by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Tight end continues to be one of the most frustrating positions to fill. If you have one of the “Big 4” you are set each and every week (outside of bye weeks), but after that it’s a complete mess. Sure there are some decent options, but they aren’t a given to produce regularly and are definitely not matchup proof. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how things shake out for the coming week:
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at New York Giants
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
- Evan Engram – New York Giants – vs. Kansas City
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Oakland
- Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – vs. New England
- Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Atlanta
- Tyler Kroft – Cincinnati Bengals – at Denver
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at Pittsburgh
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at New Orleans
- Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Miami
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
- Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Buffalo
- Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – at Seattle
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Jermaine Gresham – Arizona Cardinals – at Houston
- Mercedes Lewis – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Cleveland
- Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins – at New Orleans
- Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – at Los Angeles Chargers
- Julius Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Tampa Bay
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – at Chicago
- The New York Giants have given up a TD to a tight end for 10 straight weeks, with the most recent being to Garrett Celek. Just imagine what Travis Kelce, who is already among the elite options in the game, could do? He’s the potential #1 option each week, but given the matchup it’s a no-brainer to slot him at the top for Week 11.
- Prior to the bye week Jared Cook had amassed 100+ yards in two of the previous three games. Part of that could be due to the struggles of the receiving corps, though a favorable matchup (and even better coming on the horizon) makes Cook an intriguing option moving forward. While it’s impossible to lump him into the Top 4, he’s on the cusp and one of the better Tier 2 options this week.
- Will Jordan Reed be able to return to the field? Time will tell, but if he isn’t ready you can simply slide Vernon Davis into the Top 10 in his place. That said, there’s an extra risk with Reed at this point given the production of Davis in his absence and the potential to be limited in any way. We’d love to say he’s an elite option, but that would simply be ignoring the risk.
- Just when we thought Hunter Henry was returning to prominence, over his past two games he’s been targeted a total of 4 times (3 receptions for 18 yards). The matchup would tell us that Henry should be a solid play, and given the questions surrounding the position in general he’s a low-end TE1 gamble. That said is anyone really willing to plug him into the lineup without a second thought? That’s the type of option most thought he’d be, but at this point it all depends on your alternatives.
- Cameron Brate has 2 receptions for 19 yards over the past two weeks, and one of those games came with Mike Evans suspended. Throw in the potential for O.J. Howard to syphon off some of the tight end targets and it’s clear that there’s significant risk. The matchup keeps him as a usable option, but he’s hardly a must use at this point.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: