The 2011 fantasy football season was defined as the year of the tight end. Players such as New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham started a fantasy revolution with their eye-popping statistical seasons and forever changed the way fantasy owners and experts value the tight end position.
Previously, tight ends were seen as less valuable than other skill positions like quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. However, that all began to change last season when Gronkowski put together what was probably the greatest fantasy season by a tight end in NFL history.
Consider for a moment just how dominant Gronkowski was last season. The mammoth tight end hauled in 90 passes for 1,327 yards and an incredible 17 touchdown receptions. When it was all said and done, those numbers produced 330 fantasy points for Gronkowski, which ranked eight overall in point per reception formats.
If we take it a step further and take quarterbacks out of the equation, Gronkowski finished fourth among all skill players in total points scored. The only non-quarterbacks that managed to outscore Gronkowski were Ray Rice, Calvin Johnson and teammate Wes Welker, which goes to show just how valuable he was to fantasy PPR owners last season.
Graham also had a tremendous season, posting 99 receptions for 1314 and 11 touchdowns. Graham was slightly behind Gronkowski in overall rankings but still managed to finish the season ranked 13th overall, fourth overall among pass-catchers and eighth overall among non-quarterback skill players.
Therefore, it is plain to see that tight ends like Gronkowski and Graham have revolutionized the way we evaluate tight ends in terms of fantasy value, so do not be surprised to see either Gronkowski or Graham go in the first round of your draft or at the very least in the early second.
With that in mind here is the post-OTA edition of FantasyPPR.com‘s 2012 PPR Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: