2016 Outlook: Witten's fantasy ceiling has declined over the past few seasons, but even at 34, he remains a safe, consistent option. Witten has ranked among the top 10 TEs in both receptions and receiving yards in each of the past 12 seasons. He also hasn't missed a single game during that span. Last season he ranked 12th among TEs in fantasy points, and that was despite the extended absence of Tony Romo, which destroyed the entire Dallas offense. Still, given his age and lack of upside, it's best to view Witten as a TE2, but he is a reliable one.
2016 Outlook: Allen has missed 21 of 64 regular-season games since entering the league in 2012, but that didn't stop the Colts from signing him to a four-year, $29.4 million extension during the offseason. The hope is that he can grow into an expanded role, with Coby Fleener having left for New Orleans. It won't take much to top last year's performance: the Colts rarely used him as a pass catcher--he managed just 16 receptions for 109 yards and a TD in 13 games. Allen is still just 26, though, and with the return of Andrew Luck, he could put up TE2 numbers.
2016 Outlook: Clay established himself as an important piece of the Bills' offense last season, even if that didn't lead to significant fantasy points. He handled 21 percent of the team's targets when healthy, but he produced only three top-10 weeks and three other top-20 fin.ishes. He also has durability issues--he missed three games last season--and plays in a run-first scheme. Still, he will likely be Tyrod Taylor's No. 2 target in an offense that ranked eighth in the NFL in offensive TDs last season, making him worth monitoring.
2016 Outlook: Walford saw his role gradually increase as a rookie, to the point where he averaged five targets per game during Oakland's final five contests. He should carry that momentum into this season and fully supplant Mychal Rivera as the Raiders' top receiving TE. Oakland used him as a situational player for most of last season, but he still managed 28 catches for 329 yards and three TDs. He should become Derek Carr's third option this season--behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree--which makes him a borderline TE2 target with TE1 upside.
2016 Outlook: Cook is annually touted as a potential breakout fantasy star, largely because of his body: He stands 6-foot-5, 254 pounds and shows top-tier athletic ability. But he failed to deliver in both Tennessee and St. Louis, where he dropped far too many passes. Of course, neither team offered much at the QB position, and now he'll work with Aaron Rodgers. So if Cook is ever going to live up to his potential, now is the time. The Packers likely won't use him on every down, but Cook will have TE1 upside if he's on the field in passing situations. That certainly makes him worth a late-round pick.
2016 Outlook: If only Seferian-Jenkins could stay healthy. The massive tight end (6-5, 262 pounds) has been a force when active. But those occasions have been rare since Tampa Bay grabbed him in the second round of the 2014 draft. He played in only seven games last season but caught 21 of 39 targets for 338 yards and four TDs. He should enter 2016 as no worse than third in line for targets from Jameis Winston, and he might even move past 33-year-old Vincent Jackson in the pecking order. Still, he has played in just 16 games in two seasons; those durability concerns are all that separate him from consistent TE1 production.
2016 Outlook: The former Brown was limited by injuries during his first four seasons but finally made it through all 16 games last year. His stats didn't jump out in his first year in Miami, though, because the Dolphins (45 sacks allowed) had him run a route on only 62 percent of their pass plays. That decision limited him to just 68 targets (23rd among TEs), but new coach Adam Gase figures to rectify that. Gase's track record includes excellent work with Julius thomas, Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller during his time as an offen.sive coordinator, and that makes Cameron a bounce-back candidate who is worth a late-round look.
2016 Outlook: Rudolph didn't generate much attention last season, but he quietly finished 14th among TEs in fantasy points. His success was based mostly on playing time: Rudolph appeared in all 16 games and was on the field for 85 percent of the Vikings' pass plays. Minnesota looked for him around the goal line, evidenced by his nine end zone targets, seventh most among TEs, but he turned only three of them into TDs. He'll maintain his position in the lineup, and at age 26 he is in his prime. But unless the Vikings shift away from their slow, run-based approach, he won't enter the TE1 mix.
2016 Outlook: His Baby Gates nickname might be a bit optimis.tic, but Tye was a pleasant surprise as a rookie. Undrafted in 2015, Tye filled in after Larry Donnell hurt his neck and caught 42 of 61 targets for 464 yards and three TDs. He flashed impressive athletic ability--hence the nickname--and showed potential as a pass-catching specialist, but Tye struggled with drops and was dreadful as a run blocker. Those issues could limit his playing time, especially with Donnell cleared to play. But if Tye can claim the starting job, he'll become an intriguing sleeper.
2016 Outlook: Williams looked like a breakout candidate this year until the Ravens added Benjamin Watson during the offseason. Granted, Watson is 35 and won't see nearly the targets that he got in New Orleans last year, but he will limit Williams' playing time. Williams was the first TE picked in the 2015 draft and played just over 40 percent of Baltimore's offensive snaps as a rookie. He caught 32 balls for 268 yards and a TD, and considering he is just 22, his future remains bright. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear he will play enough to recognize that potential in 2016.