Here at DailyRotoHelp.com, we want to give you the information you need to draft your winning DFS and championship season-long rosters. This year, that begins with our 2016 Fantasy Preview Series. Each week leading up to the start of the regular season we will provide you analysis and information you need to succeed and bring home that BACON! For even more insight and access to our NFL Optimal Lineups, check out our membership options for daily, monthy subscriptions!
Without a lot of DFS contests really kicking off until September, and a lot of season-long drafts coming up, this week’s preview looks at season-long format draft strategy: who we like, who we don’t, and who we recommend avoiding at all costs. We’ve run thousands of mock drafts to generate ADP (average draft positions) and strategies to help you lock up those 2016 daily and season-long championships.
In this edition, we take a look at who you need to target and who you need to avoid for the 2016 season
Positional Breakdown: Tight Ends
Rob Gronkowski – GRONNNNK is back, healthy and ready to roll after finishing 2015 as the number 1 overall tight end, and it wasn’t even close. He answered the health questions by stringing together 15 weeks of dominate performances, scoring 11 touchdowns and 1176 yards. He has finished either 1st or 2nd in TE rankings in four of the past five seasons and shows no signs of slowing down. He’s not making it out of the 1st round in our mocks so, if you want him, you’re likely spending a 1st round pick on him. Regardless, he’s a stud. As long as he’s healthy, you roll with him.
Greg Olsen – Ol’ Mr. Reliable. Olsen won’t rack up a ton of yards, but he’s a PPR monster. He is Cam Newton’s safety valve and, with limited healthy receiver options, Olsen appears locked in for another top 5 TE season.
Jordan Reed – If anyone can compete with Gronk for the top TE spot, it’s Reed. Reed has injury concerns as he has failed to stay healthy for an entire season throughout his career. He missed 2 games last season but still managed to tie for the league lead in touchdowns and 2nd in yards behind Gronk. Reed is locked in as Kirk Cousins favorite receiver and can expect 6+ targets per game.
Delanie Walker – I LOVE Walker again this year. The Titans struggled to keep Mariota upright last year, forcing him to look Walker’s way and check it down to him all season. He was targeted 133 times last year, the most of any tight end, and converted 94 of those into catches for over 1,000 yards 6 touchdowns. As the young offensive line continues to gel in Nashville, expect heavy targets and usage for Walker.
Travis Kelce – Kelce possess the physical tools to be one of the top tight ends in the league. His drawback is an offense that doesn’t throw a lot and, when they do, quarter back Alex Smith is looking at Jeremy Maclin as option 1, 2 and 3. With Jamaal Charles returning from another significant knee injury, Kelce could see a slight bump in usage. Temper expectations.
Gary Barnidge – At 30, Barnidge burst onto the scene last year and finished as a top-5 tight end across the board. He’s got a more mobile QB in Robert Griffin, III and should see more opportunities as RG3 scrambles out of the pocket. The Browns appear to be assembling young, talented QB to WR converts in Terrell Pryor and Braxton Miller and will welcome back Josh Gordon after an early season suspension. Barnidge still has the ability to dominate any given Sunday.
Zach Ertz – There just aren’t a lot of options in Philly. Jordan Matthews is young and still looking to breakout. Nelson Agholor is drastically underwhelming and newcomer Dorial Green Beckham is unproven. Ertz really came on at the end of 2015 with 30 catches for 352 yards and a touchdown. Average that out over an entire season and you’re talking about TE1 territory.
Antonio Gates – The crafty veteran is still moving the chains. Gates is in the twilight of his career but, the Chargers offense and Phillip Rivers’ trust in the former college basketball player keeps him in the tight end conversation. However, with Keenan Allen healthy, I’m not sure what to expect out of Gates in 2016. With health concerns and age slowly catching up, I’ll be avoiding the future hall of famer.
Julius Thomas – Thomas has been absolutely atrocious since leaving Denver. Injury issues have plagued him throughout his career and Thomas has found himself 3rd in the pecking order behind Allen’s, Robinson and Hurd.
Jason Witten – Jason Witten will always be elite in my eyes. The guy is a warrior, missing only one game over his entire career, his rookie season…with wired-shut, broken jaw. He is Romo’s safety valve. With Romo out, again, Witten’s season is a toss-up as Dez Bryant will be option #1 regardless of who is under center. Dak Prescott has looked phenomenal in the preseason but, he’s a rookie. Exercise caution.
Martellus Bennett – He’s the only 2nd string tight end making our list this season, but he could have a monster year. The Patriots will run a ton of two=tight end sets and Gronk will absolutely be keyed on by opposing defenses. Bennett possesses elite size, speed and hands and can easily put up TE1 numbers.
Avoid if possible: