Hopefully none of my Twitter following heeded my Garrett Celek take on Thursday night. I had Celek in the vicinity of TE20 with the news that Vance McDonald would be out with a hip injury. Alas, Celek managed one reception for four yards on his five targets. I should have avoided the Cardinals in a “get right” sort of game. Moving on.
1. Greg Olsen
2. Martellus Bennett
3. Jordan Reed
Week 5 was going to be a return to normalcy, but Rob Gronkowski still seems slowed by his hamstring injury. We will all now endure yet another week of not ranking Gronk as the #1 option. That honor goes to Olsen instead, the man who leads all tight ends in targets with 40. Greg Olsen is averaging 10.0 targets per game...how do you not rank that in the top spot? Jordan Reed has a tough matchup against rangy linebacker C.J. Mosley and the Baltimore Ravens, but he is simply too good to discount too much. Martellus Bennett is my guy this week. The “angry Brady” narrative is too enticing to ignore. Just make certain to add in some Edelman, Hogan, and Blount when building your DFS lineups this weekend.
4. Zach Miller
5. Zach Ertz
6. Delanie Walker
7. Hunter Henry
8. Kyle Rudolph
9. Dennis Pitta
If Gronk were healthy I would rank him as the top option. Fact is he doesn’t look right at the moment, so I’m moving Martellus Bennett all the way up. He has a cheese matchup against the Browns and I want to get ahead of the field on this play. Bennett and Brady should make beautiful music together while Gronk is healing up. If Bennett had the longest reception of his career last week with Jacoby Brissett as his quarterback, what can he do for an encore with an inner circle Hall-of-Famer at the helm?
Zach Ertz returns to a great matchup this week, as the Lions have allowed 6 touchdowns to opposing tight ends so far this season. That’s 6 scores in only 4 weeks, people. And at least one touchdown each week. Ertz is a great bet to find the end zone against a team that has shown little interest in defending tight ends so far in 2016.
This position is truly a minefield when I am sour on the ninth guy at the position. Dennis Pitta has let me down in consecutive weeks, but I have no one to rank (confidently) ahead of him.
10. Rob Gronkowski
11. Will Tye
12. Jason Witten
13. C.J. Uzomah
14. Cameron Brate
15. Gary Barnidge
I respect Gronk’s skills too much to downgrade him much further, as he could definitely play limited snaps and still grab multiple scores from Brady. Gronk’s consensus ranking at FantasyPros is TE3, but plenty of experts rank him more “bearishly” in the 10-13 range. The worst rankings are TE20 and TE24. I’m not going that far, but I am taking more of a wait-and-see approach with the big tight end.
No Larry Donnell this week means Will Tye enters prime streaming consideration against the Packers, who allow 75 yards per game to opposing tight ends.
No Tyler Eifert means C.J. Uzomah is a solid streaming option against the Cowboys, who have allowed about 73 yards per game to tight ends, as well as three scores. In Week 2 Dallas allowed 10 receptions and 121 yards to Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. In Week 3 Zach Miller had 8 receptions for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns. In Week 4, even Garrett Celek managed 5 receptions for 79 yards. Since Cincinnati’s pass-catching options outside of A.J. Green have been underwhelming, Uzomah has a great chance to make a splash this weekend.
Tight ends keep getting loose against the Panthers, as Falcons tight ends combined for 3 catches, 45 yards, and 2 touchdowns last weekend. Cameron Brate has seen 18 targets over his last two games, and has a great chance at a score against Carolina this weekend (if early season performance is any indication). At this point I am targeting the Panthers’ vaunted defense until I see some improvement.
16. Jacob Tamme
17. Virgil Green
18. Jesse James
19. Clive Walford
20. Dwayne Allen
21. Charles Clay
22. Lance Kendricks
23. Richard Rodgers
24. Ryan Griffin
25. Antonio Gates
Dwayne Allen has been a non-factor this season and I do not expect that to change against the Bears this weekend. Chicago has been stingy to opposing tight ends, and Allen’s lack of production (and the presence of Jack Doyle) do not encourage me to take the bait.
Lance Kendricks is my dart throw for some TE2 production this week. He is still only 28 years old and seems to be establishing himself in the Los Angeles passing game. He caught 5 balls on 7 targets last week, a season-high. If I needed help in a deep league I’d consider him as a low-end TE2.
After a still-hobbled Antonio Gates, best of luck with Dion Sims, Jack Doyle, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Austin Hooper, and Cole Wick. I actually like Sims a decent bit as a player, but he is a good blocker so that caps his upside.
Happy trails this week, folks. Share your thoughts in the comments.