Week 1 Rankings (2013): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The start of the NFL season is just days away, meaning fantasy owners are trying to figure out who to start and who to sit.  Let’s kick off our weekly rankings with a look at the Top 20 tight ends:

  1. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atl
  2. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. NYG
  3. Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons – at NO
  4. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – vs. GB
  5. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – vs. Sea
  6. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Hou
  7. Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers – at SF
  8. Brandon Myers – New York Giants – at Dal
  9. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Det
  10. Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – at Was
  11. Zach Sudfeld – New England Patriots – at Buf
  12. Jared Cook – St. Louis Rams – vs. Ari
  13. Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears – vs. Cin
  14. Fred Davis – Washington Redskins – vs. Phi
  15. Owen Daniels – Houston Texans – at SD
  16. Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns – vs. Mia
  17. Ed Dickson – Baltimore Ravens – at Den
  18. Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals – at Chi
  19. Scott Chandler – Buffalo Bills – vs. NE
  20. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Oak

Thoughts:

  • In the Cowboys and Giants second meeting of 2012 Jason Witten reeled in 18 catches for 167 yards.  While we can’t expect that type of production, Witten does figure to be more utilized in the red zone in 2013 and has consistently proven that he’s one of the most targeted tight ends in the league.  In other words, he’s going to be one of the top options most weeks.
  • The 49ers and Packers could easily turn into a shoot out, and that should mean good things for Vernon Davis (with Michael Crabtree out).  He figures to be either the first or second option for Colin Kaepernick, which should lead to some big numbers.
  • While we are skeptical about Antonio Gates over the course of the entire season, and rightfully so, he’s healthy right now and should be the go to receiver for Philip Rivers.  Against a Texans defense that allowed the fifth most fantasy points per week to tight ends (according to nfl.com), that should mean good things for Week 1.
  • Brent Celek quickly saw his stock rise during the preseason, with 7 receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown and a growing role in the offense.  According to nfl.com the Redskins allowed the most points to TE last season, being especially prone in the red zone.  Celek would appear to be a good flier if you need a plug in for someone like Rob Gronkowski in the opening week.
  • Speaking of Gronkowski, Zach Sudfeld figures to play a major role in the Patriots offense in Week 1 but you never really know what the Patriots are going to do.  He’s a viable option, but it’s hard to predict big things until we actually see him doing it in the regular season.  That doesn’t mean he’s not going to produce, it just means be realistic until we get a better feel for how he will be unleashed
  • With Victor Cruz missing time this preseason and Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning seemingly not on the same page, Brandon Myers could easily step in and produce.  While others may shy away due to him being dubbed the king of garbage time last season, don’t be afraid to get him into your lineup.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

Week 1 Rankings (2013): Top 40 Running Backs
2013 Rankings: Top 25 Tight Ends (Updated 08/29/13)

26 comments

  1. Mark says:

    so u would trust sudfield more than owen daniels? i have both, having trouble deciding who to start week 1

  2. Paul says:

    Do I start Antonio Gates or Greg Jennings as my flex?

  3. Mark – Daniels is probably “safer”, but Sudfeld has the higher upside. Depending on the rest of your roster I’d roll the dice.

    Paul – It’s rare that I’d go tight end, but until Christian Ponder proves something it’s tough to trust Jennings. I would go with Gates this week.

  4. Southy says:

    Having drafted Gronkowski late, I went with Julius Tomas as my last round pick. You don’t see him cracking the top 20 this week?

  5. Steve says:

    You have Rudolph ranked higher than Cameron, but who would you start out of the 2? I don’t really feel confident about either.

  6. Southy – It wouldn’t surprise me if he performed like a Top 20 option and he literally just missed for me. Just a lot of people to try and fight for touches.

    Steve – I would start Rudolph. Cameron has potential, but he’s still a risk at this point.

  7. Roll Tide says:

    Prof – I can play 2 out of 3 RBs (RB & Flex)CJ Spiller, D Murray & R Bush. Normally I would just pencil in Spiller But is CJ going to have his head together this week? I see some on another site have CJ the low…

  8. Chris says:

    I drafted Gronk too…
    I had Fred Davis (and high hopes for him)

    I can still pick up M. Bennett and B. Celek off of waivers..

    I want to start Davis, but is it true that Skins gave up most points to Celek?
    And Celek is proven. And no maclin, so more looks for Celek… Do I want to waste my waiver wire position 1 on celek?

  9. Roll Tide – It’s hard to imagine benching Spiller for Week 1. He was a Top 5 pick and, even if they are done, you know the offense is going to be played through him. I would fully roll with him at this point.

    Chris – I am a big fan of Celek and think he will have a good week. That said, I wouldn’t use the top waiver position on him unless you absolutely needed him. Davis has just as much potential, especially with RGIII back (and likely not running as much). If your priority wasn’t at the top, I would probably do it, but I’d rather use that spot for something more valuable long-term.

  10. joseph says:

    Ok….sudfeld or myers?? I like the upside to sudfeld but the team I am playing has eli manning at qb.

    • I would trust Myers more than Sudfeld. I’m a big fan of the latter, but he’s no guarantee to produce.

      I will cover Sudfeld a bit more tomorrow, though, so it could change slightly.

  11. Steven says:

    Alright so I went late in the draft with high up side so should I start Cameron or sudfeld? Gordon is out so Cameron should see his share of targets but Sudfeld has Tom Brady help!!!!

  12. John says:

    I have Both Rudolph And Sudfeld On My Roster, And Both Seem Highly Recommende This Weekend. Should I Roll The Dice With Sudfeld Given His Upside Potential?

    • Honestly it’s a coin flip. I could easily see one out producing the other, so I’d go with your gut.

      Sudfeld is slightly riskier, but has more upside. It depends on the rest of your team, to an extent, if you want to gamble.

  13. Tyler says:

    Sat on the TE position in my draft and ended up with Dwayne Allen and Zach Sudfeld. Sudfeld seems like a higher risk but greater reward player. Allen or Sudfeld?

  14. Matty says:

    Coin flip in my eyes, Jared Cook or Sudfeld for wk1. Advice would be helpful

  15. Cody says:

    Professor,

    I have Fred Davis, and Antonio Gate playing tonight. I’m stuck in a pickle on who to start. Any pointers?

    • Gates is the best option on his team, and chances are San Diego’s running game struggles. I’d definitely lean towards him.

      • Cody says:

        Thanks prof. That was my initial go, due to lack of targets for Phillip Rivers – but I was also skeptical on Houston D double teaming gates, like Bryant in the Cowboys/ Giants game; hanging a safety over the top. RG3 has multiple threats and the Eagles D might focus on Garcon and Morris, not to mention RG3. I feel Davis is bound to have a break out game due to the past two seasons. That can go both ways though.

  16. Blake says:

    Waiver pick up TE J. Thomas or WR Edleman?
    I have Fred Davis and
    Calvin, Garcon, Cecil Shorts, J. Gordon

  17. Blake says:

    BTW i would drop Sudfeld or Woodhead to get either

    • How dee of a league is it? Hard not to like Thomas overall (and Edelman for this week). I could easily see dropping Woodhead, though carrying three TE may not make sense (all depends on league size)

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