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Week 7 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends

Thursday, October 20, 2016 6:26
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(Before It's News)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Tight end is a mess, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s extreme, but after the Top 8 on this list the rest of the names almost become interchangeable thanks to injuries and matchups.  Keep that in mind as you set your lineup for the coming week as part of your decision will come down to overall upside vs. ideal matchups:

  1. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Pittsburgh
  2. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Indianapolis
  3. Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers – at Atlanta
  4. Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
  5. Zach Miller – Chicago Bears – at Green Bay
  6. Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens – at New York Jets
  7. Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
  8. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New Orleans
  9. Julius Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Oakland
  10. Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at San Francisco
  11. Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots – at Pittsburgh
  12. Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – at Kansas City
  13. C.J. Uzomah – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
  14. Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – at Tennessee
  15. Jacob Tamme – Atlanta Falcons – vs. San Diego
  16. Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. New England
  17. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Minnesota
  18. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – at Philadelphia
  19. Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins – at Detroit
  20. C.J. Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans – at Denver

Thoughts:

  • Over the past two weeks Rob Gronkowski has caught 12 passes for 271 yards and 1 TD (162 yards in Week 6).  Think it’s safe to say that “he’s back”?!?!
  • Antonio Gates is clearly being utilized as a decoy, and in his “absence” rookie Hunter Henry is proving to be the exception to the rule.  While most rookie tight ends struggle upon reaching the NFL, Henry has thrived.  He’s racked up 60+ yards in each of the past four games (70+ in three of them) while scoring in each of the past three.  With a favorable matchup against an Atlanta defense that has allowed the second most receiving yards to opposing tight ends (438) and 5 TD, it’s hard not to consider him among the best options for the coming week.
  • Dennis Pitta hasn’t had tremendous production this season, but he has been targeted 8+ times in four of the past five games.  That type of opportunity is going to help keep a player’s stock up, especially against a Jets’ defense that has allowed 380 receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season (tied for seventh most in the league).
  • Neither Julius Thomas nor Cameron Brate are going to blow you away with their numbers thus far this season, though both have shown some production.  Throw in favorable matchups and both belong on the TE1 radar this week, though neither are “must plays” either.
  • We’d love to recommend Coby Fleener as a great option, especially coming off a productive week.  However it’s the Saints offense on the road, and against a pretty good defense.  That’s not a very good mix.
  • For now we’ve left Jordan Reed off the rankings, though he has not yet been officially ruled out for Week 7.  Monitor the news, but it’s hard to depend on him.  If he is out, Vernon Davis becomes a potential TE1 option, though he too is hard to depend on given his “production” in recent years.

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