by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Tight end continues to be one of the most frustrating positions to fill, and trying to maneuver around bye weeks just complicates our decisions even more. Of course we are starting to get a better understanding of matchups that can be exploited, and that helps in finding those streaming plugins. Who are the options to utilize this week? Who should we avoid? Let’s take a look at how our rankings shake out:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Tampa Bay
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Arizona
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at Houston
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at Miami
- Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – at Los Angeles Rams
- Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – at Cincinnati
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Green Bay
- Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New England
- Benjamin Watson – Baltimore Ravens – at Oakland
- Evan Engram – New York Giants – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers – at New York Giants
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Chicago
- Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – vs. Baltimore
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins – New York Jets – at Cleveland
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – vs. Carolina
- Antonio Gates – Los Angeles Chargers – at New York Giants
- Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Jacksonville
- Martellus Bennett – Green Bay Packers – at Dallas
- Tyler Kroft – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Buffalo
- Zach Miller – Chicago Bears – vs. Minnesota
- We all know that rookie tight ends are tough to trust, but Evan Engram has already been targeted 30 times and racked up 19 receptions for 200 yards and 1 TD. You prorate that out for a full 16 weeks and you get 76 catches and 800 yards, with the potential for the TD count to grow quickly. That puts him on the map as a viable TE1 option every week.
- The thought was that Delanie Walker’s value could take a hit, thanks to the improved receiving corps and focus on the running game. Instead Walker continues to be not only a viable option, but one of the more trustworthy. He’s topped 50 yards in three of his four games, and has also been targeted 6+ times in three contests. With the constant opportunities he’s going to remain a must use option.
- Stepping in for the injured Tyler Eifert it was a big day for Tyler Kroft, with 6 receptions, 68 yards and 2 TD against the Cleveland Browns. Of course the opponent needs to be considered and we wouldn’t expect him to be able to replicate that type of performance. There’s potential value, but he’s more of a TE2 as opposed to a trustworthy option.
- The New York Giants have allowed 5 TD to opposing tight ends, meaning both Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates need to be on our radars this week. Neither have been overly impressive, but Henry has the greater upside and you’d think the targets will be there (which hasn’t been the case most weeks). He’s a risky TE1, but a usable one depending on your alternatives.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins is coming off a solid Week 4 (4 receptions for 46 yards) and now gets to take on the Cleveland Browns (who are allowing the second most points per week to opposing tight ends). While it’s impossible to trust him as a TE1, unless you are desperate, he’s a viable TE2 in all formats.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: