Tight End Player Rankings – Week 14
No More Byes!!!
Tight Ends (Updated: Thursday, Dec. 6 - 7:08PM CT)
1. Aaron Hernandez (vs. Hou, Monday night) – So it looks like Aaron Hernandez is back on track after grabbing eight of his 13 targets for 97 yards this past weekend. His involvement in the game plan will continue to be heavy this Monday night with Julian Edelman out, so I expect at least double-digit targets once again. Since the Houston Texans have one of the best rush defenses in the league, the Patriots will be forced to move the ball through the air which can only mean good things for Mr. Hernandez and his fantasy numbers. Considering Houston has allowed the fifth-most catches, fourth-most yards and fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends over the last three weeks, there’s no reason to think Aaron won’t have a big game here.
2. Jimmy Graham (at NYG) – Jimmy Graham has seen just six targets in each of his last three games, something the Saints will have to change if they want to pull off the win this Sunday. Overall it’s been a somewhat disappointing year for Graham considering the expectations fantasy owners had of him when the season started. However, there’s no better time than the present to change it all around, especially with the fantasy playoffs upon us. Last year when these two teams hooked up, Jimmy had his finest fantasy performance of the regular season going off for two touchdowns and 84 yards in the Saints victory. I don’t know if he has another 20-point showing in him, but Drew Brees will undoubtedly provide him the opportunity.
3. Owen Daniels (at NE, Monday night) – Despite a season-low 4.3 fantasy points versus the Titans last weekend, you have to love what Owen Daniels has given his owners this season. He’s scored a touchdown in six of 11 games, drawn the sixth-most targets of all tight ends and put up the fourth-most fantasy points per game on the season. This week he’ll be running routes against a Patriots defense that has allowed the most receptions, most yards and fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Houston will likely have to pass the ball to win this game, so Daniels should have ample opportunity to put up TE1 stats in Week 14.
4. Tony Gonzalez (at Car) – Gonzalez had himself another nice game last Thursday night catching four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints. The four receptions were a little dull, sure, but in a game where both passing offenses struggled, Tony G. was the only fantasy player to come out unscathed. This week he’ll go up against a Carolina defense that has allowed Dallas Clark and Tony Moeaki to reach the end zone over the past few weeks, so Gonzo should at least have a shot to do some damage here. He only grabbed five balls for 51 yards against them back in Week 4, but his averages on the road this season (7.7 catches, 80 yards and 0.8 touchdowns) have been outstanding, so I’m expecting better.
5. Brandon Myers (vs. Den, Thursday night) – Myers broke onto the scene in a big way against the Browns last weekend and is becoming one of the leagues better tight ends right before our eyes. It was the first major impact of his career as he grabbed a gargantuan 14 of his 15 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown. He was a consistent PPR force throughout the early part of the season, but has recently added a scoring flair to his game putting up four touchdowns in his last five games. Its clear Myers has become Carson Palmer’s favorite target and should continue to be this Thursday against a Broncos team that has allowed the absolute most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Basically, he’s a must-start this week. FINAL STATISTICS: 1 catch - 7 yards - 0 TDs
6. Jason Witten (at Cin) – Jason Witten has been a true workhorse this season accruing the most targets (122) and catches (88) of any tight end in the league. However, he only ranks eighth in fantasy scoring as of Week 13, which certainly points to his complete and utter lack of scoring ability inside the red-zone (or otherwise). This week he’ll face a Cincinnati team that gives up quite a few receptions and yards to opposing tight ends, but I wouldn’t expect an out-of-the-blue touchdown for Witten as the Bengals have allowed just one receiving TD since Week 9… and it went to a wide receiver.
7. Kyle Rudolph (vs. Chi) – Rudolph has scored at least one touchdown in seven of the Vikings 12 games this season. He may not go for as many yards as other tight ends, but he sure can find the end zone pretty well. One of the main reasons he’s been able to score in each of the last three games is due to Percy Harvin being out of the lineup. Without a reliable receiver to throw to, Ponder has leaned on Rudolph as much as possible—evidenced by his 18 catches on 26 targets over the last three weeks. Two weeks ago against the Chicago Bears, Rudolph grabbed five of his nine targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. Without Brian Urlacher out there at linebacker this weekend, I can easily see Rudolph out-performing those numbers.
8. Martellus Bennett (vs. NO) – Martellus Bennett finally jumped back on board the G-Train last week grabbing five of his seven targets for 82 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins. It was his first double-digit scoring game since Week 3, but he’ll have a good chance to do it again this Sunday with the New Orleans Saints decrepit defense coming to town. In fact, the Saints have allowed the most receptions, yards, touchdowns, and obviously fantasy points to opposing tight ends over the past five weeks, so you have to believe the Black Unicorn is primed to get in on the fun.
9. Greg Olsen (vs. Atl) – Olsen has been a bit up and down this season, but when he’s been on—like he was against Atlanta in their first matchup of the season—he can be a huge asset to your fantasy squad. Back in Week 4, Greg caught six passes against the Falcons and turned them into 89 yards and a score. I have no doubt these numbers could be duplicated on Sunday in Carolina, especially seeing how Atlanta has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to tight ends over the last five weeks (ninth-most on the season). Olsen is definitely worth taking a chance on this weekend.
10. Dennis Pitta (at Was) – On a week-to-week basis, Dennis Pitta is either really good for your fantasy team, or downright awful. There’s not a whole lot of in-between when it comes to him. Trying to predict which Pitta will come out to play each week is tough, but he’s done well against defenses that allow a bunch of scoring to his position, which is exactly why he’s here in my top-10 this weekend. Washington has allowed nine different tight ends to catch five or more passes, six to put up a double-digit fantasy score and the second-most overall fantasy points to them this season. You can take a chance with any of the eight or so guys ranked below him, but the numbers suggest putting your money on Pitta.
Tight Ends 11-32
11. Heath Miller (vs. SD)
12. Brandon Pettigrew (at GB, Sunday night)
13. Jermichael Finley (vs. Det, Sunday night)
14. Vernon Davis (vs. Mia)
15. Jacob Tamme (at Oak, Thursday night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 24 yards - 0 TDs
16. Jermaine Gresham (vs. Dal)
17. Dallas Clark (vs. Phi)
18. Dwayne Allen (vs. Ten)
19. Brent Celek (at TB)
20. Marcedes Lewis (vs. NYJ)
21. Jared Cook (at Ind)
22. Antonio Gates (at Pit)
23. Coby Fleener (vs. Ten)
24. Scott Chandler (vs. StL)
25. Tony Moeaki (at Cle)
26. Lance Kendricks (at Buf)
27. Jeff Cumberland (at Jax)
28. Tony Scheffler (at GB, Sunday night)
29. James Casey (at NE, Monday night)
30. Ben Watson (vs. KC)
31. Logan Paulsen (vs. Bal)
32. Rob Housler (at Sea)
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