Tight End production continued to be a huge part of fantasy football in NFL Week 1 even in the absence of the usual-#1 option from the last couple years, Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is expected to miss week 2 as well, but there are plenty of ways to go with your TE slot this week.
Here are the top ten options according to an average of my rankings with Leo Howell who also crunches some serious fantasy football numbers for Fansided:
1. Jimmy Graham-New Orleans Saints
Graham had a quiet week by his standards but still pulled in double-digit fantasy points in standard scoring leagues with four catches for 45 yards and a score against the Falcons. He still led New Orleans in targets, so don’t worry about his numbers going forward. He’s also in a great matchup in week 2 as the Saints take on the Bucs in what could quickly be a shootout.
2. Jason Witten-Dallas Cowboys
Witten was the fourth-best tight end in week one but looked to be in vintage form as he caught eight passes for 70 yards and a pair of scores in the Cowboys win. He and Tony Romo are definitely dialed in and he should have another good game this week as the ‘Boys head to Arrowhead to face the Chiefs.
3. Jared Cook-St. Louis Rams
Cook broke through with the biggest week of any tight end week 1 going for 141 yards on seven catches with a pair of scores. He was targeted 10 times by Sam Bradford and looks to be ready for the breakout season many predicted as he reunites with Jeff Fisher and gives Bradford a reliable Red Zone threat.
4. Tony Gonzalez-Atlanta Falcons
After agreeing on the top three options, Leo and I diverge a bit on number 4. I have Gonzalez as my fourth, while Leo has him at #5. He should get some extra looks this week with Roddy White still slowed by a high-ankle sprain. Gonzalez had a touchdown week one as part of his three catches for 36 yards against the Saints. This week, he’ll face the Rams who gave up plenty of passing yards against the Cards and Matt Ryan should be ready for a good week.
5. Jordan Cameron-Cleveland Browns
Cameron was targeted more than any other tight end as Brandon Weeden threw the ball his way 13 times. Cameron converted nine catches for 108 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins leading the Browns receiving options in targets, catches, and yards receiving. Weeden actually played pretty horribly, but Cameron was his best and favorite target. Cleveland has a tough road matchup against the Ravens this week, but Baltimore struggled to stop Julius Thomas of the Broncos last week, so Cameron is still a nice starting TE option.
6. Vernon Davis-San Francisco 49ers
Davis and Colin Kaepernick looked great against the Packers connecting for a pair of scores as Davis hauled in six catches for 98 yards. This week, the Niners head to Seattle, so I don’t expect nearly as much 49ers offense, but Davis is still a good start even in a tough matchup.
7. Antonio Gates-San Diego Chargers
Gates was a huge bargain in drafts this year but showed he still has some gas in the tank in week one finishing with just two catches and 49 yards but looking healthy and ready to contribute this year. Philip Rivers looked sharp spreading the ball well, but all four of his touchdowns went other directions leaving Gates without a score in week 1. He’ll travel to Phily for week 2 as the Chargers face the Eagles in what should be a high-scoring game.
8. Owen Daniels-Houston Texans
Daniels is another starter both Leo and I agree on in the top ten after his two-touchdown performance against the Chargers. He finished with five catches for 67 yards in the Texans comeback win, but he may have less of a role if the Texans can get ahead and run the ball which would be their preference this week against the Titans. He’s still someone to play if he’s on your team this week in Houston’s home-opener.
9. Greg Olsen-Carolina Panthers
Olsen is all the way up at #4 on Leo’s list after his five-catch, 56-yard performance in week one against Seattle. He was targeted more than any other Panther by Cam Newton but could find it tough going agains the Bills on Sunday who didn’t allow a completion to a tight end in week one by Tom Brady and the Patriots.
10. Julius Thomas-Denver Broncos
Thomas was in my top ten but absent from Leo’s after his breakout week one. He caught two touchdowns as part of his five catches for 110 yards against the Ravens on Thursday Night and could find openings all season if teams commit to stopping Denver’s receivers. He takes on the Giants in week 2 as part of the Manning Bowl. Last week, New York allowed Jason Witten to catch eight passes for 70 yards and a pair of touchodowns, so look for Thomas to have another solid week in the Big Apple week 2.
Honorable mention: Brent Celek-Philadelphia Eagles, Brandon Myers-New York Giants