by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The bye weeks definitely play a role in the tight end rankings, but it’s more for the second tier and below. If you are an owner lucky enough to own one of the premier options, you have no complaints. Where do the rest of us turn? Let’s take a look:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Denver
- Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – at Miami
- Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos – at New England
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
- Larry Donnell – New York Giants – vs. Indianapolis
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – vs. St. Louis
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Minnesota
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Arizona
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Houston
- Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts – at New York Giants
- Jared Cook – St. Louis Rams – at San Francisco
- Jace Amaro – New York Jets – at Kansas City
- Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
- Clay Harbor – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Cincinnati
- Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – at New York Giants
- Crockett Gillmore – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
- Mychal Rivera – Oakland Raiders – at Seattle
- Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Jacksonville
- We’ve been waiting for the breakout from Rob Gronkowski and he delivered with a 9 catch, 149 yard, 3 TD performance against the Bears this past week. It broke a two-game scoreless stretch and with a shootout expected against the Broncos, look for him to have another big performance.
- After his virtual no show in Week 7, Jimmy Graham converted six targets into 5 receptions, 59 yards and a TD in Week 8 against Green Bay. He’s only going to get healthier and has had success against the Panthers in the past. Last season he scored 3 TD in two games against them and has scored in five consecutive regular season games against Carolina (the last time he didn’t find the end zone against them was in 2011 and all he did was put up 8 catches for 129 yards in that game).
- Would it be a surprise if Peyton Manning and company made a concerted effort to get the ball to Julius Thomas after he had just 50 yards and 0 TD over the past two games? I wouldn’t be and definitely wouldn’t ignore him (though I don’t think anyone would really make that mistake).
- Travis Kelce hasn’t put up huge numbers this season, but thanks to bye weeks the pickings are slim this week. Plus, on a team that doesn’t have much wide receiver talent he could be the focus of the offense against the Jets (9 TD allowed to opposing TE). Don’t shy away from him.
- Even with Reggie Wayne out, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener combined for just 2 catches, 25 yards and 1 TD in Week 8. While both will play a role on Monday night, do we know which one is going to be the main target? No one does, if either will be, which makes them tough to trust.
- Clay Harbor isn’t going to be a great option, but he does have a favorable matchup against the Bengals (632 yards, 4 TD to opposing tight ends). That at least puts him on our radars, if you need a bye week fill-in.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: