With playoffs upon us, it seems like every tight end is banged up. Rob Gronkowski has a knee injury (and likely won't play this week), Tyler Eifert missed last week with a neck injury, Jimmy Graham is out for the season, the list goes on. Out of the 25 players on this weeks list, nine are listed as questionable. However, if they are on this list, it's likely they will play this week as the season comes to a close.
Let's get to the rankings and then commentary on a bunch of guys you may have questions about.
Will Tye has been a great tight end filling in for the injured Larry Donnell. He has established himself much more in the Giant's offense than Donnell has this year. In the last three games, Tye has scored double digit fantasy points. I have him ranked above a lot of guys you may be starting this week because of his consistency. Furthermore he's available in a lot leagues, owned in only 8.8% of ESPN leagues. Tye is worth picking up moving forward, he's not touchdown dependent like a lot of guys on this list.
Heath Miller is one of those questionable players and one of the few that may be leaning towards sitting out. He missed last week because of a rib injury and didn't practice on Wednesday, according to ESPN. Although the Bengals are a tough defense, they are vulnerable to the tight end position. They have given up the fifth-most yards to tight ends this season, according to ESPN Fantasy. Last time Miller played Cincinnati, he had ten catches for 105 yards. I have him ranked lower because of this injury. But If he plays, he has a lot of upside.
Like I said about Dez Bryant in the wide receiver rankings this week, it's hard to trust the Dallas Cowboys offense. They are struggling with Matt Cassel at the helm. As Bryant's value has fallen, so has Jason Witten's. In the last six weeks he hasn't eclipsed 46 yards and he also hasn't scored since the first week of the season. Against the Packers, I don't think Witten has much of a chance to do any better.
With Leonard Hankerson's season over, Jacob Tamme solidifies himself as the Falcon's number two option behind Julio Jones. In the five games Hankerson has been absent, Tamme has averaged just over 12 points in PPR leagues. He's another one of these dinged up tight ends, limited with a shoulder injury. It could effect his production, especially facing a tough Carolina defense. But with Jones being shadowed by Josh Norman, one of the league's best cornerbacks, Tamme should get his fair share of looks to make him a must-start.
Vance McDonald is the wildcard this week. After taking over as the top tight end in San Francisco, McDonald posted two consecutive weeks with a touchdown. However, last week he fell only tallying two catches for 18 yards and got a concussion. He didn't practice yesterday and his status remains up in the air against Cleveland. However, if he suits up, I think he is the sleeper this week. McDonald has built a rapport with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, especially in the red zone. He could strike gold this week for the 49ers and have a good fantasy day.
Finally, Zach Ertz...finally. It took him until Week 13, but Ertz caught his first touchdown of the season. Despite the touchdown grab, he only had two catches for nine yards. If I'm an Ertz owner, he's be on my bench. I'd probably pick up a more reliable guy like Will Tye to fill his place. I don't trust this man in my starting lineup during the playoffs. The only way he provides value is with a touchdown and as we've seen that comes once about every thirteen weeks (so maybe Week 10 of next year). Look elsewhere, not just this week, but for the rest of the postseason.