by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Injuries… Injuries… Injuries… That’s been the narrative, especially as of late, as fantasy owners learned that Jack Doyle had been lost for the season (as well as Jeff Heuerman) while Evan Engram could also remain sidelined. Throw in all of the previous injuries we’ve dealt with, for a position that’s already relatively shallow, and there are quite a few owners who are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Who are the options to trust? Let’s take a look:
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Zack Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Washington
- Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts – at Jacksonville
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Minnesota
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
- Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
- George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
- Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Baltimore
- Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Philadelphia
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at New England
- Trey Burton – Chicago Bears – at New York Giants
- David Njoku – Cleveland Browns – at Houston
- Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers – vs. Arizona
- C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Denver
- Chris Herndon – New York Jets – at Tennessee
- Vance McDonald – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Tyler Higbee – Los Angeles Rams – at Detroit
- Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints – at Dallas
- Evan Engram – New York Giants – vs. Chicago
- No one is going to argue that George Kittle hasn’t emerged as one of the elite tight ends in the league, though a matchup with Seattle is not likely to be a recipe for success regardless of who the 49ers quarterback is. Kittle remains a TE1 though he has to be downgraded a handful of spots.
- The Kansas City Chiefs are among the league leaders in receiving yards allowed to opposing tight ends with 812 (entering Monday night the only other team to allow at least 800 yards was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). While Jared Cook has racked up 63 total yards in each of his past two games, he’s also added a TD in each and has now scored in three of his past five games. Given the matchup and the questions at wide receiver, don’t be surprised if Cook puts up a big day in this one.
- Austin Hooper has had 56 yards or fewer in five straight games, only scoring 1 TD in the process. However while the Baltimore defense is tough overall, they have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in back-to-back weeks and at least 50 receiving yards in five straight games. While he’s hardly a lock to produce gaudy numbers, he clearly has as much upside as anyone for the coming week and has to be considered a solid TE1.
- Greg Olsen has been a virtual non-factor over the past two weeks (4 receptions for 20 yards, only being targeted 7 times, though he has added 1 TD). In fact Olsen has yet to be targeted more than 7 times in a game, and hasn’t been targeted more than 6 times in each of the past six games. The matchup against Tampa Bay is a positive one, and one he’s already exploited (6 receptions, 76 yards and 1 TD in Week 9), though fantasy owners still need to be cautious given the recent output. Keep that in mind, but consider him a high-end TE1.
- With Colt McCoy under center Jordan Reed has posted 70+ yards in back-to-back games while being targeted 19 times. While the matchup with the Eagles isn’t a particularly easy one, consider him a solid TE1 given the recent usage and production.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: