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The excitement generated by the draft weekend has come and gone.  Now is the time to put in the hard work as your rookie fantasy drafts are upon us. My dynasty fantasy rankings get based on a three to four-year window, not their immediate impact.  Talent and situation gets considered here.  There are three tiers of prospects in this season’s tight end crop with immediate starters (tier one), talented but raw athletes (tier two), and good situations with crowded talent polls (tier three).

Tier One

1. Eric Ebron, Lions- The most talented tight end fell into the lap of best passing offense.  With Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush grabbing the defenses attention, Ebron will draw coverage from safeties that aren’t big enough to cover him ebronor linebackers that are too slow to keep up with him.  This is a win/win situation for teams that draft Ebron.  In tight end premium leagues, he should be a top five selection in your rookie drafts.

2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bucs- ASJ would normally be a matchup nightmare for most teams.  When you include first round pick Mike Evans and all-pro Vincent Jackson, every defense will need to pick their poison.  Josh McCown can place the ball where only the receiver to get to it and this makes Austin Seferian-Jenkins the second best rookie tight end option.  He should be considered at the end of first round rookie drafts with tremendous upside.

3. Jace Amaro, Jets- This young tight end is more of an oversized slot receiver than a tight end.  He lacks the physicality to play on the line and does not have much for the defenses to focus on other than Eric Decker.  In time, he should grow with the offense, but the Jets need more weapons. Grab him in the middle of the second round, but count on more production in 2015.

Tier Two

4. Troy Niklas, Cardinals- The Cardinals have not traditionally used the tight end much, but with a two-way tight end like Niklas that should change.  Niklas is quite raw catching passes , but is already an accomplished blocker. He should see a lot of openings down the middle with Fitzgerald, Floyd, and Ginn occupying most defensive strategies.  He might not make much of an impact at all in 2015, but that should not discourage you from drafting him towards the end of the second round.

Tier Three

5. CJ Fiedorowicz, Texans- This tight end is a good two-way threat, but got drafted in a murky situation in Houston.  Garrett Graham is a better receiver and Ryan Griffin is more athletic so I’m not sure how that leaves Fiedorowicz.  He is a better blocker on a run first team so playing time should not be an issue.  Fantasy production could be, which is why I have him ranked so low.

6. Rick Rodgers, Packers- Rodgers is a better blocker than a receiver, and the Packers seem to want to start Brandon Bostick in the receiving tight end role.  The former Cal tight end showed some flashes, but was inconsistent in his play.  I expect Rodgers to be the Packers blocking tight end going forward who only gets an occasional target. That isn’t worth a lot to us fantasy football players.  Bostick is prone to injury, so Rodgers could have value down the road.

7. Joe Don Duncan, Patriots- The former Dixie State tight end who looked dominate versus small college competition got picked up by the Colts.  He is athletic enough to lineup on the outside.  Duncan is raw, but has enough athleticism to perhaps earn his way on the field.  He is worth a late, late flier in deeper dynasty leagues.

 

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