by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The injuries piled up this past week, including both Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, while we also wait to see the status of potentially usable options like Martellus Bennett and Zach Ertz. It significantly hurts the depth at the position, though there are still options to utilize. Who’s the best of the best? Let’s take a look:
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
- Julius Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
- Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Denver
- Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
- Scott Chandler – New England Patriots – vs. Philadelphia
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Seattle
- Crockett Gillmore – Baltimore Ravens – at Miami
- Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears – vs. San Francisco
- Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
- Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
- Richard Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
- Vance McDonald – San Francisco 49ers – at Chicago
- Jacob Tamme – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – vs. Green Bay
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
- Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
- If healthy there is little doubt who the elite tight end in the game is. We’ll have to monitor his progress as the week moves on, just in case, but at this point it looks like Rob Gronkowski is going to miss this week’s game. That makes Scott Chandler a viable option in his absence.
- Delanie Walker continues to operate as the de facto top receiver for the Titans, generally getting at least 8 targets per game. That should continue this week against Jacksonville, who he torched on November 19 for 8 receptions and 109 yards. While it would be nice if he found the end zone (only 3 TD split between two games), it’s hard not to consider him among the best options in the game.
- Julius Thomas is coming off a huge performance (9 receptions, 116 yards, 1 TD), has scored in back-to-back games and should continue to play a significant role given the injury to Allen Hurns. Fire him up in all formats.
- Over the past two weeks Kyle Rudolph has become a vital part of the Vikings offense, turning 19 targets into 13 receptions, 159 yards and 1 TD. The Seahawks have actually struggled against opposing tight ends this season, allowing the fourth most points per week, so he’ll be worth utilizing as a TE1 depending on your alternatives.
- There is some question as to whether or not Martellue Bennett is going to be able to suit up this week for the Bears. If he does he will be a usable option, but we’ll have to monitor the news and see how things shake out.
- While the Buccaneers continue to wait for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Cameron Brate has quietly emerged. Over the past two weeks he has 8 receptions for 100 yards and 2 TD and has a favorable matchup against the Falcons. While he’s not a must use option, he could be a plug and play if you need an injury fill-in if Seferian-Jenkins doesn’t return.
*** Want a chance to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with a “Thor” inscription? Find out how by clicking here!! ***
Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: