by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We never know which tight end is going to pop up and surprise us in any given week. That’s been a constant “decree” here, and the performance of the Colts’ Jack Doyle in Week 1 certainly helps to support it. Just because he had a good opening week doesn’t make him a guarantee, however. Who can we trust this week? Let’s take a look:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. San Francisco
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
- Julius Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – at San Diego
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – vs. Tennessee
- Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – vs. Baltimore
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
- Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts – at Denver
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at Detroit
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at Houston
- Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – at New York Giants
- Clive Walford – Oakland Raiders – vs. Atlanta
- Jacob Tamme – Atlanta Falcons – at Oakland
- Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens – at Cleveland
- Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
- Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
- Virgil Green – Denver Broncos – vs. Indianapolis
- Vince McDonald – San Francisco 49ers – at Carolina
- There’s no doubt that Rob Gronkowski will be the elite option, assuming he’s healthy and ready to play. That said, while there were high hopes for Martellus Bennett he fell flat and failed to take advantage of Gronkowski’s absence in Week 1 (3 catches for 14 yards on 5 targets). He’s going to be a tough player to trust, regardless of if he’s starting or complimenting Gronkowski (though you could argue a healthy Gronkowski will draw the defenses attention, thus opening up opportunities).
- The Chargers allowed Travis Kelce to catch 6 passes for 64 yards (Chiefs’ tight ends combined for 8 receptions and 94 yards). We all know what Julius Thomas can do when healthy, and he showed that potential in Week 1 (5 catches for 64 yards and 1 TD). After showing that type of production, coupled with a good matchup, Thomas could easily produce like one of the top options in Week 2.
- Jason Witten was targeted 14 times in Week 1. Any concern about him being asked to protect Dak Prescott is gone, as instead he will likely continue to operate as the go to safety net. That type of workload is going to put him on the TE1 map.
- Wasn’t Dwayne Allen supposed to absorb all of the tight end targets, with Coby Fleener now in New Orleans? While he had a good day (4 receptions on 6 targets, 53 yards, 1 TD), you can argue that he was actually overshadowed by Jack Doyle (4 receptions on 4 targets, 35 yards, 2 TD). That’s got to be a concern, and it’s going to help to suppress Allen’s value and upside a little bit.
- Considering all of the injuries to the receiving corps, the ageless Antonio Gates should continue to be among the Chargers’ most targeted options. That puts him on the TE1 landscape, though his upside isn’t as high as some alternatives.
- Jimmy Graham was a virtual nonfactor in Week 1 (1 target). There’s still potential and you’d think he will get a primary role in the offense, but until we see it there’s no way to trust him.
- The Falcons targeted Jacob Tamme 8 times in Week 1 (6 receptions for 51 yards). Considering the workload it’s hard not to like his upside moving forward.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings: