Week 7 Rankings (2018): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While the injuries have mounted to the position fantasy owners got a boost in Week 6, with the surprisingly quick return of O.J. Howard as well as Greg Olsen also getting back onto the field.  With Evan Engram also nearing a return and a few other situations evolving, suddenly tight end doesn’t seem like as much of a black hole.  Where should we be focusing for the current week?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Carolina
  2. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Cincinnati
  3. David Njoku – Cleveland Browns – at Tampa Bay
  4. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Chicago
  5. George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Los Angeles Rams
  6. Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Buffalo
  7. Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New York Giants
  8. O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Cleveland
  9. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  10. Trey Burton – Chicago Bears – vs. New England
  11. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Philadelphia
  12. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at New York Jets
  13. Evan Engram – New York Giants – at Atlanta
  14. Ricky Seals-Jones – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Denver
  15. C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals – at Kansas City
  16. Geoff Swaim – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  17. Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – at Indianapolis
  18. Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Cleveland
  19. Jeff Heurman – Denver Broncos – at Arizona
  20. James O’Shaughnessy – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Dallas

Thoughts:

  • The workload for David Njoku has taken a significant step up over the past few weeks, going from 7 targets to 10 targets to 12 targets.  Part of it has been to the receiving corps being banged up, and there’s a good chance that they aren’t healthy this week either.  Even if they were you would expect Njoku to be a go to option against a defense that has allowed the most points per game to opposing tight ends.  Overall he may not be elite, but for this week (and potentially the next few) he has that potential.
  • Is it time that we face the realization that Rob Gronkowski simply isn’t going to have the type of impact that was expected of him?  While he did rack up 97 yards in Week 6, he was targeted just 4 times (tying his season low) and he hasn’t scored a TD since Week 1.  Obviously there’s too much upside to ignore, but it makes sense to temper expectations.
  • After a surprisingly big Week 5 (9 catches for 77 yards), Austin Hooper followed it up with another big performance.  Taking on Tampa Bay he was targeted 10 times, racking up 9 catches, 71 yards and 1 TD.  The injuries to Calvin Ridley and Mohammad Sanu likely played a role, but it also gives insight into what to expect moving forward.  There’s always the risk that Hooper’s opportunities go elsewhere, but he’s suddenly a viable TE1 (at least for the short-term).
  • There appears to be a good chance that Evan Engram returns to the Giants’ lineup this week in a matchup that could yield a big passing performance for Eli Manning and company.  Of course the Giants could look to get Odell Beckham heavily involved and we all know Saquan Barkley is a budding superstar.  There’s upside, but the unknown opportunities in his first game back is going to keep Engram limited to being a back end option.
  • While Trey Burton hasn’t necessarily posted gaudy numbers, the Bears will need to go pass heavy to keep up with the Patriots and the tight end has caught TD passes in three of his past four games.  Considering the questions hovering over the position, that makes him as good of a play as anyone.

Sources – NFL.com, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 7 Rankings (2018): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 7 Rankings (2018): Top 25 Quarterbacks

34 comments

  1. J says:

    12 team full pt PPR league

    QB: Stafford, Winston
    RB: Lynch, Jordan Howard, brieda, Lindsay, Deon Lewis
    WR: obj, Kennan Allen, Marvin Jones, John brown Keke coutee, godwin
    TE: brate
    Def: Vikings

    My Keenan Allen for his Joe mixon

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks

    • How many WR do you play? Could leave yourself a little bit thin but like the upside in your RB corps

      • J says:

        We play 2 wr and a flex (wr/te) but with TE being terrible, it’s essentially another WR.

        Top WR on waivers: Goodwin, kearse, Tyrell Williams, sutton

        So I could make the trade and try and pick up one of those to add to WR depth.

