Week 8 Rankings: Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Like most positions recently injuries have played a major role in our tight end rankings.  While Rob Gronkowski finally made his return, Jimmy Graham is banged up an no lock to play (though we are ranking him like he’s going to give it a go) and Jermichael Finley is out indefinitely.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how things currently look:

  1. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – vs. Buffalo
  2. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
  3. Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons – at Arizona
  4. Julius Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. Washington
  5. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – at Jacksonville
  6. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – at Denver
  7. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at Detroit
  8. Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns – at Kansas City
  9. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  10. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
  11. Jeff Cumberland – New York Jets – at Cincinnati
  12. Charles Clay – Miami Dolphins – at New England
  13. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Oakland
  14. Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. New York Jets
  15. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
  16. Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions – vs. Dallas
  17. Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. New York Jets
  18. Scott Chandler – Buffalo Bills – at New Orleans
  19. Joseph Fauria – Detroit Lions – vs. Dallas
  20. Zach Miller – Seattle Seahawks – at St. Louis


  • The Arizona Cardinals are by far the worst team at defending tight ends (44 receptions, 676 yards and 8 TD).  With the Falcons beat up on the outside, Tony Gonzalez should be in store for a very big day.
  • It’s clear that Rob Gronkowski is going to have a big role in the Patriots’ offense, huh?  It took all of one week for him to entrench himself back as the team’s best offensive weapon and it’s obvious that isn’t going to change.  He’s immediately returned to being a top option on a weekly basis.
  • The Lions’ are actually tied for the second most receptions allowed to tight ends (44), yet they’ve just limited the damage to one touchdown.  Can Jason Witten buck that trend?  It’s not hard to imagine.
  • Jordan Cameron does have 25 receptions for 246 yards and 2 TD over the past four weeks, putting him among the better tight end performers.  However, there is uncertainty at quarterback in Cleveland and he draws one of the elite defenses in the league.  He’s still a viable option, but it’s hard to argue him as one of the top choices.
  • After a big performance from Joseph Fauria in Week 6, it was Brandon Pettigrew that delivered a touchdown in Week 7.  That said, he had just seven yards and hasn’t had more than 59 in a game this season.  While he is the better option, he’s still more of a TE2 despite the favorable matchup.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Week 8 Rankings (2013): Top 15 Defenses
Week 8 Rankings (2013): Top 50 Wide Receivers


  1. shiv says:

    Julius Thomas or Jordan Reed this week?

  2. L says:

    A little bit off topic here, but was wondering what your opinion was…

    My team as it currently sits –

    QB (start 1): T.Romo

    RB (start 2): M.James (just dropped D.Martin for him), Z.Stacy, J.Randle, L.Miller

    WR (start 3): V.Jackson, J.Gordon, J.Blackmon, K.Allen, H.Douglas, P.Harvin

    TE (start 1): J.Reed

    K (start 1): M.Crosby

    DEF (start 1): Chiefs

    …because I’m trying to decipher the best moves to make for the remainder of the season.

    Some notables on the wavier wire: WR T.Williams, WR D.Hopkins, WR T.Austin, WR B.Hartline, RB A.Ellington, RB S.Vereen, RB R.Mathews, RB C.Ivory, RB B.Powell, TE J.Cumberland, TE T.Wright, TE C.Fleener, TE G.Graham, & QB A.Dalton.

    I already have a deep stock of WRs, but in all honestly I’d rather have those players than allow any of opponents to potentially scoop them up; besides, if anyone gets truly desperate for a WR I’m positioning myself for a trade that would obviously lean in my favor. Anyways, I only mention this b/c I’m seriously considering adding whether or not I should WR T.Williams to my roster, but that only makes sense if either his outlook appears to be significantly greater than any of my other WRs or if I’m willing to take him on in exchange for depth at another position – in this case my RBs. Do you think I should take him on? …and if so, for who in exchange? A WR or a RB? Mind you that there still exists the need to drop a player from my roster in weeks 10 & 11 to replace my QB and DEF during their bye weeks, so it might be a bit foolish to add him if he’d only end up being the weakest depth player I have and will end up getting dropped anyways.

    On the other hand, my team’s biggest weakness is probably at the RB position, so I have serious interest in adding players who will help my team in the long run. I like what A.Ellington might give me going forward or another consideration I’m strongly favoring is to re-add S.Vereen (I originally dropped him after his injury) in order to get-in early on claiming him before he makes his return to the field – similar to what I did, or am doing, with P.Harvin. Do you think adding A.Ellington over perhaps J.Randle, L.Miller, or M.James makes sense in that A.Ellington will prove to be the better fantasy back over the remaining length of the season? …or do you think it makes sense to take an early gamble on S.Vereen returning to fantasy prominence? …and again if so, who of the RBs on my team should I look to release in exchange? I personally am leaning toward J.Randle, because of the likelihood of L.Dunbar earning some kind of split, but maybe that’s just me worrying to much. Also, I get the sense that L.Miller won’t ever get out of his time share unless injury were to occur to D.Thomas, so that makes him another highly likely candidate. The only way M.James is a candidate for being dropped is if he proves to be absolutely horrid as a fantasy back despite little competition or if D.Martin actually returns from his injury – I’ve already hedged my bets that he wouldn’t.

    Not-to-mention, considering R.Wayne’s season ending injury I have to wonder if grabbing C.Fleener makes sense; though, despite being targeted a decent amount in several past games he continues to have difficulty making plays which has me believing that things may not actually change much for him going forward – he’s proving to be sort of like another J.Cook. The other TEs I’m keeping an eye on are T.Wright, G.Graham, and J.Cumberland because they all have young QBs who of course tend to lean on their TEs; but, I’m thinking I should wait a little bit longer to see who of these three begin to show more breakout potential by the trust their QBs show toward them. The good news is that my TE has already had his bye week and if he continues to produce top fantasy value week-in and week-out there isn’t much reason to add another TE to my roster unless one of these TEs can actually contend w/ him on a weekly basis.

    To note: after week 9 I will add an extra defense for week 10 then I will promptly drop it in exchange for an extra QB for week 11, but do you think it makes sense to snatch up someone like A.Dalton early – is he worth roster-ing until, and maybe even beyond, week 11?

    • L says:

      Oops… forgot to add that I also have RB L.Bell on my squad.

    • Given your WR, Williams isn’t worth adding.

      As far as RB goes, I am still high on Miller so I wouldn’t give up there. Randle possibly is droppable, but not really yet. For your immediate needs he is arguably your RB1 or RB2.

      As for Fleener, your not likely going to use him.

      Your best bet is to try and package a WR or two to try and upgrade elsewhere.

  3. Mark says:

    For the remainder of the season would you rather have coby fleener or charles clay?

  4. Alex says:

    With Graham still hurting I may need to grab a TE to fill in. My choices include Pettigrew/Fauria, Eifert, Housler, Celek/Ertz, Cumberland, Ben Watson. This is a full PPR league and my matchup this week has me projected for 20+ points more than my opponent – so I may not need an explosive performance like Reed’s show last weekend.

    Who is my best bet for production this weekend?

  5. moe says:

    Good afternoon, I lost Reggie Wayne last week…Would you trade Tony Gonzalez for P. Garcon??? My other TE is Jordan Reed….Thanks.

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