Week 3 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve said it multiple times, but it’s never easy to project when a tight end is going to produce a significant performance.  Take Martellus Bennett, for instance, who was a massive disappointment in Week 1 (leading to many writing him off).  Those who stuck with him, though, were rewarded for their patience as he likely helped to carry your team to victory in Week 2.  So what does Week 3 have in store?  Let’s take a look:

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

Thoughts:

  • Over the first two weeks the Atlanta Falcons have allowed 15 receptions and 3 TD to opposing tight ends.  While Coby Fleener hasn’t put up big numbers quite yet, he has been targeted 12 times and we all know the Saints’ offense performs significantly better at home.  It’s impossible to rank him in the Top 10 based on his performance, but he has that type of upside and shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Coming off a big performance against the Browns, it’s fair to expect Dennis Pitta continuing to be an integral part of the Ravens offense (he turned 12 targets into 9 receptions and 102 yards).  Jacksonville’s defense is much improved, which is going to suppress his upside a bit, but it doesn’t make him unusable by any means.
  • We all know that if Rob Gronkowski is playing he’s the top tight end in the league.  If he’ll be healthy enough for Thursday remains to be seen, but we’ll keep him atop the rankings until we hear otherwise.  If he’s out, Martellus Bennett’s stock increases significantly.
  • Antonio Gates hasn’t played a major role in the offense yet, but with both Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead lost for the season you would think it’s just going to be a matter of time.
  • Jimmy Graham has seen his snaps increase over the first two weeks, as he continues to round back into form after last season’s injury.  He should take another significant step this week, especially against the San Francisco 49ers.  There’s a little bit of a leap in utilizing him, given the lack of production thus far, but he’s worth the gamble given the upside and matchup.
  • Will Gary Barnidge be the safety net for Cody Kessler?  It’s certainly possible, and the matchup is favorable, though there’s also the risk that the Browns ask him to stay in and block more (as well as going with a more run oriented attack).  Until we see how things play out, he’s nothing more than a risky TE2 option.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:

Week 3 Rankings (2016): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 3 Rankings (2016): Top 25 Quarterbacks

4 comments

  1. Alphonse Nguyen says:

    Hi Professor, in a standard league, would you start Travis Kelce as a flex over Chris Hogan or Cole Beasley?

  2. Tiffany says:

    Hi Professor! I’ve got the following in my line-up:

    QB: Palmer
    RB: David Johnson
    RB: Charles Sims
    WR: B. Marshall
    WR: Maclin
    TE: Pitta
    Flex: W. Snead
    K: Vinatieri
    DEF: NY Jets

    Bench: S. Ware
    J. Hill
    C. Coleman
    M. Wallace
    Q. Enunwa
    G. Barnidge

    I haven’t started moving players around on my roster for week 3. Any recommendations? Also, both J. Howard and Matt Ryan are free agents. Do you think I should grab either of them? If so, who should I drop? Sorry for all the questions but I appreciate all your help and advice!!

    • Dan says:

      If it were my team I would pick up Matt Ryan and drop G. Barnidge. I believe the Arizona at Buffalo game is not going to go the way people think. Arizona has never beaten Buffalo in Buffalo and the Bills lead the all time series 6 – 4. I remember in 2014 when my mighty Packers went into Buffalo having never won their either and left with yet another loss in Buffalo. I like some of your other plays though. I have Maclin in my lineup and I’m hoping for good things from him. He’s had 22 targets this season and has dropped half of them, so he needs to be making a few more catches to get the percentage over 50%.

  3. Alphonse Nguyen – Nah, or like Kelce so a guarantee to produce

    Tiffany – Id grab both, with Barnidge/Wallace being first cuts (Wallaceis Wallace, and there are a lot off outs to feed in Baltimoe)

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