Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

At a position that has been filled with questions, seeing one of the top two options sitting out due to a bye week makes things feel that much more difficult.  Throw in a potential injury to O.J. Howard, who has emerged this season, and some difficult matchups complicates things further.  With fantasy seasons hanging in the balance who should we be trusting?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
  2. George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – at Tampa Bay
  3. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
  4. O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. San Francisco
  5. Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – at Baltimore
  6. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at New York Jets
  7. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. Seattle
  8. David Njoku – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
  9. Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
  10. Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
  11. Vance McDonald – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Denver
  12. Chris Herndon – New York Jets – vs. New England
  13. Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
  14. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  15. Evan Engram – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
  16. Trey Burton – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
  17. C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
  18. Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans – at Houston
  19. Jeff Heuerman – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
  20. Nick Vannett – Seattle Seahawks – at Carolina


  • Over his past three games George Kittle has been nearly the equal of Zack Ertz, with the exception of finding the end zone (only 1 TD).  Kittle has become a major factor in San Francisco’s passing game (8+ targets in three of the past four games) and he’s also been producing (83+ yards in three of four games).  With a favorable matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have allowed the second most points per week to opposing tight ends, you could argue Kittle belongs atop these rankings.  Whether he’s #1 or #2, he’s clearly emerging as one of the best options available.
  • With Colt McCoy set to take over as the Redskins’ quarterback, it’s easy to envision him leaning on Jordan Reed.  The two showed a good rapport in Week 11, as Reed was targeted 11 times and turned it into 7 receptions, 71 yards and 1 TD.  Couple opportunity with a matchup he could exploit (Dallas has allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing tight ends over the past four games) and there’s a lot to like.
  • We’ll have to monitor the ankle injury that O.J. Howard suffered in the fourth quarter of Week 11, but if he’s healthy he’s going to be considered a must use option as he continues his emergence as one of the best tight ends in the league.  Make sure to check his status as the week progresses as there definitely are questions hanging over him.
  • A healthy Rob Gronkowski should be among the best options in the league, though even when he’s been on the field he’s consistently struggled in 2018.  That said the Patriots are going to have something to prove, after getting blow out by the Titans in Week 10 and then having their bye week to let the loss stew.  We’d expect them to come out firing on all cylinders.
  • Njoku has seemingly disappeared in recent weeks, including 1 target in Week 10 and 0 targets in Week 8.  However he has an extremely favorable matchup with the Bengals and coming off the bye week you would think that the Browns’ staff will have had the opportunity to game plan on how to incorporate him more. While he’s not a must use, the upside is there to consider him a low-end TE1.

Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.75!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 25 Quarterbacks


  1. David says:


    16 team PPR league we can play TE as WR.

    Pick 1 – Brady, Dalton – Brady has been terrible lately

    Pick 2 – RB Gore, Miller, Ito Smith

    Pick 3 – Cobb, Gronk, Edelman, Olsen, Tre’Quan Smith

    Pick 1 – Lutz or Fairbairn


  2. Kyle says:

    Ppr format 3RBs 3WRs 2TEs 1FLEX

    RBS- David Johnson, tarik Cohen, adrain Peterson, nick chubb,Aaron jones, lesean Mccoy

    Wrs- TY Hilton, Josh Gordon, Amari Cooper, Funchess, John Brown

    TEs- Gronkowski, Njoku, Burton, Watson

    Flex is either RBS or wrs thanks professor!

  3. Krysta says:

    14 team, PPR. I assumed that you would not play Cameron brate over Jack Doyle. However, wondering if Cameron brate is worthy of a stash in League this deep with playoffs coming up? I have a waiver request 2 cash in javarius Allen for Edwards. If I didn’t get Edwards that I’d be giving up Allen to stash b r a t e. Otherwise, still have Carlos Hyde on my bench. My other RB s are Adrian Peterson, Nick Chubb, Ito Smith. Thoughts?

  4. Krysta says:

    Forgot to mention I have fifth waiver priority. If you do NOT recommend stashing Brate, I assume I still need better depth at RB… So assuming you would suggest I trade in javorius Allen who, if any, would you prioritize… Gus Edwards, Elijah McGuire or Josh Adams?

  5. Foot Fantasy says:


    If OJ doesnt play, would you play Brate over Reed?

  6. fantasykid says:

    i got vance mcdonald ahead of njoku, dickson/vannett and brate are out there too, this position ousite of top 2 really sucks; and i dropped gronk in week3 he is playing like trash this year, not into plays at all, playing lazy, hurt whatever, he shuda retired.

  7. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    10 team standard.

    Eric Ebron has a decent match up this week. Would you drop him to pick up Vance McDonald off the wire? Thanks.

    • My issue with Ebron is how many opportunities he’s going to get with Doyle back and getting a good amount of chances. Depending on what else is on the wire, I would go with McDonald

  8. Krysta says:

    14 Team, PPR. Jack Doyle or Cameron Brate?

  9. TD Machine says:


    Start Olsen, McDonald, or Brate for TE
    And Boyd or Baldwin for the Flex?

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