by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Tight end took another hit coming out of Week 3, with Evan Engram being the latest to go down. Exactly how much time he’ll miss remains to be seen, but with Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker already out and the bye weeks starting the “obvious” options are quickly dwindling. We have seen some rise to the occasion (like O.J. Howard), but there’s a void none the less. Who are the options we should be trusting this week? Who should we avoid? Let’s break it down:
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
- Zack Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Tennessee
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
- Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers – vs. Buffalo
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Los Angeles Rams
- Trey Burton – Chicago Bears – vs. Tampa Bay
- George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – at Los Angeles Chargers
- O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Chicago
- Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals – at Atlanta
- Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
- Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – vs. Cleveland
- David Njoku – Cleveland Browns – at Oakland
- Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Cincinnati
- Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. New York Jets
- Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints – at New York Giants
- Will Dissly – Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
- Rhett Ellison – New York Giants – vs. New Orleans
- Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
- Jake Butt – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
Bye Week – Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed)
- Over the first three weeks tight ends haven’t done anything against the Tennessee Titans, with just 7 receptions for 69 yards. Of course who have they faced? It’s not like they’ve shutdown an elite tight end as they’ve faced the Dolphins (Mike Gesicki), Texans (Ryan Griffin/Jordan Akins) and Jaguars (Austin Seferian-Jenkins). Zack Ertz is a different story, averaging 11 targets per game. He’s among the elite and this matchup shouldn’t slow him down.
- After a huge Week 1 Rob Gronkowski has been a virtual non-factor, combining for 6 catches and 66 yards over the past two weeks. It’s hard to imagine him not rebounding at the expense of the Miami Dolphins and we aren’t going to drop him too far down the rankings. That said, it’s clear that he’s not the sole “elite” option right now and needs to be valued with that in mind.
- Tyler Eifert saw a big bump in usage in Week 3, turning 8 targets into 6 receptions and 74 yards. Part of it likely came due to the groin injury sustained by A.J. Green, and early indications are that Green will be ready to roll in Week 4. Time will tell, but it’s at least possible that he’s limited in some manner and that would help Eifert’s outlook. At a position that’s full of questions, that’s enough to push him up the rankings for this week.
- The numbers for Trey Burton haven’t been spectacular (9 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD), but he’s put up 4 receptions in each of the past two games and draws a Tampa Bay defense that’s been torched by opposing tight ends (210 yards). Don’t be surprised to see his breakout game finally come and now isn’t the time to lose hope.
- Will Dissly caught everyone’s attention in Week 1 (3 receptions, 105 yards, 1 TD) and did follow that up with a TD in Week 2. Of course he hasn’t been targeted more than 5 times in a game and is coming off a Week 3 where he turned 3 targets into 1 catch and 4 yards. It shouldn’t come as a surprise and he should be valued as nothing more than a TE2.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 4 rankings: