(Rankings will be updated throughout the week)
TE Player Rankings – Week 16
(BYE: Majority of the Games Are Played On Saturday, Dec. 24th)
Tight Ends (Updated: Friday, Dec. 23 - 2:11PM CT)
1. Jimmy Graham (vs. Atl – Monday Night) – Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski have been tag-teaming my top spot in the rankings for quite some time now and should continue to do so through the end of the season. Graham’s consistency is one of the bigger reasons why as he has been targeted seven or more times and caught at least four balls in every single game this year while also putting up 54 yards or more in all but one game. When the Saints faced the Falcons back in Week 10, the big 6’7” former basketball player had himself quite a game catching seven balls on 12 targets for 82 yards and a touchdown. I’m betting he out-does those numbers this time around with the game being played at home.
2. Rob Gronkowski (vs. Mia) –Rob Gronkowski failed to get into the end zone last weekend for only the fifth time this season snapping a six-game streak of him grabbing at least one a touchdown. Week 16, however, should see a new streak started with the Patriots set to take on the Miami Dolphins. Back in Week 1, Tom Brady went off on the Dolphins for 517 yards and four touchdowns with 86 yards and one TD of it going to Gronk. Strange as it may sound, but the Patriots other tight end, Aaron Hernandez, actually out-performed Rob by catching seven balls for 103 yards and a TD. Basically, there should be enough statistics to make everyone happy this Saturday, most importantly Gronkowski’s fantasy owners.
3. Antonio Gates (@ Det) – Antonio Gates may not be the same dominating player he was in years past, but he’s still one of the top five tight ends in the league and actually has the third-most fantasy points behind Gronkowski and Graham since Week 7. This week he’ll be facing a Lions team that has done a good job overall against opposing TEs this year, but the better ones—such as Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham—have all done just fine. I expect Gates to more than hold his own in this one with the game possibly turning into a shootout.
4. Jermichael Finley (vs. Chi – Sunday Night, Christmas) – Though Finley has turned in a fantasy season far below expectations, he still ranks amongst the best in the league, mostly due to a single game he had against the Chicago Bears back in Week 3. In that game, Jermichael caught seven of the eight balls thrown his way with three of them going for touchdowns. You can’t reasonably expect the same outcome this time around, but without WR Greg Jennings in the lineup last weekend, he did go for 83 yards while being targeted 10 times (both team-highs). I would call it a severe disappointment if he catches less than six balls for 80 yards this Sunday night against a Bears defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs this season.
5. Tony Gonzalez (@ NO – Monday Night) – Though he had his worst game of the season in last week’s win against the Jaguars, this has certainly been a season to remember for the 35-year-old Gonzalez as he currently ranks third amongst all tight ends in receptions, touchdowns and fantasy points. Earlier in the year when the Falcons squared off with the Saints, Tony G had one of his better games of the season catching six balls on ten targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. In fact, since joining Atlanta in 2009, Gonzo has caught less than six balls in a game against the Saints just once (five games) and actually had his only 100-yard performance in a Falcons uniform in New Orleans last year. With this possibly being the second-to-last regular season game of his storied career, look for Gonzo to leave it all out on the field this Monday night and show his innumerable fans out there (and fantasy owners) what they’ll be missing when he’s gone.
6. Aaron Hernandez (vs. Mia)
7. Jason Witten (vs. Phi)
8. Brent Celek (@ Dal) – TOP-5 SLEEPER CANDIDATE
9. Brandon Pettigrew (vs. SD)
10. Vernon Davis (@ Sea)
11. Dustin Keller (vs. NYG)
12. Anthony Fasano (@ NE) – QUESTIONABLE TO PLAY
13. Owen Daniels (@ Ind – Thursday Night)
14. Jared Cook (vs. Jax)
15. Ed Dickson (vs. Cle)
16. Jermaine Gresham (vs. Ari)
17. Greg Olsen (vs. TB)
18. Todd Heap (@ Cin)
19. Kellen Winslow Jr. (@ Car)
20. Joel Dreessen (@ Ind – Thursday Night)
21. Kellen Davis (@ GB – Sunday Night, Christmas)
22. Visanthe Shiancoe (@ Was)
23. Marcedes Lewis (@ Ten)
24. Evan Moore (@ Bal)
25. Jeremy Shockey (vs. TB)
26. Scott Chandler (vs. Den)
27. Jacob Tamme (vs. Hou – Thursday Night)
28. Tony Scheffler (vs. SD)
29. Kyle Rudolph (@ Was)
30. Dennis Pitta (vs. Cle)
31. Kevin Boss (@ KC)
32. Heath Miller (vs. StL)
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