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