by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It has been difficult to maneuver through a relative mess at tight end thus far this season, though there are at least a few promising developments. With Greg Olsen returning to form and George Kittle and O.J. Howard entrenching themselves near the top of the rankings on a weekly basis, we now have more than two options we know we can trust. How do things fall after them, though, is still a bit of a crap shoot. Who should we trust? Who should we avoid? Let’s take a look at how things shake out for Week 10:
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Arizona
- Zack Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Dallas
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Pittsburgh
- George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – vs. New York Giants
- O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Washington
- Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers – vs. Miami
- Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – at Cleveland
- David Njoku – Cleveland Browns – vs. Atlanta
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Tennessee
- Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Trey Burton – Chicago Bears – vs. Detroit
- Evan Engram – New York Giants – at San Francisco
- Vance McDonald – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Carolina
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Tampa Bay
- Chris Herndon – New York Jets – vs. Buffalo
- Nick Vannett – Seattle Seahawks – at Los Angeles Rams
- Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints – at Cincinnati
- Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
- Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
- Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins – at Tampa Bay
- Welcome back to being one of the better options Greg Olsen, who has now scored in three straight games and takes on a Pittsburgh defense that’s allowed the fifth most points per week to opposing tight ends. While he’s not a can’t miss option, with a lot of the top options drawing tougher matchups and the general questions surrounding the position it is hard to shy away from him.
- It was another big performance for O.J. Howard in Week 9, as he put up 53 yards and 2 TD against the Panthers. He’s now racked up 50+ yards in four straight games and has 4 TD over this stretch. While we’d like to see him get a few more targets (6 targets or fewer in four of his past five games) and the Giants have been relatively tough against opposing tight ends this season, there’s enough upside to view him as one of the better options.
- Rob Gronkowski missed Week 7, underwhelmed in Week 8 (3 receptions on 8 targets) before sitting again in Week 9. Injuries have always been an issue and the truth is his performance hasn’t been great all season long. Throw in a very difficult matchup against a Titans’ defense that’s been among the best at stopping opposing tight ends all season long and he’s going to be a tough sell. He’s usable if he plays, but he’s more of a low-end TE1 as opposed to a must start option given the risks.
- It’s been a few straight underwhelming days for Vance McDonald, who has 72 total yards in his past two games and hasn’t scored since Week 3. At the same time the Panthers have allowed the most points per week to opposing tight ends, including 7 TD (248 yards on 20 receptions over the past two weeks). That spells upside, and while we can’t ignore the risk he needs to be considered a viable streaming TE1.
- Jordan Reed is banged up (no surprise there), has gone five straight games with less than 50 yards and hasn’t scored since Week 1. None of that sounds appealing, does it? While the matchup seems like a good one, the fact that Vernon Davis outproduced him (he turned 7 targets into 5 receptions and 62 yards) in Week 9 just adds to the risk. Reed is a viable option, but he’s more of a high risk TE2.
- With both Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron on the field it’s going to be difficult to determine who the go to option is going to be. Throw in a difficult matchup and both are high risk TE2 as opposed to options to trust.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings: