Week 8 Rankings (2014): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Tight end is one of the toughest positions to figure, isn’t it?  While we all know who the truly elite options in the league are, it’s that Second and Third tier guys that seem nearly interchangeable.  Let’s take a look at how things currently look heading into Week 8:

 

  1. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Chicago
  2. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. Seattle
  3. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – vs. Green Bay
  4. Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. San Diego
  5. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – at Denver
  6. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
  7. Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears – at New England
  8. Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns – vs. Oakland
  9. Charles Clay – Miami Dolphins – at Jacksonville
  10. Owen Daniels – Baltimore Ravens – at Cincinnati
  11. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
  12. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Indianapolis
  13. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
  14. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. St. Louis
  15. Scott Chandler – Buffalo Bills – at New York Jets
  16. Jared Cook – St. Louis Rams – at Kansas City
  17. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Arizona
  18. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
  19. Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
  20. Jace Amaro – New York Jets – vs. Buffalo

Thoughts:

  • Julius Thomas didn’t score a TD in Week 7?!?!  In fact he also had just 4 receptions for 27 yards and hasn’t been above 66 yards since Week 1.  Obviously he’s developed into a TD machine, with 9 TD on the season, and while the matchup with the Chargers is a tough one (26 receptions, 268 yards, 1 TD to opposing TE) he still needs to be viewed as one of the best.
  • While Jimmy Graham did nothing in Week 7, the fact that he played (even in a limited role) is key here.  Look for him to see his role expand in Week 8 and he should remain one of the better options in the league (barring news that he’s not quite healthy).
  • The Seattle Seahawks have allowed 8 TD to opposing tight ends this season, most in the league.  Greg Olsen, meanwhile, has been targeted 59 times (most among TE) leading to 41 receptions, 493 yards and 5 TD.  There’s only been one game where he was below 5 receptions or 60 yards and is coming off his first 100 yard game of the season (8 receptions for 105 yards).  It’s hard not to consider him among the best in the league for any week, let alone this week.
  • Over the past two weeks Jordan Reed has been targeted 17 times, leading to 13 receptions for 146 yards.  It doesn’t matter who is under center (whether it’s Colt McCoy, Kirk Cousins or even Robert Griffin III) and the Cowboys have been among the worst teams at stopping tight ends this season (50 receptions are most in the league and 7 TD are just one behind the league leaders).  Consider him a must play in all formats.
  • While Jordan Cameron is coming off a terrible performance (which was surprising, considering it was against Jacksonville), there’s a good chance he bounces back strong against the Raiders.  Don’t shy away from him off the one poor performance.
  • Is Charles Clay getting healthy?  He’s coming off his best performance of the season (4 catches for 58 yards and 1 TD) and should be able to continue it against the Jaguars.  It’s worth valuing him like a low-end TE1.
  • Dwayne Allen continues to share targets with Coby Fleener, making him touchdown dependent.  He does have a favorable matchup against the Steelers, so he is in the TE1 range, but he’d be a lot better off if he were dominating the targets.
  • At this point how do you trust Jason Witten?  He’s watched Gavin Escobar’s role grow significantly of late, including scoring 3 TD over the past two weeks.  Obviously we don’t want to write him off, but he needs to show us something before we trust him.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

 

Week 9 Rankings (2014): Top 25 Quarterbacks
Week 8 Rankings (2014): Top 15 Defenses

18 comments

  1. Dave says:

    So, I have Jordan Cameron and Owen Daniels. Daniels had a good week, and is going against the bengals that have something to prove. Cameron, is coming off a bad week, and going against a team that is ok against TEs. So what to do? I was leaning Cameron, because I think he could have a bounce back game, but it is a tough call.

    • Dustin says:

      As a Bengals fan, I can tell you, without a doubt, to start Owen Daniels. The Bengals have NEVER covered the tight end. They are allowing more yards per game than anyone else, 101 ypg, next worst is 78 ypg. They are allowing more receptions per game than anyone else, 8.0 to 7.2 next worse. Other teams know this, TEs are getting 3 targets against the Bengals than against any other team, 12 to 9.6. The Bengals will make Daniels look like a Pro Bowler on Sunday.

    • I’d go Cameron, but it is close. Thing is Daniels missed practice with an injury, so it’s something that needs to be monitored closely. If he’s banged up, it’s irrelevant

  2. Mike in Georgia says:

    My issue is similar to Dave’s above, I have Cameron and Delanie Walker…but am considering dropping Walker for Owen Daniels due to Walker’s last 3 performances…Walker was great during the first 4 weeks while Cameron was out and Kyle Rudolph went down (Cameron and Rudolph were my drafted TE’s). But, lately the inconsistency of both Walker and Jordan have been reeling at a position I usualy do well with. What sayeth the Professor?

  3. Steve says:

    Drop Delanie Walker to pickup Charles Clay moving forward?
    I already have Larry Donnell but I feel like Delanie isn’t and won’t produce for me for the rest of the season.

    With Walker’s lackluster numbers in the recent weeks, I feel like starting Clay this week will yield better results.

    • I do prefer Clay for this week, but it’s close moving forward. I’d lean Walker, I think, but it’s close enough that you could go with the way you feel.

      • Steve says:

        If I didn’t already have Larry Donnell, I would agree with keeping Walker, but I need to win my toilet bowl game this week lol.

        I’ll go Clay over Walker. Thanks Prof.

  4. Chris says:

    Hey Prof, would you say Cameron or Bennett this week? I like Cameron but have no confidence in Hoyer/Manziel.

  5. Jon says:

    So Ertz or Kelce this week?

  6. Brandon says:

    I have V Davis on a bye and need to stream a TE. I was leaning this order.. Harbor, Chandler, Amaro. Half Pt PPR. Your thoughts? And id be forced to drop a RB, havin a hard time choosing between Crowell and Sankey

    • I like Chandler the best against the Jets and I’d probably drop Crowell. He’s going to be a secondary back, barring an injury. At least Sankey as a chance to win RB1 duties if he can get things on track

  7. Bob says:

    Jordan Cameron or Alfred Morris at flex? Both seem to have the possibility of a come back.

  8. Tyler says:

    Charles Clay over Jonathan Stewart in my Flex spot?

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