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Fueled by insider information and analysis, we present The MMQB fantasy football rankings

By ggramling
August 27, 2014

Writers Peter King, Greg Bedard, Robert Klemko, Jenny Vrentas and Dan Greene, and analyst Andy Benoit, are spending the summer visiting training camps for all 32 teams. Be sure to check out our quarterback, running back, and wide receiver rankings, as well as Peter King’s weekly Fantasy Check video reports. Note: These rankings will update throughout the preseason as we report on more teams.

1. Jimmy Graham, Saints

“It will be interesting to see how tight end Jimmy Graham responds this year; he often came up short in big games last season when challenged by the best defensive backs in the game. One would think that would be good for Graham in the long run now that the shortcomings in his game were shoved in his face.” —Greg Bedard, Saints Training Camp Report

2. Julius Thomas, Broncos

3. Jordan Cameron, Browns

“Without Josh Gordon in the lineup, one guy is going to be the key, he’s going to get 120 to 140 targets this year, and that’s tight end Jordan Cameron. He’s a security blanket who can make things happen in the intermediate passing game.” —Peter King, The MMQB Fantasy Check, August 14

4. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

“Maybe I caught Gronk on a bad day, but the player I saw running routes seemed far from a lock to play Week 1 against the Dolphins. He was favoring his right knee, and ran with a decent but not terrible limp. Still, 75% Gronk is better than most tight ends, especially in the red zone.” —Greg Bedard, Patriots Training Camp Report 

5. Jason Witten, Cowboys

“Romo-bestie Jason Witten is good for another 800 yards and eight touchdowns, which is better than you can say for 60% of starting tight ends.” —Robert Klemko, Cowboys Training Camp Report

Jordan Reed should enjoy life in Jay Gruden's offense. (Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated) Jordan Reed should enjoy life in Jay Gruden's offense. (Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated)

6. Jordan Reed, Washington

“With defenses having to worry so much about Washington’s speed at receiver (Jackson, Garcon and Roberts), look for TE Jordan Reed to find a lot of open room to operate. He should get plenty of touches.” —Greg Bedard, Washington Training Camp Report

7. Vernon Davis, 49ers

“In Crabtree’s absence, tight end Vernon Davis became the go-up-and-get-it guy in the red zone, which translated to 13 receiving touchdowns. With Crabtree back and the addition of former Bills WR Stevie Johnson, Davis’s targets and touchdowns should see a drop.” —Robert Klemko, 49ers Training Camp Report

8. Dennis Pitta, Ravens

9. Greg Olsen, Panthers

10. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

“Be bullish on Kyle Rudolph. Now, Turner’s history emphasizing tight ends as pass-catchers—from Jay Novacek to Antonio Gates to Jordan Cameron—is well-documented enough that it’s been built into Rudolph’s average draft price… Don’t believe the hype? The Vikings just made Rudolph the sixth-highest paid tight end in the league. He’s clearly key to their plans.” —Dan Greene, Vikings Training Camp Report

11. Zach Ertz, Eagles

12. Charles Clay, Dolphins

“ ‘Watch Charles Clay,’ GM Dennis Hickey told me. During practice, I did. And Tannehill, despite marching orders to look downfield, looked for Clay a lot. That’s one practice now. But Tannehill won’t forget the sure-handed Clay.” —Peter King, Dolphins Training Camp Report

13. Martellus Bennett, Bears

“Bennett is not regarded as an upper-tier tight end, nor should he be. But in the red zone Bennett becomes one. A favorite play of Trestman’s is four verticals out of a 3 x 1 set, meaning four receivers basically streak towards the back line and look for a jump ball. With Marshall and Jeffery drawing so much of the coverage, Bennett often draws the most favorable matchup.” —Andy Benoit, Bears Training Camp Report

With no clear-cut No. 2 WR in Pittsburgh, the Heath Miller-Ben Roethlisberger connection should be strong. (David Dermer/Getty Images) With no clear-cut No. 2 WR in Pittsburgh, the Heath Miller-Ben Roethlisberger connection should be strong. (David Dermer/Getty Images)

14. Heath Miller, Steelers

“Roethlisberger’s second favorite target will be smooth, reliable tight end Heath Miller, who turns 32 in October but is said to be back at top form now that he’s more than a year removed from ACL surgery.” —Andy Benoit, Steelers Deep Dive Preview

