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2018 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings – Tight Ends

A list of the top tight ends to draft for the 2018 fantasy football season in PPR leagues.

1. Travis Kelce (KC)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2018 Projections View Travis Kelce's 2018 projected stats.

The genesis of the stats was a shade less dynamic – lower catch rate, lower YPC – but Kelce still pushed over that magic 1,000-yard plateau and gave us his best touchdown season. In other words, he finally learned how to click with Alex Smith, Mr. Conservative. Alas, Mr. Smith has now gone to Washington and Kelce needs to learn how to play with Patrick Mahomes, a high-pedigree but low-experience second-year quarterback. We suspect that Kelce can succeed in any environment, but it also makes one curious to see how the Chiefs click in the preseason. Kelce also has to share a little more, as the Chiefs have another mouth to feed in the offense, newly-acquired Sammy Watkins. Still, there have only been 42 tight-end seasons over 1,000 yards, per Pro-Football Reference and Kelce has two of them. Maybe the quarterback simply doesn’t matter here. Kelce’s 2013 season was wiped out by a knee problem, but he’s only missed one start since then. If you don’t like the RBs and WRs you’re faced with in the early rounds, a pivot to Kelce is always a reasonable alternative.

2. Zach Ertz (PHI)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2018 Projections View Zach Ertz's 2018 projected stats.

Ertz’s catch and yardage stats have been stable and similar for three straight years, but last year was the first time the Eagles finally unlocked him in the end zone. The timing makes sense, as Carson Wentz 2.0 was a major upgrade from the rookie-year version. Wentz and Ertz also have a mind-meld that’s unusual. Don’t ask Wentz a question about his tight end unless you’re prepared for a Shakespearean sonnet in reply. It's obvious these two players have spent a ton of time working together, developing the unspoken chemistry that you see on Sundays. If Nick Foles is required to play at all, that’s not a concern for Ertz. The reliable tight end posted an 18-192-1 line in the playoffs, superb production on just 22 targets. Entering his age-28 season, Ertz appears to be a very safe player to park your money on. Even on a Philadelphia team that’s all about quantity versus forcing the ball to its name players, we expect Ertz to keep most of last year’s touchdowns.

3. Rob Gronkowski (NE)

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2018 Projections View Rob Gronkowski's 2018 projected stats.

Everyone knows what they’re signing up for with Gronkowski; a lot of laughs, a lot of touchdowns and a lot of injury-report angst (he’s missed 26 games in six years, and hasn’t played all 16 games since 2011). Gronkowski’s rate of spiking – 76 scores in 102 games – is absurd, especially for his position and he’s also more of a downfield threat then people realize. His 15.1 YPC is the highest of any qualified tight end in the fantasy era. With Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels returning to the Patriots, amidst whatever family disharmony might be present with the team, Gronkowski is well-slotted for another dynamic campaign, for however many games it winds up lasting for him. He’s finished as the No. 1 tight end in basic scoring in four different seasons and he’s also placed second and fifth. No one would be shocked if Gronkowski decided to retire in another year or two. The 29-year-old has been prudent with his money and wants to have a high quality of life after football, but he’s all-in for another run at it in 2018. A designer tight end is not a pick for everybody, but Gronk deserves second-round consideration in most formats.

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