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Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends in Week 13

There are four elite options at tight end heading into Week 13.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

I keep my hometown league (which we have drafted on Yahoo for over a decade) on standard scoring. We don’t have any funky yardage or long reception bonuses, either. I like it that way so I can use it as a barometer to gauge player performance at any point of the season, and know that no funky scoring settings are skewing data one way or the other. Eat dirt, PPR people. Heading into a pivotal Week 13, I am taking stock of what has transpired so far and offering my view of the TE1 options for the rest of the NFL season.

At this point I think we have an established elite tier among tight ends. I once thought Evan Engram was the newest member of this grouping, but his recent play has shown otherwise (and the unfortunate benching of Eli Manning will not help). Let’s check out this elite crew and the ensuing tiers below, and get ready for our respective Week 13 showdowns. I know I have a lot riding on one matchup in my home league, so let’s figure out who to play at tight end, shall we?

I’ll offer up my Top 12 guys and then post this week’s rankings at the end.

Elite Tier

Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce.

Graham is a name that may surprise a few of you, especially if you didn’t draft him this season. You may not know he is seeing 7.2 targets per game, a number that is only bested by three tight ends (Kelce, Engram, Ertz). When you marry that to his red-zone production, Graham is a no-brainer in this elite tier. For this week, I’ll take Graham third behind Gronk and Ertz. Kelce is still elite, but I have him at the bottom of the group due to the inconsistent nature of the Chiefs offense. It’s funny how the top three guys are wed to elite quarterbacks, isn’t it?

Second Tier

Jack Doyle, Delanie Walker

I would love to increase this tier, but there really isn’t production you can bank on week-to-week at the tight end position, and this minimal second tier reflects that truth. Doyle and Walker are both averaging 7.0 targets per game, which is tied for fifth at the tight end position. Evan Engram would have been a part of this tier due to the volume he has seen this season, but his poor play recently and the benching of Eli Manning have me massively downgrading Engram for the remainder of the season.

Third Tier

Kyle Rudolph, Jared Cook, Hunter Henry, Charles Clay

Rudolph and Cook are the “steady Eddie” sorts to me, while Hunter Henry is the low floor/high upside play. Charles Clay is a mix of both, if he can return to being the primary focus for Tyrod Taylor. We are running out of time for Clay to regain said status, but Clay still slots in as a TE1 option in Week 13.

Fourth Tier

Tyler Kroft, Austin Seferian-Jenkins

These two guys seem to have the most bankable production of the guys remaining. Vernon Davis would be an easy choice here, except there is always the impending possibility of Jordan Reed returning. Jason Witten, too, is a consideration—but the putrid nature of the Cowboys offense is sketchy as well. Evan Engram, as mentioned, is essentially dead to me. If he wasn’t producing with Eli Manning, I do not expect him to produce with Geno Smith or Davis Webb. What a travesty you are, New York.

My first pass at ranking the big guys is below. Against consensus picks at FantasyPros, I am “low” on Evan Engram, Greg Olsen, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Cameron Brate, and Jordan Reed. I am higher on Jack Doyle, Ricky Seals-Jones, Ed Dickson, David Njoku, Jesse James, and Tyler Higbee.

Expect a weekend update as the NFL news trickles down this week. Until then, cheers.

Week 13 Tight End Rankings

1 Rob Gronkowski @ BUF
2 Zach Ertz @ SEA
3 Jimmy Graham vs. PHI
4 Travis Kelce @ NYJ
5 Jack Doyle @ JAC
6 Delanie Walker vs. HOU
7 Hunter Henry vs. CLE
8 Jared Cook vs. NYG
9 Kyle Rudolph @ ATL
10 Charles Clay vs. NE
11 Jason Witten vs. WAS
12 Vernon Davis @ DAL
13 Tyler Kroft vs. PIT
14 Ricky Seals-Jones vs. LAR
15 Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. KC
16 O.J. Howard @ GB
17 Evan Engram @ OAK
18 Julius Thomas vs. DEN
19 Eric Ebron @ BAL
20 Greg Olsen @ NO
21 Austin Hooper vs. MIN
22 Ed Dickson @ NO
23 Marcedes Lewis vs. IND
24 Benjamin Watson vs. DET
25 David Njoku @ LAC
26 Jesse James @ CIN
27 Tyler Higbee @ ARI
28 Adam Shaheen vs. SF
29 C.J. Fiedorowicz @ TEN
30 Cameron Brate @ GB
31 Austin Traylor @ MIA
32 Seth DeValve @ LAC