Week 2 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends

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:

  1. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
  2. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. San Francisco
  3. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  4. Julius Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – at San Diego
  5. Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – vs. Tennessee
  6. Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – vs. Baltimore
  7. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  8. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  9. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
  10. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts – at Denver
  11. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at Detroit
  12. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at Houston
  13. Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – at New York Giants
  14. Clive Walford – Oakland Raiders – vs. Atlanta
  15. Jacob Tamme – Atlanta Falcons – at Oakland
  16. Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens – at Cleveland
  17. Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
  18. Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
  19. Virgil Green – Denver Broncos – vs. Indianapolis
  20. Vince McDonald – San Francisco 49ers – at Carolina

Thoughts:

  • 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:

Week 2 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Defenses
Week 2 Rankings (2016): Top 40 Running Backs

7 comments

  1. Alphonse Nguyen says:

    Hi Prof, would you bench Kelce for Julius Thomas or play both Kelce and Thomas and bench Moncrief? A PPR league

  2. Billy says:

    Hi Prof,
    I need a little help in my non-ppr league. Do you think the Colts & Dwayne Allen can survive/manage against Denver’s D? Or should I roll the dice with Tamme against Oakland?
    Btw, thanks for all the advice last year!

  3. Haggy says:

    Thinking of starting V.Green or Fleener. ??

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