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NFL Players play the majority of their games outdoors. So, looking at rankings of the best indoor players may not seem like it would be that advantageous. Unless your home games are played indoors, these rankings are best used in conjunction with other rankings. Knowing how a player plays indoors can help in a crucial weekly match-up or help you decide when you’re browsing the waiver wire.

Let’s first look at how tight ends did in 2017 before looking ahead to 2018.

∗ Games played notes the number of games played indoors.

2017 Indoor Tight End Rankings

2017 Indoor Fantasy Tight End Rankings

Name (Team)GamesTargetsReceptionsYardsTouchdownsFantasy Points
Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings)104632331595.1
Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts)85544390189
Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys)105539294280.4
Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons)104635298170.8
Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions)104722233257.3
Jermaine Gresham (Arizona Cardinals)103525231154.1
Coby Fleener (New Orleans Saints)61916223250.3
Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs)22015171138.1
Stephen Anderson (Houston Texans)92916208036.8
Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)41812124236.4
Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans)32112156133.6
Ed Dickson (Carolina Panthers)3109215030.5
George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers)31411128129.8
Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks)210730328
Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)196116123.6
Martellus Bennett (Green Bay Packers)31810122022.2
Hunter Henry (Los Angeles Chargers)15576118.6
Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills)175112016.2
Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins)28582013.2
Marcedes Lewis (Jacksonville Jaguars)37339112.9
David Njoku (Cleveland Browns)315515112.5
Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams)312558010.8
Evan Engram (New York Giants)27556010.6
Benjamin Watson (Baltimore Ravens)1553808.8
Jesse James (Pittsburgh Steelers)3624206.2
Julius Thomas (Miami Dolphins)1532205.2
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (New York Jets)1221303.3
Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles)152802.8
Tyler Kroft (Cincinnati Bengals)142102.1
Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders)000000
Zach Miller (Chicago Bears)120000
Virgil Green (Denver Broncos)110000

The most obvious thing to note here is that not a lot of games were played indoors. Unless your own team’s stadium is domed or has the retractable roof, these metrics are going to be low. Now what we want to look at is efficiency in those fewer games. Few players jump out here as playing at an elite level, even with fewer games in this environment.

  • Rob Gronkowski only played one game, but he totally dominated like he usually does. Travis Kelce played in two games and he also played at an elite level. This is one thing to note as some players will be must-starts every week, regardless of playing indoors or outdoors.
  • Eric Ebron and Jermaine Gresham played double-digit games indoors but failed to be fantasy starters in those 10 games. Ebron averaged about 5.7 points per game in those 10 games and Gresham averaged 5.4. This relates to the previous note; some players may not perform no matter what the venue is.
  • Ed Dickson is not exactly an elite tight end, but when it comes to playing indoors it may be a different story. He averaged a little over 10 points per game and was efficient by catching 90% of his targets.
  • There is a lot of hype around George Kittle this year and looking at his 2017 indoor numbers, it makes sense. He saw 14 targets over three indoor games and averaged just a bit under 10 points per game as well.
  • Two tight ends during the 2017 season, Zach Ertz and Evan Engram, did not perform well indoors. Engram was a rookie sensation, but his numbers indoors were poor. In two games, he averaged about five points per game and had five catches for 56 yards. Ertz also was beastly for the Eagles on the way to their Super Bowl title victory. His indoor numbers were not very good during the regular season, however. Ertz totaled two catches for eight yards in their one regular-season game indoors.

All this information from last season can now help us project rankings for the 2018 season. Let’s see who will be earning high marks for the upcoming season.

∗ Games played notes all games played indoors in 2018.

2018 Fantasy Tight End Rankings – Indoors

2018 Indoor Fantasy Tight End Projections

 Name (Team)GamesTargetsReceptionsYardsTouchdownsFantasy Points
1.Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts)975635294139.9
2.Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings)965515076137.7
3.Dalton Schultz (Dallas Cowboys)1165494383110.8
4.Benjamin Watson (New Orleans Saints)1155453505110
5.Ricky Seals-Jones (Arizona Cardinals)105032325382.5
6.Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons)94835285381.5
7.Evan Engram (New York Giants)43628268266.8
8.Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers)33224235365.5
9.Levine Toilolo (Detroit Lions)113627229261.9
10.Trey Burton (Chicago Bears)32719210358
11.Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans)33520250257
12.Ryan Griffin (Houston Texans)93425179148.9
13.Jimmy Graham (Green Bay Packers)21510150343
14.Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles)21812185242.5
15.Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins)3149163237.3
16.Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)1128145234.5
17.O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)31810164132.4
18.Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills)31710143130.3
19.George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers)299115126.5
20.Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati Bengals)2127132126.2
21.Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jacksonville Jaguars)388112125.2
22.Mike Gesicki (Miami Dolphins)3158106018.6
23.Hayden Hurst (Baltimore Ravens)17576118.6
24.Ed Dickson (Seattle Seahawks)26656117.6
25.David Njoku (Cleveland Browns)210890017
26.Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders)17568011.8
27.Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams)35555010.5
28.Jesse James (Pittsburgh Steelers)1545709.7
29.Jake Butt (Denver Broncos)1434507.5
30.Jordan Leggett (New York Jets)1222504.5
31.Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs)000000
32.Virgil Green (Los Angeles Chargers)000000
  • With limited receiving options in Indianapolis, Doyle will be a workhorse in the Colts offense and should be the best tight end when it comes to indoor games. Even with Ebron being a part of the offense now, Doyle is the safer bet and will be a great addition to your fantasy team.

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  • Ryan Griffin of Houston and Levine Toilolo of Detroit have a good number of indoor games. Their limited use in their respective offenses makes them non-factors when it comes to putting together your draft strategy.
  • Benjamin Watson returning to New Orleans should be an instant upgrade to their already potent offense. Watson enjoyed one of his best seasons in New Orleans back in 2015. With him getting red zone looks, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram moving the chains, and Michael Thomas getting chunk yards through the air, this offense can get points anytime they want.

Now, these rankings are useful to an extent. If you plan your whole draft strategy around these rankings, it will not do you any justice. If these rankings are used in conjunction with other rankings such as outdoor, base defenses, and split season. Even with the majority of games being outdoors, knowing how a player plays indoors can help you from missing the playoffs and playing for a championship title. Happy Drafting!

For our Fantasy Tight End Outdoor rankings click here! Be sure to follow Sports Al Dente when we release our season half comparisons and production against base defenses comparison.

Amar Desai

Author Amar Desai

Have been a sports fan my whole life and football has been my sport of choice. Growing up in the Bay Area (San Jose), I have been a San Francisco 49ers since day one. Avid fantasy football player and just love learning, reading, and talking about football.

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