2017 NFL Rankings – Tight Ends, Team Defenses, And Kickers.. Oh My!

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Chris Sweet – Fantasy Sports Analyst

This will be the final part of our preliminary NFL Player Rankings for the preseason and we will be covering the last skill position of Tight End as well as the less glamorous positions of Kicker and Team Defense.


Tight End Rankings

We’ll start with the Tight Ends. This is a position that is a little more wide open than in the previous years. Gronk is still in his prime, but the injury risk is always there. He has averaged 11 games played per year over the past five years. This is why I’m giving Travis Kelce the #1 spot this year. Kelce finished as the best tight end last year, but Jeremy Maclin being cut is the biggest reason why he is my TE1 to start the year. He should see even more targets than last year. As in years past, if you don’t get an Elite TE in the first few rounds, you might as well just wait until the 10th round or later and grab one of many guys with upside like Austin Hooper, or one of the triumvirate of hyped rookies (Howard, Engram, Njoku) or give an old but reliable guy like Witten or Gates one more ride in the grass.

Getty Images
  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Rob Gronkowski
  3. Greg Olsen
  4. Jordan Reed
  5. Kyle Rudolph
  6. Tyler Eifert
  7. Delanie Walker
  8. Martellus Bennett
  9. Jimmy Graham
  10. Zach Ertz
  11. Austin Hooper
  12. Cameron Brate
  13. Hunter Henry
  14. Jason Witten
  15. Jack Doyle
  16. Eric Ebron
  17. Julius Thomas
  18. Antonio Gates
  19. Jesse James
  20. OJ Howard
  21. Evan Engram
  22. Jared Cook
  23. David Njoku
  24. CJ Fiedorowicz
  25. Coby Fleener
  26. Ben Watson
  27. Zach Miller
  28. Charles Clay
  29. Vernon Davis
  30. George Kittle
  31. Vance McDonald
  32. Tyler Higbee
  33. Jermaine Gresham
  34. Austin Sefarian Jenkins
  35. AJ Derby



Team Defense Rankings

Next up are Team Defense rankings. The usual suspects are up top but a few up and coming fantasy defenses are the Jaguars and Chargers who have improved their secondaries and pass rush in the past few drafts. While Team Defense is generally just above Kicker in importance you should check your leagues scoring as I play in a few leagues where you can get some serious points with team Defense. One league in particular gives a point for a 3 and out forced. I didn’t think much about it until I was in the semifinals last year and the opposing D dropped 30 on me. So please know your scoring…

Doug Pensinger – Getty Images
  1. Broncos
  2. Seahawks
  3. Texans
  4. Jaguars
  5. Vikings
  6. Chiefs
  7. Bengals
  8. Chargers
  9. Giants
  10. Patriots
  11. Ravens
  12. Steelers
  13. Rams
  14. Titans
  15. Panthers
  16. Cardinals
  17. Eagles
  18. Packers
  19. Redskins
  20. Dolphins


Kicker Rankings

And last and definitely least are the Kicker rankings. You can study this list or throw a dart and pick who it lands on as in most years the Top K and 10th ranked kicker are only about a point a week difference. Last year Justin Tucker and Matt Bryant tied for the Fantasy lead and either one gave you about a 3 point a week advantage which isn’t insignificant but in most years the preseason K1 does not repeat. Just don’t be the person that gets cute and takes one in the first 10 rounds.

  1. Justin Tucker
  2. Stephen Gostkowski
  3. Matt Bryant
  4. Dan Bailey
  5. Matt Prater
  6. Adam Vinatieri
  7. Cairo Santos
  8. Dustin Hopkins
  9. Chris Boswell
  10. Mason Crosby
  11. Blair Walsh
  12. Sebastian Janikowski
  13. Caleb Sturgis
  14. Will Lutz
  15. Phil Dawson
  16. Nick Novak
  17. Jason Myers
  18. Graham Gano
  19. Josh Lambo
  20. Jake Elliott