Fast fantasy facts on the tight ends of 2016

It was an awful year for the position. Brandon Marianne Lee breaks down what went wrong for tight ends this year.

| 4 months ago
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Fast fantasy facts on the tight ends of 2016

At the beginning of December, I wrote an in-depth piece about the lack of production at the tight end position. This piece is currently a finalist for Fantasy Sports Writers Association Fantasy Football Online Article of the Year.

It was the readers and the listeners that inspired me to take a deep dive on the position. I wanted to investigate whether our frustrations were founded and things were worse than I thought. Bad news: it got even worse the last month of the year.

The top-10 tight ends produced the fewest fantasy points per game since 2010.

Fantasy football is all about the numbers, so let’s let those numbers speak for themselves. Here are the historical average points per game for the top-10 tight ends in both standard and PPR formats:

Points per Game – Standard Points per Game – PPR
2016 7.85 12.34
2015 9.03 13.93
2014 8.61 13.17
2013 8.87 13.50
2012 7.92 13.01
2011 9.08 13.97
2010 7.70 11.88

Why the 2011 bump in production? Well, two of the most productive fantasy tight ends in history entered the league in 2010: Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. In 2011 they both made a huge sophomore leap and completely changed the fantasy landscape.

Moreover, we’re seeing a decline in 2016 because Gronkowski struggled with injuries all season and Graham’s fantasy production took a hit in Seattle with Russell Wilson after putting up massive numbers in New Orleans with Drew Brees. In prior years, these two tight ends could put up over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns. This year, not one tight end even came close to that level of production.

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Brandon Marianne Lee is a PFF Fantasy contributor, a SiriusXM host, co-founder of Her Fantasy Football and was a finalist for FSWA's Newcomer of the Year in 2014.

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