It’s playoff season. Time to buckle down and get to work. The tight end position has experienced some ups and downs this year. And it always seems that the best player in your lineup goes down at the most inopportune time. This year, the victim was Rob Gronkowski. He placed on season-ending injury reserve (IR). Also Jordan Reed is suffering from a shoulder injury and after missing last week his status for this Sunday remains in question (he will still be in my rankings). Both Reed and Gronkowski have always been spotty when it comes to injury, but this comes at a terrible time for fantasy owners. Here are my TE rankings this week so you can replace these guys and make the right decisions that will get you into the next round.
Vernon Davis - As I said above, Reed's isn't a sure thing on Sunday and that means Davis could be in for a big workload. If Reed does go, Davis should still see some nice playing time to alleviate the workload Reed would have to do. And so far Davis has done well in this emerging two tight end system. Davis has five catches in each of the last two games and is a legit starter this week.
Antonio Gates - I think this is the week Gates' struggles subside. He's against the Panthers, a defense that has given up the fourth most fantasy points in to tight ends in PPR formats. They also are tied for first with most touchdowns given up to tight ends as well (9). Gates is the top red zone target on the Chargers. The storylines are just begging for Gates to get a touchdown and I think he will.
Dennia Pitta & Dwayne Allen - I'm not getting too high on these guys just because they went off last week. I'm always extremely cautious when it comes to an outlier game and this is all last week was for these two. Excluding last week Pitta hasn't eclipsed 40 yards since Week 5 and scored his first touchdowns since 2013 (that's not a typo!). The same deal goes for Allen, with the exception of last week he has never had a game where he had more than 53 yards this season. Season long samples sizes tell you right away these games were flukes. I wouldn't go near Allen, he will flounder this week against a Houston defense that only allowed him one catch for nine yards in Week 6. If I have to pick one, Pitta is the better option. Don't expect a touchdown, but he has been a consistent 6-8 points per week.