Top 50 TEs for dynasty leagues

Graham, Gronk atop rankings of tight ends with long-term potential

Updated: June 20, 2014, 9:17 AM ET
By Matt Williamson | ESPN Insider

Jimmy GrahamChris Graythen/Getty ImagesSaints tight end Jimmy Graham will remain a fantasy force for years to come.

Top Dynasty QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | Top 100, D/ST, K

Ahead of the launch of ESPN.com's fantasy football draft kit, Matt Williamson will be providing his position-by-position rankings of the best players for dynasty leagues. For more info on how dynasty leagues work and the strategy for selecting players in them, click here.

Tight ends rarely make a huge mark in their first NFL campaign, so it's good to buy in on guys heading into Year 2. Nevertheless, you will see some rookies sprinkled into the mix here, though the players at the top should be quite familiar to those who have played only re-draft format the past few seasons.

Here are my rankings of the top 50 tight ends for dynasty leagues, with write-ups on the top 15:

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

The only negative thing I can come up with for Graham is an unlikely scenario in which his contract situation lands him with another team moving forward. It's also worth mentioning that Drew Brees won't play forever, and that Graham does tend to get dinged up his fair share. But the hybrid tight end/receiver is tough and plays through injury, is uncoverable near the goal line and is an overall mismatch in all areas of the receiving game. He's scored 36 touchdowns in three seasons, including one per game a year ago. He's only getting better, which is frightening.

2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

At one point, Gronkowski was on pace to be one of the best tight ends to ever play the game. I still believe he is capable of achieving that massive goal, but only if he stays healthy. There is no one else like him in the NFL. The risk-reward proposition that Gronk poses won't be for everyone. But I am buying. Gronk's stock might be the lowest right now that it will be for the next eight to 10 years. His rapport with Tom Brady is simply outstanding. Even in the event of a QB change, Gronk is good enough that any field general should be able to utilize his talents. Also boosting his stock: Gronk is about 2½ years younger than Graham. He has caught an amazing 42 touchdowns in 50 regular-season games and has 36 scores over his past 38. Now, if only he had played all 64 ...