by Ray Kuhn
Things have not been easy this year at the tight end position, and things will likely not get better this week. If there is anything good to takeaway here, and it’s really just an optimistic point of view, it’s that things aren’t going get anymore difficult for the last week of the season. Let’s jump into the rankings:
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Diego
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Dallas
- Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – at San Francisco
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – vs. Green Bay
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Kansas City
- Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – at New York Jets
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Chicago
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at Philadelphia
- Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots – at Miami
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
- Jared Cook – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
- Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
- Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
- Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – at Atlanta
- Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
- Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
- Jermaine Gresham – Arizona Cardinals – at Los Angeles
- Washington is one of the few teams that is in a must win situation this week. After missing last week, the early word is that Jordan Reed will be active to close out the season against the Giants. While New York is saying all the right things about be competitive in a game that means nothing for them this week, Reed should have success against the 19th ranked fantasy defense against tight ends. Reed originally injured himself in Week 12, and then sat out a week before being a shell of himself in the following two weeks. When healthy, it’s hard to argue with Reed’s success and you just can’t leave him out of your lineup this week; unless of course there is news to the contrary.
- It only makes sense that since the Steelers are entrenched in the third spot in the AFC that Ladarius Green will be rested this week. After showing signs of living up to his potential, albeit in a small batch, Green is currently in the concussion protocol and Pittsburgh will tread carefully here. That means Jesse James is back in the picture after taking a backseat to Green over the past few weeks. this past week, James was targeted five times and caught four passes for 49 yards. That is the ceiling, and likely projection, for James this week against Cleveland whose true success is dependent upon a touchdown. It is plus for James that the Browns are also allowing the most points this season to opposing tight ends.
- Another tight end with something to play for this week is Eric Ebron as the Lions look to clinch the NFC North. Ebron has emerged as true weapon, at least last week, for Detroit and Matthew Stafford isn’t showing any ill effects from his dislocated finger. On Monday, Ebron was targeted 12 times and caught eight passes for 92 yards. It was the first time since Week 9 that Ebron caught more than four passes in a game and he has yet to score a receiving touchdown since Week 1. That isn’t going to generate too much comfort in Ebron, but he does have a favorable match-up this week (Green Bay is ranked 20th against opposing tight ends), talent, and you have think he can build on last week’s success.
- It took long enough, but Gary Barnidge finally saw the focus he deserved in Cleveland’s offense. Barnidge caught five passes in the Browns’ first victory of the season for 42 yards. It speaks to how much of a disappointment Barnidge has been this season that it was his best performance since Week 7. Barnidge has just one touchdown on the season as he looks to finish the season strong this week. You can certainly do worse than the Cleveland tight end who, at the very least, should see another six targets.
*** Pre-Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $5.50 By Clicking Here!! ***