15. Jared Cook, Rams

16. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers

“I believe, after being in Tampa and talking to their staff... Seferian-Jenkins could catch 50 balls playing in that scheme.” —Peter King, The MMQB Fantasy Check, August 6

17. Tyler Eifert, Bengals

“Second-year tight end Tyler Eifert seemed to be a go-to target of Dalton’s on short and intermediate throws in practice. He’s someone to keep an eye on, though he and fellow tight end Jermaine Gresham will likely cut into one another’s fantasy values.” —Dan Greene, Bengals Training Camp Report

18. Tim Wright, Patriots

“Tim Wright, is a former wideout who can consistently beat safeties and even cornerbacks when detached from the formation. Wright has the body control and quickness to blossom into a top-five pass-catcher at his position over the next two years.” —Andy Benoit, Bucs Deep Dive Preview

19. Dwayne Allen, Colts

20. Delanie Walker, Titans

21. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars

“I keep thinking one of these years Marcedes Lewis, incredible physical force that he is, is going to have a 70-catch, eight-TD season. The Jags know Chad Henne will need intermediate targets because he’s going to be pressured a lot, and Lewis, if healthy, would be a good late-round flyer.” —Peter King, Jaguars Training Camp Report

22. Travis Kelce, Chiefs

“After missing essentially his entire rookie season due to a knee injury, the 6’5”, 260-pound Kelce has been emerging as the kind of athletic receiving option the Chiefs were hoping for when they drafted him in the third round out of Cincinnati 16 months ago. Against the Bengals, he caught a short pass over the middle and accelerated past the defense for a 69-yard touchdown.” —Dan Greene, Chiefs Training Camp Report

23. Garrett Graham, Texans

24. Coby Fleener, Colts

25. Antonio Gates, Chargers

“His decline has been obvious since his streak of eight consecutive Pro Bowls ended in 2011. Even though last year’s 113 targets were the most he’s had since 2009 as the offense emphasized quicker throws, Gates still failed to gain more than 50 yards receiving in each of the last six regular-season games. He had three catches for 15 yards over two playoff games. He’s now slow enough for elite linebackers to check him one-on-one, as well as a liability in run blocking.” —Robert Klemko, Chargers Training Camp Report

Slow down with the Eric Ebron hype. (Duane Burleson/AP) Slow down with the Eric Ebron hype. (Duane Burleson/AP)

26. Eric Ebron, Lions

“Avoid drafting any of [Detroit’s] three tight ends until one of them emerges as the red-zone favorite. Smart money is on Fauria.” —Robert Klemko, Lions Training Camp Report

27. Jacob Tamme, Broncos

“Have to agree with the mob on this one: If I’m Wes Welker, I am seriously considering retiring after having suffered another concussion... For the Broncos, Jacob Tamme is a Dallas Clark-like insurance policy in the slot.” —Peter King, Monday Morning Quarterback, August 25

28. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals

29. Joseph Fauria, Lions

“Avoid drafting any of these three tight ends until one of them emerges as the red-zone favorite. Smart money is on Fauria building on his seven touchdowns of a year ago after improving as a blocker this offseason.” —Robert Klemko, Lions Training Camp Report

30. Owen Daniels, Ravens

“Owens Daniels does not look like the same type of move tight end he was with the Texans a year removed from a fractured fibula, but he’s still going to get chances in this offense with Steve Smith and Torrey Smith on the outside and Dennis Pitta in the middle.” —Greg Bedard, Ravens Training Camp Report

31. Ladarius Green, Chargers

32. Scott Chandler, Bills

“I would steer clear of Scott Chandler at tight end. He’s going to have some of his snaps stolen by Tony Moeaki on passing downs, and I don’t see him being the safety valve for Manuel that he was a year ago.” —Peter King, Bills Training Camp Report

33. Andrew Quarless, Packers

34. Levine Toilolo, Falcons

“Sell the Falcon tight ends, including projected starter Levine Toilolo, former depth-chart-mate of Coby Fleener and Zach Ertz at Stanford. No one tight end has emerged to replace Tony Gonzalez.” —Peter King, Falcons Training Camp Report

35. Jace Amaro, Jets

Jets Training Camp Report

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