Every week from now until the second week of December, there will be teams on byes. For other positions like WR, this isn’t too much of a hassle replacing starters because there is a vast talent pool of players at the position. But the amount of viable tight ends in this league is extremely small and bye weeks really hurt the position. This week is not incredibly straining on the tight end slot considering there are only two teams on the bye, but it will start getting harder like Week 8 which has six teams on the bye.
Another note I want to add. I am now slimming down the tight end rankings to feature only 25 players. I do this because once you get past the first 25 TE’s, the talent is just not there. Even after 20 is a stretch. In other words, the bottom of the rankings showcase players that are fighting for just a single reception and that doesn’t hold consistent week-to-week value. Therefore I am eliminating the bottom guys because ranking them is a shot in the dark for someone who would be lucky to post a two-point day.
BYE WEEKS: Green Bay, Philadelphia
Kyle Rudolph - He is fitting like a glove in this offense and has great chemistry with QB Sam Bradford. He has scored every week Bradford has been under center. Two weeks is a small sample size, but he's also getting a ton of looks. Last week he had a team-high ten targets and caught seven of them. Rudolph is a TE1 for me this week.
Zach Miller - I'm taking a risk on Miller. The Bears offense is awful this season. They rank 27th in the league for most offensive yards. But Miller had a breakout performance last week hauling it eight catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Maybe this is what he needs to get him started. He's also facing the Lions defense, aka the worst passing defense in the NFL thus far. Detroit has allowed 10 passing TDs so far this season. I like Miller's odds to continue the success. He's a borderline TE1 in this matchup.
Jimmy Graham - Finally! Vintage Graham showed up last week! Thank you, Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense for finally realizing that this man can play. Coming into last week the Seahawks only scored one touchdown. Once they got Graham involved, all of the sudden they scored 37 points. He helped open the offense up and gave Wilson a reliable read. It's not secret that in my other articles I scrutinized Graham's performance and for good reason. But he may have turned things around. He has a favorable matchup against the Jets this week who are allowing a completion rating of 71% to TE's. But Wilson really needs to get back healthy for him to exploit this matchup. I don't think he can do it if Trevone Boykin is under center.
Hunter Henry - If Antonio Gates can't go on Sunday, which is pretty clear at this point with him not practicing yet, then Henry earns another start. He scored 10pts last week while filling in, which included a late-game fumble, but he does have a lot of upside against the Saints. Henry was on the field for every single offensive snap, ran the second most routes on the team last week, and caught all five of his targets. In other words he is seeing a lot of the field and he is very involved in the pass heavy Chargers offense. He's owned in less than a quarter of leagues so this is a guy you can pick up and play this week.