What a difference two weeks makes. Going into week 6, Jimmy Graham was undisputedly the king of tight ends and Rob Gronkowski was maybe never coming back as he and the Patriots “diverged” on their recovery plans. Fast forward two weeks, Gronk is back and looked good last week while Graham had zero catches in his last game and is now the one dealing with an injury. Graham is a top option if he plays, but I don’t think he will. As a result, he barely cracks our top ten this week.
Here’s the top ten tight ends to start this week based on a composite ranking of myself and my fellow fantasy writer on Fansided, Leo Howell. Here’s who we think should be your starters this week if your in a standard 10-team league. If you don’t have one of these options available or have a roster specific question, send it to me on twitter @ZT_Sports or drop in tin the comments at the bottom of the page, and I’ll do the best I can to give you my opinion on your specific situation.
Here’s our top ten for this week:
1. Rob Gronkowski-New England Patriots
Both Leo and I are all systems go on Gronk. Even with just one game played this season, we both have him atop our rankings. He needed just 51 of a possible 79 snaps to get targeted 17 times by Brady (think he missed him?). Gronk finished with 114 yards on eight catches and didn’t find the end zone, but will be a week healthier and more in game shape should lead to a huge week 8. Gronk faces the Dolphins who have allowed the second-most points per game to opposing fantasy TE’s and were shredded by Jimmy Graham for 100 yards and a pair of scores just a few weeks ago. Gronk should be in for a huge week, so start him no matter who your other options are.
2. Julius Thomas-Denver Broncos
Thomas gets the nod as the second best option after four TDs in his last three games. He’s been targeted 25 times in the last three games, so concerns about him getting lost in Denver’s aerial attack have been unfounded so far.
3. Vernon Davis-San Francisco 49ers
Davis and the ‘Niners travel across the pond to face the Jaguars who are the seventh-worst team against fantasy TEs. Davis has had at least 60 yards in his last three games and has four TD’s in his last four. Start him with confidence this week in London.
4. Jason Witten-Dallas Cowboys
Witten and the ‘Boys are taking on the Giants this week who he scored a pair of TD’s against back in week one. Things haven’t gone as well for #82 lately, though, finishing under 50 yards in each of his last two games with just one score in six games since he last saw the G-men. He’s still definitely a TE1 as he tries to get back on a roll against New York.
5. Jordan Reed-Washington Redskins
Reed tore apart the Bears last week catching nine passes for 134 yards and a touchdown despite a hip contusion which he played through. He should be able to go this week in Denver in what should be another high-scoring affair in Denver.
6. Tony Gonzalez-Atlanta Falcons
Gonzo didn’t explode like many thought he would without Roddy White and Julio Jones. He was the focus of the defense and ended up with just two catches for 30 yards. He should bounce back this week, though, against the Cardinals who allow more points per game to opposing TE than any other team in the league.
7. Jordan Cameron-Cleveland Browns
Cameron’s value is unfortunately tied to the performance of the Browns QB, but he picks up plenty of late catches when the Browns are trying to catch up and defenses are dropping back. With Jason Campbell under center this week, Cameron will be in another new situation which could work either for or against him. This week he faces the Chiefs who allow the least amount of points per game to opposing TE.
8. Greg Olsen-Carolina Panthers
Olsen and the Panthers play Thursday Night against the Bucs in an NFC South showdown. He’s been targeted at least four times every game this year and is a reliable contributor as a low-end TE1 if you need a fill-in and he’s an option.
9. Heath Miller-Pittsburgh Steelers
Miller is another solid option this week at tight end as the Steelers take on the Raiders. He’s back from his injury and already a big part of Big Ben’s aerial assault. He has been a Roethlisberger safety blanket for years and is back to his role making him a solid fantasy option.
10. Jimmy Graham-New Orleans Saints
Graham is a top option if he plays and is 100%, but the Saints will probably be cautious with their big weapon as they face the Bills. It seems wrong to leave him off the list, but he’s just too risky to have him higher at this point since he’s so uncertain to play.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Rudolph-Minnesota Vikings, Brandon Myers-New York Giants