Week 16 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know the frustrating nature of the tight end position (maybe not quite to the extent of kickers), though as the season has worn on a nice group of dependable options has developed.  Are they going to post a dud on occasion?  Absolutely, but you can say that about anyone.  Now the question is who to trust with your fantasy title on the line.  Let’s take a look:

  1. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
  2. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. Atlanta
  3. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Denver
  4. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  5. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Chicago
  6. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville
  7. Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals – at Houston
  8. Ladarius Green – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
  9. Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New Orleans
  10. Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots – vs. New York Jets
  11. Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Arizona
  12. Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers – at Cleveland
  13. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – at Cleveland
  14. C.J. Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans – vs. Cincinnati
  15. Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – vs. San Diego
  16. Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – at Dallas
  17. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Detroit
  18. Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
  19. Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – at Oakland
  20. Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – vs. Tampa Bay

Thoughts:

  • Zach Ertz continued to operate as the key to the offense, turning 8 targets into 6 receptions and 80 yards in Week 15.  He’s now had 79+ yards in three straight games, and while we’d like to see him finding the end zone more (only 1 TD over this span, 2 TD on the season), he’s getting opportunities and taking advantage of them.  The Giants defense has been great of late, though not against opposing tight ends.
  • It was interesting to see Jeremy Maclin lead the Chiefs in targets (8), considering how well Travis Kelce had been producing leading into the game.  That’s definitely a concern, and one that’s going to keep him out of the top few spots in a difficult matchup (though he’s still among the best options in the league).
  • Are we ready to depend on Ladarius Green?  Of course not, but it’s nice to see him get 8 targets and produce 5 catches for 72 yards.  He should see ample opportunities against a Baltimore defense that has actually struggled against opposing tight ends of late (seventh most points per week over the past four weeks).  He’s well worth firing up as a TE1, given the upside to produce.
  • We may not want to trust Martellus Bennett, but the Jets’ defense is that bad.  He’s had some monster games this season and this could be a spot where he pops off another.  He’s not a high-end option, but he’s one worth gambling on.
  • Antonio Gates or Hunter Henry?  Hunter Henry or Antonio Gates?  The potential for either one to operate as the lead tight end makes it a tough situation to bank on.  Then again the matchup keeps them on the map, depending on who else you’re holding on to.

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Week 16 Rankings (2016): Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 16 Rankings (2016): Top 40 Running Backs

16 comments

  1. MikeP says:

    You really trust Jordan Reeds shoulder THAT much? This is for all the marbles and I really don’t want to leave anything to chance.

    With everything on the line I’m extremely worried about this scenario. I’m leaning Bennett against a highly suspect Jets D and I know the Pats LOVE to beat up on division rivals when the opportunity presents itself. Even though the game may not have that much meaning, I just have a gut feeling Bennett > Reed with everything on the line this week.

    What say you Prof, go with my gut or step back from the ledge?

    • Do I trust Reed? Not so much. I ranked him assuming he’s healthy, but if the news is that he’s not drop him down significantly (or eliminate him completely). I’d agree with Bennett

  2. C says:

    What’s up Eric,

    Made it to the championship game, despite not using Montgomery. Thanks a lot for all your input during the season!

    Wanted the Packers DST, but someone else got them off waivers. I picked up the Titans and the Giants, and since the Giants are playing tonight I’m wondering which one you prefer?

    I’m leaning Giants because they have the better defense and I’m expecting more sacks/INTs from them. Houston didn’t do too great against Jax last week — but as usual I have a hard time deciding.

    Other options available are the Cowboys, Texans, Falcons and Rams.

    Appreciate it!

  3. Joe says:

    Just an FYI about Green being less likely to play because he won’t clear concussion protocol on time.

    Here’s a question: I have *one* add left this week (and I have Green at TE). Should I scoop up Bennett now, despite his rather unimpressive performances as of late, or wait and see if Reed sits, at which point I would grab Vernon Davis, whose done well in PPR when Reed’s been out?

  4. C – For the D it’s a coin flip, but I’d lean NY

    Joe – I don’t trust Davis, so I’d just go Bennett

  5. Patrick says:

    I have Eifert but he may not play

    On the WW my choices are: Henry, Griffen Clay ,Gates or Davis (if Reed out)? I need one choice if Reed is out, plus IF REED plays.

    If Reed is OUT would Davis be must start? All standard league plays. Thank you.

  6. V_money says:

    Professor,

    Henry or Fiedorowicz?

  7. haggy says:

    Brate or Green TE

  8. LK says:

    Merry Christmas Prof!
    I’m torn trying to replace Reed in .5 PPR. Not great choices but looking at:
    Witten (probably playing against Prescott and he has maybe the safest PPR floor?)
    Clay (might be playing against Tyrod–two QB league–but Bills don’t throw much)
    Henry (maybe best bet for TD but Gates TD record has me worried he might soak up the red zone targets)
    Fiedorowicz (new QB who actually throws to–crazy–WRs, worries me, plus backup QBs tend to target backups they’re more comfortable with–Griffin)

    Thoughts?

  9. Greg says:

    Sub for Eifert, had just decided on Ebron, but you are high on Henry. With season over won’t they try extra hard to get Gates the record? Henry was my first pick, but then seeing how well Brate did against the Cowboys. ..I leaned Ebron… sell me on Henry given the zGates situation. ..please!

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