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Week 13 Tight End Rankings - Standard Leagues

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce is an elite option against Atlanta this week.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 Recap:

Rob Gronkowski was an epic failure on a measly 2 targets with zero catches in Week 12. Gronk left the game with a back injury and did not return. Martellus Bennett did not fare much better with a 3-22 line on 5 targets. Bennett should rebound a bit this week with Gronk now out for the season.

Jordan Reed continued the trend of tight ends dominating Dallas (12 targets, 10-95-2). Vernon Davis isn’t going away, either (7 targets, 5-68). The Cowboys allowed TWO tight ends from the same team to crack the position’s Top 12, as Reed was the top option and Davis was the TE12.

Tyler Eifert came through on volume in a tough matchup against the Ravens (11 targets for 5-68-1). I thought Tyler Boyd would be the guy peppered with targets, and he did have 9 targets (5-62). Eifert managed to finish as the #2 option, so I suppose it pays to start your studs. Until it doesn’t, as Gronkowski’s owners can attest.

The trend of tight ends against the Carolina Panthers is alive and well, as Clive Walford found paydirt on only 4 targets (3-43-1). Other good matchups also paid dividends, as Jermaine Gresham (@ ATL), Dion Sims (vs SF), and Daniel Brown (vs TEN) all scored and finished inside the Top 12 at the position.

It feels like forever since Thanksgiving Day, but Kyle Rudolph somehow managed not to score on 10 targets against the Detroit Lions. Instead, Rudolph amassed a 9-64 line, solidifying his place in my brain of “average tight ends with volume.” Seriously, if Rudolph can’t dominate against Detroit, he ain’t dominating anywhere. That said, he has a good matchup against Dallas this week, and looks like a stronger play than Stefon Diggs. He is easily a mid-range play at the TE position, as much as I dislike the idea of an empty 5-65 line. Give him a bump in PPR leagues where those receptions count for something.

Finally, Greg Olsen underwhelmed yet again and only received 5 targets. He would be more of a mid-range option for me this week, but I don’t see how the Panthers move the ball on the outside against the Seahawks. I expect a rebound for Olsen this week despite his recent run of mediocrity.

Now let’s check out the Week 13 Rankings:

1 Travis Kelce

2 Jimmy Graham

3 Tyler Eifert

4 Greg Olsen

5 Eric Ebron

I am oscillating between Graham or Kelce as the top option this week. Experts at FantasyPros prefer Graham by a mile, but I like the potential shootout and the probable absence of Jeremy Maclin to give Kelce a slight edge. I still expect Graham to have an excellent game against the Panthers, who have been hemorrhaging fantasy points to tight ends all season.

Eifert has a tough matchup against Philadelphia but he should come through on volume (much like last week). Ebron’s outlook is improved by the thigh injury of Marvin Jones and the shootout potential that a game against Drew Brees in New Orleans offers.

6 C.J. Fiedorowicz

7 Zach Ertz

8 Antonio Gates

9 Ladarius Green

10 Martellus Bennett

11 Vance McDonald

12 Cameron Brate

I contributed a few thoughts on C.J. Fiedorowicz to FantasyPros this week. In short, the big tight end remains Brock Osweiler’s primary target. While that may not sound exciting for fake purposes, it does mean that Fiedorowicz has one of the safest floors at the tight end position. That makes him a mid-range play at a thin position every week.

Ertz gets a bump with Jordan Matthews still legitimately questionable to play with ankle injury. His matchup against Cincinnati is also favorable. Antonio Gates managed zero targets last week, but he is typically a consistent option and deserves TE1 treatment while he and Rivers are chasing the all-time touchdown record for a tight end (Gates needs three scores to pass Tony Gonzalez for #1 all-time).

13 Coby Fleener

14 Vernon Davis

15 Dennis Pitta

16 Jermaine Gresham

17 Lance Kendricks

18 Hunter Henry

19 Jared Cook

20 Will Tye

I can’t go any higher on Gresham despite his 10 targets last week, but John Brown being questionable helps. I like Lance Kendricks well enough this week with Jared Goff at the helm for the Rams. Tavon Austin is doubtful, and his absence would likely mean a safe enough floor for Kendricks.

21 Jack Doyle

22 Josh Hill

23 Dwayne Allen

24 A.J. Derby

25 Clive Walford

Josh Hill actually out-snapped Coby Fleener last week and is a solid shot-in-the-dark against the Detroit Lions. A.J. Derby seems to have surpassed Virgil Green as the #1 tight end option in Denver, so that’s a situation to pay attention to this weekend. I’ll rank almost anyone over Charles Clay...

26 Charles Clay

27 Austin Hooper

28 Garrett Celek

29 Jesse James

30 Dion Sims

Julius Thomas is doubtful to play, but you don’t want to worry about Ben Koyack’s pair of catches for 20 yards. If Thomas goes, I still won’t trust him against a stout Denver defense.

And that’s it for Week 13, folks. Savor it, because the season is flying by. As always, feel free to haggle/agree/disagree in the comments.