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Week 9 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 10:02
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(Before It's News)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Talk about a difficult week to find a tight end.  Among the players on bye are Rob Gronkowski (as well as teammate Martellus Bennett), Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert.  Those likely are some of the better names on a weekly basis, so what does that leave us?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Los Angeles
  2. Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – at San Diego
  3. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Jacksonville
  4. Gary Barnidge – Cleveland Browns – vs. Dallas
  5. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Tennessee
  6. Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – at Green Bay
  7. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
  8. Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – at San Francisco
  9. Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Buffalo
  10. Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  11. Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
  12. Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
  13. Julius Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Kansas City
  14. Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers – vs. Tennessee
  15. Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at New York Giants
  16. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at Cleveland
  17. Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
  18. Richard Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Indianapolis
  19. Lance Kendricks – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Carolina
  20. Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills – at Seattle

Thoughts:

  • Maybe Hunter Henry was limited a bit, but over the past two weeks Antonio Gates has been targeted 19 times (9 receptions, 71 yards, 1 TD).  That’s enough opportunity, when coupled with a matchup against a team that has allowed 23 receptions to opposing TE over the past two weeks, to make him a viable option.
  • After a few low usage games (3 targets in back-to-back weeks), Kelce was back to being a focal point in Week 8 as he turned 10 targets into 7 receptions, 101 yards and 1 TD.  That’s more than enough to make us consider him among the better options in the league.
  • The Vikings offense needs some significant changes, and maybe this is the week they turn to Kyle Rudolph and turn him into a focal point.  It would make sense, with the Lions having allowed 17 receptions, 184 yards and 1 TD to opposing tight ends over the past two weeks.  He has been too inconsistent to consider him among the best options, but he’s definitely worth the gamble as a TE1.
  • Dennis Pitta has been targeted 10 times in each of the past two weeks (and 8+ in three straight games).  While he hasn’t necessarily turned those chances into production (10 receptions for 76 yards over the past two weeks), opportunity is half the battle.  With a favorable matchup he’s impossible to ignore.
  • It was a great return for Eric Ebron, turning 10 targets into 7 receptions and 79 yards.  Look for him to continue as one of the focal points of the offense, against a Minnesota defense that hasn’t allowed a TD to opposing TE but has yielded 419 yards.

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