  2. Curious says:

    Hey Prof,
    Good to see Hoop’s a viable option at TE. He sure saved me last week and I was thanking myself for missing out on Olsen. Not sure about ROS, but it sure was nice for a week :)

    I’m in a 12 team .5PPR league with the following positions:

    1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 2Flex WR/TE, 1 Flex WR/RB, and TD with only three bench slots (plus an IR, yes the league manager had too much time on his hands this off season).

    My current roster:
    QB Rogers, Wentz
    RB Ingram, McCoy, Crowell, Drake, Bell (IR)
    WR Green, Edelman, M. Jones Jr., K. Cole, Westbrook
    TE Hooper
    TD Vikes

    Someone’s reached asking what it would take for Green. He offered Reed/Lockett and I countered with Gronk/Robinson III for Green and Crowell. I haven’t heard back.

    My question, what would you look for if you were approached about trading for Green?

    His roster is:
    QB Winston
    RB Elliott, A. Collins, Clement, K Johnson, D. Foreman (IR)
    WR Allison, Thielen, Robinson III, Shepard, Lockett
    TE Gronk, Reed
    TD Eagles

  3. Anon says:

    Hi Prof. Would you recommend dropping John Brown for Jarvis Landry for ROS? Thanks so much as always

  4. Tony says:

    Hi Professor,

    I see you have Hooper ranked high for this week’s game, and I started him against TB, but I am considering the possibility of dropping him for Uzomah with Kroft out. Bengals play KC and TB next, so he could do well, and I see Giants’ defense ranks high against TEs; Ertz played well, but then he is one of the best. I should note that I have Olsen, but want to see more from him (health wise), but then when Bengals have their bye week, the Panthers play TB and Steelers, both bad against TEs. I might then stay with Olsen for rest of season.

    Anyway, would you still stay with Hooper? I did have him earlier in the season when he scored one point, so worried this could happen again, then the Ridley/Sanu effect as well to consider.

    Thank you!

    Tony

    • Yep, I like Uzomah but Hooper has proven to be a big part of the offense and both Sanu/Ridley could be out

      • Tony says:

        Hi Professor,

        Thank you very much for your reply and perspective.

        I’d certainly keep Hooper if that were the case, so hope there is an injury update for both players before Thursday when waiver requests are processed. I would agree completely with his TE ranking if either WR were not to play. Given the state of TE this season, I guess Uzomah would be taken, but then I still have Olsen and he was targeted quite a bit, but not sure about his foot.

        Thanks again- I appreciate it!
        tony

        • Tony says:

          I forgot to note that the Falcons have a bye after next week, so part of my thinking as well, but yes, Hooper certainly is part of an offense that has to throw a lot considering how bad their defense is, so a lot of upside for Hooper!
          Best,
          tony

  5. Beans says:

    What’s a professor? I know a lot of people don’t stress the defense but your defense could be the difference in winning or losing your week. What are your thoughts on the Eagles D? do you hold or start streaming? The Jets are available and based on points alone they are number one in my scoring due to the Bears being off this past week. Would you also agree that the Titans defense is dropable? and should I be streaming that league also? In that league based on points alone the two best available are Steelers and buffalo. Long question short keep the Titans or start streaming and Keep eagles or start streaming? Thank you for the

  6. K says:

    I’ve got Cook on a bye this week…who would you pick up for this week, and would any of them get ROS consideration over Cook?

    Engram
    Njoku
    Howard
    Hooper

    Thanks!!

  7. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. How much is Ito Smith worth as a percentage of my FAAB budget? Thanks.

  8. Beans says:

    CBS says Dion Lewis is a dropable candidate. Do you agree in PPR?

  9. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. Need one D from Jets, Bills, Panthers, and Redskins. Thanks.

  10. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. One from Uzomah or Olsen. Thanks.

  11. Andy says:

    Drop Reed to pick Kittle or Greg Olsen for ROS ?
    Thanks.

  12. smidge says:

    I have Olsen in this and Graham on bye
    I can pick up Howard or Nojoku
    Would you keep what I have or drop either for Howard or Nojoku for the rest of the year?

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