Week 4 Rankings (2014): Top 20 Tight Ends

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There have been a lot of injuries to tight ends recently, from Dennis Pitta being lost for the season to Kyle Rudolph missing a few weeks.  Throw in six teams being on byes, and a position once rich with options suddenly is relatively barren.  Who are the best options, though?  Let’s take a look:

 

  1. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – at Dallas
  2. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Kansas City
  3. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Baltimore
  4. Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears – vs. Green Bay
  5. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
  6. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Tampa Bay
  7. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
  8. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at San Francisco
  9. Niles Paul – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
  10. Larry Donnell – New York Giants – at Washington
  11. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. New Orleans
  12. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New England
  13. Charles Clay – Miami Dolphins – at Oakland
  14. Garrett Graham – Houston Texans – vs. Buffalo
  15. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  16. Ladarius Green – San Diego Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
  17. Levine Toilolo – Atlanta Falcons – at Minnesota
  18. Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  19. Brandon Myers – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Pittsburgh
  20. Mychal Rivera – Oakland Raiders – vs. Miami

Thoughts:

  • We knew Antonio Gates wouldn’t replicate his Week 2 success (7 catches, 96 yards, 3 TD), but only 1 target in Week 3?  Really?  Ladarius Green saw his role increase, catching 4 of his 6 targets for 64 yards (though not his snaps).  With a matchup against the Jaguars in Week 4, a team who has allowed 25 receptions for 293 yards and 4 TD to opposing tight ends, Gates is still a TE1.  However, given the matchup Green should enjoy a good day as well.
  • Rob Gronkowski continues to fail to “explode” as he hasn’t had more than 4 catches or 44 yards in a game yet this season.  However, he does have 2 TD and faces a Chiefs’ team that’s allowed 3 TD to opposing TE.  Consider him a good option in all formats, as it’s only a matter of time before he explodes.
  • Over the past two weeks Delanie Walker has been targeted 21 times, and on the season he’s racked up 179 yards and 2 TD on 17 receptions.  He should continue to be one of the top targets for Jake Locker, though the Colts haven’t allowed a TD to a tight end since Julius Thomas burned them for 3 TD in Week 1 (in fact, over the past two weeks they’ve allowed a total of 6 catches for 102 yards and 0 TD to tight ends).  He’s going to be a good option, but it’s hard to consider him elite.
  • The Green Bay Packers have been among the best defensively against tight ends, but who have they faced?  A pair of rookies (Jace Amaro and Eric Ebron) as well as a Seattle team that doesn’t utilize its tight end much.  In other words, don’t ignore Martellus Bennett.
  • The Giants’ Larry Donnell has become one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets, as he’s turned 23 targets into 18 catches for 182 yards and 1 TD.  However, he obviously hasn’t been a main factor in the red zone and therefore is going to be downgraded a bit.  It also doesn’t help that the Redskins have allowed a measly 6 receptions to opposing tight ends over the first three weeks.
  • Will Jordan Reed play in Week 4?  It’s an unknown, but with the way Niles Paul has been going the team has no reason to rush him.  Even if he does return, can we simply assume he’s going to come back to a starting role?  For now we’re leaving Reed off the rankings, but monitor the news as the week progresses.
  • Charles Clay is clearly banged up right now, which is limiting his performance (12 catches for 79 yards in three games).  Keep that in mind before simply setting him into your starting lineup.
  • Vernon Davis would be a Top 12 option, if healthy.  However, with his status in doubt we are going to leave him off the rankings for the time being.
  • Maybe this will be the week Levine Toilolo sees his role expand for the Falcons?  Minnesota has allowed 19 receptions to opposing tight ends, tied for sixth most in the league.  The upside is definitely there for those who are desperate.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 4 rankings:

Week 5 Rankings (2014): Top 25 Quarterbacks
Week 4 Rankings (2014): Top 15 Defenses

10 comments

  1. theo says:

    pick up stevie johnson and drop jared cook?

  2. Garrick says:

    Rotoprofessor…Please help me before my head explodes. I suffer from a serious problem of over-thinking this fantasy football stuff. Here is my team in a 14 (1QB, 3WR, 2RB, 1TE, 1K and 1DST) team Half-PPR League:

    Brees

    Colston
    Cooks
    Justin Hunter
    Welker

    Foster/Blue
    Gerhart
    Ingram/Robinson

    Gronkowski
    Ertz
    Ladarius Green

    Mason Crosby

    Detroit (will drop for Cleveland after this week)

    Two Questions: First, should I drop Mason Crosby for Matt Prater? Second, I am holding Ladarius Green not because I need him but, because I feel like Gates may get injured or simply slow down and Green’s trade value will explode (especially since Woodhead is done). At the same time I am sitting here looking at Davante Adams, Odell Beckham and Andre Roberts on the waiver wire. I am racking my brain as to whether or not I should drop Green and pick up Davante Adams (or Beckham or Roberts). Please give me some guidance. My fear is someone scooping Adams and he breaks out as a third receiver since Green Bay does not really have a quality tight end. Meanwhile, I get stuck in limbo waiting on Green to get an expanded role. I can not make up my mind and it is gnawing at me.

    • 1) Once Prater is playing. Yes I would

      2) Like you said you have no need for Green and would never use him anyways.You need the WR depth, so I would make the move. First, though, I’d quickly try to shop Green to a TE needy team to see if you could get something for him

      • Garrick says:

        Thanks for the response. Of course after seeing Andre Roberts score last night I was kicking myself. No one is biting on Ladarius Green. So now I have to decide who to pick up between Davante Adams, Odell Beckham and Andre Roberts. I think Adams has a lot of breakout potential to be what James Jones was in that offense. Beckham was a first round pick so he is going to play plus I get bonus points in the return game. Roberts offers bonus points in the return game and he gets a bump in value with Washington being down two tight ends.

        • It’s Adams, Beckham and Roberts for me in that order.

          Beckham was a first round pick, but those receivers tend to disappoint (especially one that missed the preseason and the first few weeks)

  3. Andrew H says:

    Hey what’s up professor I need a tight end and a flex in a 12 team 1 point ppr. I have Bennett, gates, vareen and ty. Any help is appreciated

    • For TE – It’s Bennett for me.

      As for the FLEX – I don’t trust Vereen and, with the way the Patriots have played, he’s become a tough player to count on. I know Hilton has a tough matchup, but I’d actually lean his way.

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