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Week 8 Tight End Rankings - Standard Leagues

NFL: Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings
Get familiar with this picture for Week 8...
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This week we are diving right into the fray. Argue with me in the comments. Enjoy!

1 Rob Gronkowski

2 Jimmy Graham

There is at least the appearance of a large dropoff after the top two plays this week, due to Olsen’s tough matchup and everyone else’s unreliability. The Buffalo Bills have allowed the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but they allowed Martellus Bennett to get loose for 5-109 on 6 targets in Week 4 (without Gronkowski playing). Last year I made the mistake of getting “too cute” with Gronkowski a couple of times and. So long as the big man is healthy, he is my top option...especially since Bennett is legitimately questionable for this week. Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense have not been very good lately, and I expect a heavy dose of Christine Michael in this game...but Graham is back in the conversation as an elite TE1 play every week and this matchup does nothing to alter that sentiment.

3 Greg Olsen

4 Travis Kelce

5 Cameron Brate

6 C.J. Fiedorowicz

Greg Olsen has a tough matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, who have given up the fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. Arizona is coming off of that brutal 6-6 tie against Seattle, though, and the Seahawks are traveling across the country for this one. The Panthers (1-5) are in an extremely desperate spot and Cam Newton is another week removed from his concussion. I expect Cam to be a one-man wrecking crew in this one and for Olsen to stay relevant as a result. A floor of 5-50—similar to what Jimmy Graham posted against the Cardinals last week—is reasonable.

Who can predict a Travis Kelce touchdown? Not me. But this is a good spot against a soft secondary.

Cameron Brate is one of the streamer plays of the week in what is shaping up to be a shootout between the Raiders and Buccaneers. Big defensive tackle Gerald McCoy returned last week for the Buccaneers, which should help funnel more passing by the Raiders. The pace in this game could be amazing. Brate should have a safe enough floor and could be one of the few tight ends to have plenty of yardage and a score this week.

C.J. Fiedorowicz is a great play against a Lions defense that has allowed the most touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. This defense is super-weak against the tight end, and Fiedorowicz will be a great DFS value everywhere this week.

7 Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis

8 Jack Doyle

9 Gary Barnidge

10 Kyle Rudolph

Jordan Reed is traveling to London and it appears the big guy has a real chance to play this week. I won’t have many shares, and I’m making my rankings easy—if Reed is out, just get Vernon Davis in there.

Doyle is concerning to me this week because Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett return and because the Chiefs use Eric Berry to obliterate opposing tight ends. Doyle is in line for plenty of snaps, but this feels like an empty 4-40 line. The only thing keep Doyle in the conversation is his likely high percentage of snaps and Luck’s affinity for throwing to tight ends.

Gary Barnidge enters #narrativestreet with the return of his buddy Josh McCown this week. I’ll have some shares, mostly in cash games. And I’d feel much better about Barnidge in my seasonal leagues with McCown returning. Rudolph is getting a lot of expert love this week, as he is the #6 tight end over at FantasyPros right now. I am a little bearish on Rudolph, as the Bears have allowed a paltry two scores to tight ends all season.

11 Hunter Henry

12 Martellus Bennett

13 Coby Fleener

14 Zach Ertz

15 Tyler Eifert

Entering “sketch” territory here. Henry should be a logical way for Philip Rivers to attempt to survive against Denver this weekend, though I am more interested in PPR formats. Martellus is legitimately questionable and might not play. Ertz has a fine matchup against the Cowboys, but the Eagles don’t use him much and he isn’t proficient in the red zone. I’d rather take Fleener on the fast-track in New Orleans, and that’s saying something. Tyler Eifert only played a quarter of the snaps in Week 7 (15 of 61) and I am “off” him until I see more opportunity. ESPN Bengals reporter Katherine Terrell expects Eifert to play something much closer to a full role this week, but I think if you use him you are hoping for a touchdown. I don’t like hoping for touchdowns.

16 Jacob Tamme

17 Richard Rodgers

18 Jason Witten

19 Charles Clay

20 Zach Miller

21 Eric Ebron

22 Antonio Gates

23 Ryan Griffin

This is about where it ends for me. Tamme has the highest ceiling in this group due to Matt Ryan’s torrid pace to begin the season, the matchup at home against the Packers, and the projected high-scoring affair that could occur. Ryan Griffin is a dart throw but has a great chance to score against the aforementioned Detroit Lions “defense.”

24 Brent Celek

25 Austin Hooper

26 Clive Walford

27 Virgil Green

28 C.J. Uzomah

29 Erik Swoope

30 Jermaine Gresham

Have fun with this last tier...good luck this week, gents!