UPDATED 8/21: When I draft, I always have a tier sheet handy. I find that organizing players by tiers is far more beneficial than merely ranking players.
I could rank Jimmy Graham over Greg Olsen but it is impossible to truly predict who will finish better between the two of them, but I do know that both should finish better than a guy like Martellus Bennett. Tiers also allow me to gauge the draft and plan my picks around how many players in a particular tier are still available. But in the end, it is up to you to digest the research and make your own decisions on whom to draft based upon your own beliefs on who you feel is the better player this year.
Another reason I prefer tier rankings is that a range of outcomes approach is preferable to just this is what a guy will finish with at the end of the season. Jason Witten and Frank Gore have low end RB1 and TE1 numbers the past two years, but their weekly numbers are not going to help you win your weeks for the most part. In essence, you are looking for a player that has a chance to perform at a weekly level that is higher than a mere replacement level player, even if that replacement level player may have decent looking year-end numbers. Which brings me to my final point, fantasy football, in season long leagues, is about winning weeks, so you need to draft a combination of players where some have high ceiling, while some of high floors. That is how you win.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Gronkowski are by far the three most dominant weekly difference makers in fantasy football. In fact, Gronk has 69 touchdowns in just 88 games. His draft position has plummeted due to a down year caused by Brady’s suspension and his back injury. Fully healthy now, Gronkowski will be just as dominant as ever. Do not let him slip to the third round, because if you do, you are giving your opponent a major advantage right out of the gate.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs – With Jeremy Maclin cut, Kelce is this team’s most dominant and reliable possession receiving option. The passing game could very well be funneled through him, although, unfortunately it is still Alex Smith throwing the passes. Kelce caught 85 passes for 1,125 yards and 4 touchdowns last season, look for similar numbers this year but for the touchdowns to rise to hopefully six. He was Pro Football Focus’ (PFF’s) number one rated tight end and also finished number one in Football Outsiders DYAR rating. The emergence of Tyreek Hill stretching the field should also help him work the middle and the seam.