Fantasy Football: Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce lead Week 1 Tight End Rankings

By Alex Butler  |  Sept. 6, 2017 at 6:53 AM
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Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Rob Gronkowski tops our top 20 fantasy football tight end rankings for Week 1.

The New England Patriots superstar is healthy -- for now -- and enters the 2017 season as Tom Brady's favorite option.

But if you don't have Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen or another elite option, fear not. I have ranked my favorite options in several tiers for the opening week of the season.

*Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers players are not included on this list due to their Week 1 contest possibly being impacted by Hurricane Irma.

TOP SHELF

Cincinnati Bengals star Tyler Eifert is starting off the season healthy. Eifert's first game of 2017 comes against the Baltimore Ravens. The red zone playmaker is always a threat to score, but typically hasn't spent enough time on the field for a full season to warrant a higher draft selection. When he is active, Eifert is a no-brainer TE1.

Zach Ertz is a combination of a player with great talent facing a defense that struggles against tight ends. The Eagles face the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Week 1. Last year, the Redskins surrendered the most receiving yards to receiving tight ends. Ertz is a must-start top-5 option for me this week.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Delanie Walker has been one of the most dependable fantasy football tight ends in the last several seasons. He begins the 2017 campaign as a TE1 facing off against the Oakland Raiders. Last season, the Raiders were one of the worst teams at defending tight ends. The Raiders surrendered the fifth-most yards and sixth-most touchdowns and fantasy points to the position in 2016.

Los Angeles Chargers second-year tight end Hunter Henry is primed for an ascending season as his role increases toward the tail end of Antonio Gates' career. Henry gets the Denver Broncos in Week 1, but he should see plenty of targets as the Broncos' cornerbacks lock down Philip Rivers' wide receivers. Henry is a low-end TE1 for Week 1.

LONGSHOTS

Charles Clay might be one of the most underrated tight ends this season. The Buffalo Bills pass catcher gets to ball against the New York Jets in Week 1, making him a near must-start. I have Clay penciled in as a low-end TE1 in this match against the team that allowed the third-most touchdowns to the position in 2016.

Evan Engram might be a rookie, but he should be targeted heavily in the New York Giants' offense. He'll get a shot to show off his skillset right away against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. In 2016, the Cowboys gave up the third-most fantasy points to the position. Only take a shot on Engram in very deep leagues or if you are overmatched and desperately need a touchdown.

Week 1 Tight End Rankings
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