by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Injuries are going to play a role this week (Owen Daniels is now set to miss a few weeks), but an expected Rob Gronkowski return does give owners another strong option. Who are the best options across the league? Who should be avoided? Let’s take a look:
- Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – at New England
- Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. Jacksonville
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
- Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns – vs. Detroit
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Minnesota
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Indianapolis
- Martellis Bennett – Chicago Bears – vs. New York Giants
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. New Orleans
- Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – at San Diego
- Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers – at Baltimore
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
- Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – at Tampa Bay
- Garrett Graham – Houston Texans – vs. St. Louis
- Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – at New York Jets
- Jared Cook – St. Louis Rams – at Houston
- Brandon Myers – New York Giants – at Chicago
- Dallas Clark – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Green Bay
- Jermaine Gersham – Cincinnati Bengals – at Buffalo
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Carolina
- Remember the preseason concerns that Jason Witten could not consistently find the end zone? He already has three touchdowns this season and now draws a Washington defense that has been among the worst in the league (298.2 passing yards per game, 9 TD, 2 INT in four games). With Miles Austin banged up there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to be among the best in the league.
- Martellus Bennett has been among the better tight ends in the league this season (25 receptions for 281 yards and 3 TD) and now gets to take on his former teammates. When he took on the Cowboys in 2012 (his other former team) for the first time he scored a TD. Of course, after scoring his three touchdowns in the first two games he has gone three straight scoreless and has seen Alshon Jeffery start to emerge (eating into his targets). He’s got the upside, especially given the matchup, and should be considered a TE1.
- Vernon Davis has scored in three out of four games this season and appears to be back to full health. The Cardinals are among the worst teams against tight ends this season according to nfl.com (click here for the statistics) and we all know his ability and upside. It’s nearly impossible to have him on your bench in any format.
- Would a returning Rob Gronkowski be a usable option? Absolutely. Is it a guarantee he plays? If he does play, is it a guarantee he produces big numbers? Based on the favorable matchups fantasy owners could afford to play it cautious with him if he dresses, but this could be the final time he is a “borderline” TE1.
- Coby Fleener has a favorable matchup and, with Dwayne Allen out of action, is the go to tight end in Indianapolis. He’s far from a must use player, given how inconsistent he’s been (he’s had 15 yards or fewer without a TD in two of the past three games), but the upside is certainly there.
- Jordan Reed sat out Week 4 with a quad injury, but with a bye in Week 5 he should be ready to go against a Cowboys team that has allowed the most receptions to tight ends this season (41, according to nfl.com’s rankings listed above). That makes him an intriguing option as a borderline TE1.
- Does anyone trust that the Giants will actually utilize Brandon Myers at this point? You would think that they would, eventually, but with the offensive line in shambles they have given us no reason to think that they will. It’s hard to trust him in any format at this point.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 Rankings: