No frills this week, ladies and gents. Just the goods. It’s game time!
1 Travis Kelce @ NO
He’s in a league of his own. He leads all NFL tight ends in receptions, is tied for the lead with nine scores, and is CRUSHING every other tight end on yardage.
2 Darren Waller vs LAC
He’s in the second tier all on his own. He and Kelce are the only two guys to trust from a volume perspective, as they are the only two guys over 100. Kelce has 120, Waller has 118, and the next two guys (Hockenson and Engram) have only 88 targets. It’s a chasm after these top two guys.
3 Mark Andrews vs JAC
Given the expected absence of wide receivers Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and James Proche, Andrews should see all the volume he can handle in a tasty matchup with the Jaguars. I don’t trust him quite like I do Waller given his ups and downs and greater reliance on scoring—but for this week he’s darn close.
4 Robert Tonyan vs. CAR
You know how all Tim Tebow does is win? All Bob Tonyan does is score touchdowns. He’s found paydirt in four straight games, and has seen exactly five targets in each of those games. He’s now a top five tight end on the season, which tells you everything you need to know about the position.
5 T.J. Hockenson @ TEN
Hockenson takes a bit of a hit this week due to the uncertain status of Matthew Stafford. If Stafford were ready to go, I’d say he belongs a notch ahead of Tonyan. But sans a healthy Stafford, I lean Tonyan.
6 Eric Ebron @ CIN
Ebron has target counts of 11, 11, and 5 over the last three weeks. He hasn’t seen fewer than five targets since Week 6 of the season—one of only two times he’s been below that threshold all year (the other being in Week 1). The floor is fairly safe, and the matchup is great.
7 Hunter Henry @ LV
He’s generally in the 6-7 target range, and that keeps him squarely inside the top 10 at this position.
8 Dallas Goedert @ ARI
He’s still the lead guy in Philly, amassing 13 targets over the last two weeks (compared to seven for Zach Ertz).
9 Logan Thomas vs. SEA
He’s seen 16 targets in the last two weeks, and he’s caught 15 balls for 141 and a score. Alex Smith is expected to give it a go. If Smith doesn’t go I think you bump Thomas pretty far down given the struggles of Dwayne Haskins this year.
10 Noah Fant vs. BUF
It’s a great matchup if he’s over whatever illness knocked him out of last week. I’d rather take a shot on him than the next guy actually capitalizing on his volume...
11 Evan Engram vs. CLE
Look, I’m over him by now. But last week’s target count of four was an anomaly...and it’s easy to see the Giants trailing in this one.
12 Rob Gronkowski @ ATL
Gronk is the TE6 at FantasyPros this week based on this matchup. That’s a bit of a tough sell for me given his low floor due to volume. But sure, he could smash Atlanta with a couple of scores.
And you know what? Honest to goodness, tight end after this juncture is just an abject failure. Hayden Hurst has been a weekly disappointment, even when Julio Jones isn’t in the lineup. The Titans have some weird three-headed monster at tight end, rendering all of their guys useless to us. I’ll take risers like Cole Kmet and Irv Smith Jr. over the lot. If Kyle Rudolph is out again, I’ll go Smith Jr. If Rudolph plays, I’ll take Kmet.
If a guy hasn’t been mentioned already, I promise you he’s just a touchdown-dependent dart throw. Maybe Jared Cook is back into some consideration after two weeks of finding paydirt. But I don’t love it.
Name another guy you trust at this position. And I don’t even think you can trust all the ones who have already been named. So that’s about 15 guys deep. If you’re digging farther down than that, odds are you’re enjoying your consolation bracket...