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Fantasy football rankings: Tight ends for Week 4

Heath wades through the cesspool that is the tight end position.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The highest-scoring tight end in Week 3 was Marcedes Lewis, who is owned in just 1% of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. Lewis achieved this feat against the Baltimore Ravens (who have long been stingy to enemy tight ends) and he did so with Blake Bortles as his quarterback. You can definitely say this position is insane.

The position is also injury-riddled, as Tyler Eifert (back, knee) is likely out long enough for you to drop him in your redraft leagues. If you have him in a dynasty format I suppose you could hold on, but this guy is a massive headache to roster. Eifert’s scoring binge from 2015 feels like ages ago.

Cameron Brate is the streamer-of-the-week, whatever that means. He is a mere 45% owned on Yahoo and draws the New York Giants defense, which has been very generous to enemy tight ends so far in 2017 (much like 2016). The Giants have allowed the fourth-most points to tight ends this year, due in part to letting every tight they have faced score against them so far (Witten, Ebron, Ertz). None of those three are prolific touchdown-scorers, either. I like Brate’s chances at low-end TE1 production this week.

Injury news to follow this week involves Jordan Reed (chest, foot, toe) who says he will play on Monday Night Football. Delanie Walker (hamstring) is also a concern, as he is listed as day-to-day and missed Wednesday’s practice. If Reed misses again I would somersault Vernon Davis up this list, at least to the TE16 spot ahead of Hunter Henry (who had zero targets AGAIN last week). Davis immediately carries TE1 upside in the event of another Reed absence.

Jack Doyle (foot) turned in a limited practice on Wednesday, but does not appear to be in danger of missing a game this weekend. Unfortunately for him, rumor has it Andrew Luck remains out until November, so the entire Colts offense is far less inspiring. Doyle was a popular pick for dark-horse TE1 production heading into the year, but the loss of Luck keeps him squarely in TE2 territory.

Finally, I did not rank Marcedes Lewis aggressively despite last week’s breakout. If you think Lewis will be productive with Blake Bortles long-term and garner a whopping four red-zone targets each week, you go right ahead and take a chance on him. I will allow that Lewis has some plausible scoring-upside due to the absence of Allen Robinson, but the Jaguars are not going to throw often in the red-zone, either. Lewis is a hard pass for me.

As always, haggle away in the comments. Let’s figure this crazy game out together.

Week 4 Tight End Rankings

1 Rob Gronkowski vs. CAR
2 Zach Ertz @ LAC
3 Travis Kelce vs. WAS
4 Jimmy Graham vs. IND
5 Charles Clay @ ATL
6 Jordan Reed @ KC
7 Martellus Bennett vs. CHI
8 Delanie Walker @ HOU
9 Eric Ebron @ MIN
10 Coby Fleener @ MIA
11 Cameron Brate vs. NYG
12 Jason Witten vs. LAR
13 Kyle Rudolph vs. DET
14 Evan Engram @ TB
15 Jared Cook @ DEN
16 Hunter Henry vs. PHI
17 Jack Doyle @ SEA
18 Julius Thomas vs. NO
19 Benjamin Watson vs. PIT
20 Austin Hooper vs. BUF
21 Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. JAC
22 Ryan Griffin vs. TEN
23 Jesse James @ BAL
24 Zach Miller @ GB
25 Jermaine Gresham vs. SF
26 Antonio Gates vs. PHI
27 Ed Dickson @ NE
28 Tyler Kroft @ CLE
29 Gerald Everett @ DAL
30 Marcedes Lewis @ NYJ
31 David Njoku vs. CIN
32 Vernon Davis @ KC