If you are playing meaningful season-long fantasy football in Week 17, you are doing it wrong. Too many teams may elect to rest their starters for the playoffs or put in backups to determine who has value for 2016. In short, an already unpredictable sport will be even more unpredictable. So get that championship moved back one week.
That said, we've made it through 16 weeks of rankings thus far, and there's no stopping us now.
Last week was tough for the position's upper crust, as only four studs finished inside the position's top 12 (Reed, Gronk, Kelce, Delanie). We have known for most of the season that if you don't have an elite tight end you need to be streaming one who has a good matchup, and last week was no different. Vance McDonald (2nd), Michael Hoomanawanui (8th), Owen Daniels (9th), and Heath Miller (12th) all cracked the position's Top 12. Streamers like Austin Seferian-Jenkins (3rd), Kyle Rudolph (4th), Zach Ertz (6th), and Zach Miller (10th) also performed well.
Greg Olsen was a colossal bust last week, as the Carolina Panthers wet the bed against the Atlanta Falcons. That will teach me to NEVER rank another tight end ahead of Rob Gronkowski. Hopefully Olsen didn't cost you a championship. He is back in the circle of trust this week, as the Panthers need a win to ensure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Patriots are also fighting for homefield advantage, so Rob Gronkowski returns to his rightful place as the top option of the week.
The Redskins cannot improve their playoff chances after having clinched their weak division, so Jordan Reed is a massive fade this week. You must find another option, no matter how poor that option seems to be.
Benjamin Watson's health is questionable after only logging 42 of 80 snaps in Week 16. The Falcons are one of the league's worst at defending the tight end, but this could be a spot where the veteran's action is limited. You'll need to check on him come Sunday morning.
The Cleveland Browns will aim to play spoiler against division rival Pittsburgh on Sunday, but with Johnny Manziel sidelined (concussion protocol) Gary Barnidge will be receiving passes from the backup to the backup--Austin Davis. Without the volume he would receive with a competent signal-caller, you are basically hoping Barnidge scores a touchdown. However, with the dearth of talent at such a screwy position, Barnidge is still a solid TE1.
With Alshon Jeffery on injured reserve Zach Miller is a legitimate starting option against the Detroit Lions, who have allowed 12 touchdowns to tight ends this season (six in the last seven games). Miller is questionable with a toe injury, but if he gets the nod he is a very strong play.
Can you trust Travis Kelce against Oakland? I think you have to unless you have Gronk or Olsen. This is a prime matchup for "Baby Gronk" to put an exclamation point on an otherwise underwhelming season. The Chiefs have plenty to play for, too, as a win and a Broncos loss will mean the Chiefs are AFC West champions.
Finally, Zach Ertz is prime streamer material as well, though I am ranking him far more aggressively than a typical "streamer." The Giants are straight up woeful against tight ends and Ertz has been a target-hog recently. I will roster him in a few GPPs this weekend, as I am expecting him to find the end zone at least once, maybe twice. That, or Brent Celek is going to make an appearance. We shall see...
That's all she wrote, folks. Find the rankings below. Hit me up with any questions/comments.
|1||Rob Gronkowski||NE||@ MIA|
|3||Zach Ertz||PHI||@ NYG|
|5||Julius Thomas||JAC||@ HOU|
|7||Delanie Walker||TEN||@ IND|
|9||Antonio Gates||SD||@ DEN|
|10||Kyle Rudolph||MIN||@ GB|
|11||Austin Seferian-Jenkins||TB||@ CAR|
|14||Eric Ebron||DET||@ CHI|
|20||Ben Watson||NO||@ ATL|
|21||Jordan Reed||WAS||@ DAL|
|22||Brent Celek||PHI||@ NYG|