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Tight End Player Rankings – Week 12
No More Byes!!!
Tight Ends (Updated: Friday, Nov. 23 - 7:02PM CT)
1. Jason Witten (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon) – Despite his early-season spleen situation, Jason Witten currently leads all tight ends with 96 targets and 73 receptions. His 636 yards on the year isn’t what makes him tenth on the fantasy points per game list, though—it’s the lack of touchdowns, a problem he’s had throughout his entire career. Lucky for Witten owners, the Redskins have allowed the second-most TDs to tight ends this season as well as the second-most fantasy points per games, so there’s no reason to think Witten won’t dominate the field this week. He seems to be very fond of the Thanksgiving Thursday game anyway, so make sure you have him inserted as your TE1 this week. FINAL STATISTICS: 9 catches - 74 yards - 0 TDs
2. Vernon Davis (at NO) –Vernon might have been held in check during the middle portion of the season, but after a bit of complaining a couple of weeks ago, the 49ers got him back involved in the offense to which Davis responded with maybe his finest game of the season. I don’t know if you saw his last outing against the Bears on Monday night, but holy cow did he look good! This week the ‘Niners will be going up against a Saints team that Davis absolutely scorched in the playoffs last season to the tune of seven catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns. A performance like that won’t happen again, but I definitely see good things coming his way on Sunday.
3. Jimmy Graham (vs. SF) – Graham is completely back on track now after a slight lull early in the season as he now has at least one touchdown in each of his last four games and eight on the season. It wasn’t the greatest game out of him last weekend as he only put up 29 yards, but when you add in a touchdown and six catches, I’m sure fantasy owners were relatively satisfied. This week he’ll be facing off against one of the other top tight ends in the game when Vernon Davis and the 49ers come to town. Last year in the playoffs, these two powerhouses battled to the end with Vernon coming out on top, but not before Graham could catch five balls for 103 yards and two touchdowns. The ‘Niners are normally very good against opposing tight ends, but Jimmy’s a bit of a different breed and will be targeted a ton if the Saints want to win. Those numbers from last year’s playoff game are certainly possible here.
4. Aaron Hernandez (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night) – Hernandez has only played in three games this season and none since Week 7 against the Jets. Aaron caught five balls for 54 yards in that game, though if he comes back this week as he’s expected to, he should be able to do a lot better than that. If Hernandez is cleared to play, then you have to consider him a top-tier fantasy tight end this week, if not THE top guy. With the amount of play Tom Brady gets his tight ends, Aaron should be in for a hell of a day without Gronkowski able to steal his thunder. FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 36 yards - 0 TDs
5. Tony Gonzalez (at TB) – Gonzo has been a little up-and-down after his torrid start to the season, but an inter-division matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should get him revved up enough to put up some nice numbers in this game. The Bucs are in the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but they’ve been busted for three touchdowns and two double-digit performances over the last three weeks so there’s no reason to think a player like Tony G won’t keep the ball rolling.
6. Owen Daniels (at Det, Thanksgiving day) – Daniels has been pretty consistent all season, averaging about five receptions, 60 yards and half a TD per game. He's not the type of player to break out and go for big yardage, but he is always a threat in the red-zone and is a very reliable target for Schaub. Daniels should be able to find room to work underneath against this Lions' defense and has a chance to finish with better than his average numbers of five catches for 60 yards and a TD. FINAL STATISTICS: 4 catches - 20 yards - 1 TD
7. Dustin Keller (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night) – Dustin Keller has all the talent in the world, but can’t seem to get out of his own way to use it on a consistent basis. As has been the case throughout his career, Keller is nursing an up-and-down 2012 campaign with most of it being on the down side due to his early-season injury woes. His finest game, however, came against the Patriots back in Week 7 when he caught all seven of his targets for 93 yards and a touchdown. If there’s one game to get his guy in for the rest of the season, it’s probably this one. The Patriots have allowed the most receiving yards, second-most receptions and third-most fantasy points per game to TEs this year, so if the trends continue; Keller should be able to put up TE1 fantasy stats this Thanksgiving. FINAL STATISTICS: 5 catches - 64 yards - 1 TD
8. Brandon Myers (at Cin) – Myers is certainly one of the biggest surprises at the tight end position this season, especially when you consider the fact that he was always a blocking tight and had caught just 32 balls in three years prior to this 50-catch (so far) campaign. However, he seems to be a natural pass-catcher as he’s converted 50 of his 67 targets including the first three TDs of his career. Cincinnati has been less than average against TEs this season allowing them the eighth-most fantasy points per game, so there’s definitely reason to be stoked here. When you add in that the Raiders have become a big-time passing team with McFadden and Goodson going down and that Myers has seen 30 targets over the last three weeks, there should be no question about getting him in there as a TE1 this weekend.
9. Jermaine Gresham (vs. Oak) – The former first-round monster out of Oklahoma has been steadily climbing the fantasy totem pole all season and currently resides as the tenth-ranked tight end in the league. Jermaine has at least three receptions in all ten of his games this season and is in the midst of a career-best three-game stretch in terms of catches with 15 in the last three weeks. He also just put up his first 100-yard game as a pro three weeks ago, so obviously the big man is hitting his stride. With Oakland allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to TEs this season, you might want to ride Gresham’s hot streak this weekend.
10. Antonio Gates (vs. Bal) – Gates was on a bit of a run there before being held to just two catches and 17 yards against the Broncos last week. However, Gates’ best games have been at home the last few seasons which is exactly where he’ll be this Sunday playing against a decimated Baltimore Ravens defense. I don’t know if one of his two-TD, 100-yard monster games is in the cards here, but if Rivers gets him involved early, he should be able to come through with top-10 fantasy numbers for the week.
Tight Ends 11-32
11. Jermichael Finley (at NYG, Sunday night)
12. Kyle Rudolph (at Chi)
13. Dallas Clark (vs. Atl)
14. Dwayne Allen (vs. Buf)
15. Greg Olsen (at Phi, Monday night)
16. Marcedes Lewis (vs. Ten)
17. Brent Celek (vs. Car, Monday night)
18. Martellus Bennett (vs. GB, Sunday night)
19. Heath Miller (at Cle)
20. Jared Cook (at Jax)
21. Joel Dreessen (at KC)
22. Brandon Pettigrew (vs. Hou, Thanksgiving day) – FINAL STATISTICS: 8 catches - 74 yards - 0 TDs
23. Garrett Graham (at Det, Thanksgiving day) – FINAL STATISTICS: 3 catches - 17 yards - 0 TDs
24. Tony Moeaki (vs. Den)
25. Logan Paulsen (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon) – FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 11 yards - 0 TDs
26. Ben Watson (vs. Pit)
27. Scott Chandler (at Ind)
28. Jacob Tamme (at KC)
29. Dennis Pitta (at SD)
30. Zach Miller (at Mia)
31. Rob Housler (vs. StL)
32. Kellen Davis (vs. Min)
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