, SF4/45
Jordan Cameron, CLE6/61
Jason Witten, DAL5/62
Greg Olsen, CAR8/74

Upon his returning to training camp Vernon Davis reassured owners of his position in the second tier of Fantasy Football tight ends. Joining him are the high-ceiling of Jordan Cameron, the sure-fire high-end performance of Jason Witten and the expected heavy usage of Greg Olsen in a receiver-less Carolina Panthers offense. These guys have proved their worth several times over (Cameron less so, but it helps being the only guy that can catch a ball in an offense), and are firmly above the rest of their competition.

Tier 3

 
Fantasy Pros: TE/ADP
Dennis Pitta, BAL7/75
Jordan Reed, WSH9/86
Charles Clay, MIA15/143
Martellus Bennett, CHI11/125
Kyle Rudolph, MIN10/92
Zach Ertz, PHI12/123
Antonio Gates, SD13/141
Heath Miller, PIT17/161

The largest tier of the position represents all the guys you can have pretty late in your draft. While some have higher ceiling than others (Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph), you can expect a fairly steady output from the entire group.

Tier 4

 
Fantasy Pros: TE/ADP
Levine Toilolo, ATLNA/NA
Jared Cook, STL19/208
Delanie Walker, TEN21/210
Dwayne Allen, IND27/219
Tyler Eifert, CIN29/NA

This group will go largely undrafted, by you need to keep an eye on them. Levine Toilolo steps into a role in an offense that heavily featured Tony Gonzalez. While you can’t expect him to be the next greatest tight end of all-time, you also can’t expect Dirk Koetter’s offense to abandon the position altogether. Big things were expected of Jared Cook last year and despite failing to live up to them, could prove his worth in his second year in St. Louis. Dwayne Allen returns from injury to a high-profile pass happy offense in Indianapolis, and the first tight end drafted in 2013, Tyler Eifert, now has a year under his belt and could start stealing more passes away from Jermaine Gresham and have his breakout year.

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