Week 5 Rankings (2018): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Injuries…  Injuries…  Injuries…  All fantasy football owners have to deal with them, but has any position been hit harder thus far than tight end?  This week we saw a few more potential Top 10 options go down, with Tyler Eifert and Will Dissly being lost, many are left to get creative out the spot.  Who is a good gamble to take?  We may dig deeper into that later this week, but for now let’s take a look at our rankings heading into Week 5:

  1. Zack Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Minnesota
  2. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Indianapolis
  3. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at New Orleans
  4. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Jacksonville
  5. George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  6. Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – at Los Angeles Chargers
  7. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Philadelphia
  8. Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
  9. Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – at New England
  10. Vance McDonald – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Atlanta
  11. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Kansas City
  12. Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – at Pittsburgh
  13. Rhett Ellison – New York Giants – at Carolina
  14. Ricky Seals-Jones – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
  15. David Njoku – Cleveland Browns – vs. Baltimore
  16. Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints – vs. Washington
  17. Antonio Gates – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Oakland
  18. Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – vs. Tennessee
  19. Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens – at Cleveland
  20. Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Atlanta

Thoughts:

  • Since Week 1 Rob Gronkowski has disappointed, failing to eclipse 51 yards in any game and not finding the end zone.  Could the return of Julian Edelman and seeing Josh Gordon’s role grow help to open things up and allow him more room to operate?  You would think so, and while it’s easy to be down on him don’t make that mistake.
  • While the Saints have been among the elite defenses against opposing tight ends over the first four weeks, who have they faced?  O.J. Howard did make some plays in Week 1, though he was targeted just twice.  Since then the “best” tight end New Orleans has shutdown was David Njoku.  In other words, don’t overemphasize the stats and look for a reason to downgrade Jordan Reed, who has significant upside.
  • Travis Kelce is going to be a solid option, and he’s not one that you are going to sit, but the Jaguars should prove to be a top matchup.  Let’s not forget that they completely silenced Rob Gronkowski earlier this year and have allowed just 135 receiving yards to opposing tight ends.
  • As expected George Kittle was the safety valve for C.J. Beathard, turning 8 targets into 6 receptions, 125 yards and 1 TD.  While we wouldn’t expect quite those numbers each and every week, he’s going to play a big role in the offense and is emerging as a viable TE1 in all formats and a potential Top 5 option.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins hasn’t posted gaudy numbers, but he has been targeted at least 4 times in each of the first four games and has a favorable matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.  For those desperately looking for an injury replacement he has the potential to produce.
  • Other favorable sleepers for the week include Austin Hooper, Rhett Ellison and Ricky Seals-Jones, who all have matchups their teams can exploit.  Obviously there’s risks, especially with Hooper/Ellison (who aren’t locks to receive targets given the other weapons around them), but without many dependable options you may not have a choice.
  • Eric Ebron has been targeted 21 times over the past two weeks and has 3 TD over the first four games.  Those are impressive numbers and there’s no doubt that he’s the team’s #1 tight end (there’s no timeshare with Jack Doyle going on, even when he’s healthy).  The Patriots are going to represent a tough matchup, but given the injuries at the position his opportunities simply can’t be ignored.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 5 Rankings (2018): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 5 Rankings (2018): Top 25 Quarterbacks

33 comments

  1. jes says:

    Hi,

    Should I trade Mccoy for Reed, Crowell?

    my te both out for season Walker, Eifert.

    my rb are gordon, eckler, coleman, mccoy, kerryon.

    or
    which one to pick up from this list?
    mcdonald, vannett, kroft, swaim, hurst

    Thanks

  2. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. Need one TE: Vannett, Ellison, Gates, or Swaim? How would you rank them in order? Thanks.

  3. David says:

    16 Team PPR League – Can start TE as Receiver

    Prof,

    Who do I start?

    QB – Tom Brady

    Start 2 -
    RB – Lamar Miller, Bilal Powell, Jamaal Williams

    Start 3 -
    WR/TE – Randall Cobb, Sterling Shepard, Robert Woods, Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Julian Elderman, Cameron Meredith

    Kicker -

    Start 1 -
    Will Lutz or Ka’imi Fairbairn

    Thanks

  4. Curious says:

    12 team Standard League…

    I’ve been sitting on L. Bell and now with the announcement about his possible return in week 8 folks are reaching out to see if I’d be interested in trading him. Gronk and T. Lockett for Bell is the most interesting offer to date. What would it take for you to trade Bell at this point?

    QB: Rogers, Wentz
    RB: Bell, Ajai, Ingram, McCoy, Crowell
    WR: Green, Edelman, M Goodwin, Westbrook, T. Taylor
    TE: Watson

  5. Krysta says:

    14 team PPR. Currently have Jesse James, mainly because Big Ben is my QB. Available is Vanett Ellison uzimah Gates or Thomas…thoughts?

  6. Brian says:

    Gimpy Gronk tonight or Vance MacDonald vs Falcons?

  7. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. Who do you think gets more snaps at TE for Cincy? Kroft or Uzomah? My bet is on Kroft. Thanks.

    • I’d lean Uzomah, but it really is a coin flip

      • Tony says:

        Hi Professor,

        I just read that C.J. Uzomah is to be Cincinnati’s top tight end moving forward?

        I had Eifert on my team, so grabbed Seals-Jones, but now after reading this, do you think Uzomah is a better option, though I see SF is one of the worst teams against TEs, but can Rosen get him the ball?

        Thank you very much.
        tony

        • Tony says:

          Hi Professor,

          I see G Olsen was available so dropped Gio for him with Mixon returning, and Gio out for 2-4, then starting Seals-Jones this weekend, so hope you would agree with this move instead? I think Olsen will be back next week, then Panthers had their bye already, so just hope he stays healthy. TE hasn’t been easy for this season!

          Thanks!

  8. Luigi Iannuccilli says:

    I see that you recommend Ellison over swaim? How do you feel about Swaim overall this week?

  9. Gillooly says:

    Standard 12 team league – no penalties for TO. Mayfield or Mariota?

  10. Billy says:

    Trey Burton is available in my league, should I drop Quincy Enunwasnd gran Burton. It’s a 1 point PPR league

  11. Billy says:

    I meant should I drop Quincy Enunwa and pick up Trey Burton in a 1 point PPR league?

  12. Leya says:

    This is my second year playing Fantasy Football, so very green and trying to still learn names etc. I have Kelce but no other TE. Some of the TE available without a trade are: Hooper, Heuerman, Swaim, Ellison. I have 4 RB’s and 3 WR’s-should I try to trade one of those for a more decent TE or am I good to stick with Kelce as my only one?

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