Well, that was ugly. Jimmy Graham managed only 5.9 fantasy-points, Julius Thomas got hurt on Denver’s first drive, Martellus Bennett could not even score 7 fantasy-points. If not for a late touchdown, Rob Gronkowski would have had fewer than 10 fantasy-points. Not only did the elite tight ends fail to deliver in week 11, but there were not very many big games for the position as a whole. Let’s hope for better production out of our TE this week.

Elite TE

NameTeamSalaryOpponentOpponent
vs Position
Average Fantasy
Points per Game
Last Game
Rob GronkowskiNew England$7,900vs Detroit13th18.917.1
Jimmy GrahamNew Orleans$7,000vs Baltimore4th16.55.9
Julius ThomasDenver$5,300vs Miami2nd15.82.3
Coby FleenerIndianapolis$5,200vs Jacksonville22nd10.024.4
Antonio GatesSan Diego$5,000vs St. Louis9th14.06.2

Rob Gronkowski, New England, $7,900 — Gronkowski has the same exact price this week as he had last week. His matchup is less favorable, but he is also the only one of the five highest priced tight ends this week who had a good game last week. Like last week, that is a pretty hefty price to pay for a tight end, but Gronkowski is still worth it, and probably the safest play at the position.

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, $7,000 — Disappointing is probably an understatement for Graham’s week 11 performance. He came into the game playing well, and was facing the 29th ranked defense against tight ends. He wound up scoring only 5.9 fantasy-points, worse still, he was only targeted three times in the game. The upside to the bad game is he gets a $700 price decrease this week. The downside is Baltimore has been tough against tight ends this season. I would not bet against Graham this week, but I am also just not willing to pay $7,000 for him.

Julius Thomas, Denver, $5,300 — Thomas got hurt on Denver’s first drive against St. Louis on Sunday — and did not return to the game — so the 2.3 fantasy-points he out up are a little misleading. As of this writing, we do not know if Thomas will play this week, though it sounds as if he is more likely to not play than to play. His matchup this week is tough, and even if he plays he is a risk. Unless Thomas is practicing fully by Friday, I would not be using him this week.

Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $5,200 — So, I guess I should admit I was wrong about Fleener last week? I thought he was over-priced, he proved me wrong by scoring the most fantasy-points of any tight end last week — though to be fair Dwayne Allen did get hurt in the game, and I said I did not either of the Colts TE while both were healthy. Well, it looks like Allen will be out this week, plus Jacksonville has struggled against tight ends. Fleener a nice play this week.

Antonio Gates, San Diego, $5,000 — It looks like the inconsistent Gates is back. Gates has failed to score even 6.3 fantasy-points in his last two games, and has yet another tough matchup this week. St. Louis has been tough against tight ends this season, and Gates is just too inconsistent to trust. Look elsewhere for your TE this week.

Middle Priced TE

NameTeamSalaryOpponentOpponent
vs Position
Average Fantasy
Points per Game
Last Game
Jason WittenDallas$4,400@ New York Giants21st10.014.3
Martellus BennettChicago$4,000vs Tampa Bay18th14.76.9
Charles ClayMiami$4,000@ Denver29th8.68.1
Larry DonnellNew York Giants$3,900vs Dallas31st12.114.4
Jermaine GreshamCincinnati$3,300@ Houston8th7.915.3

Jason Witten, Dallas, $4,400 — In 2013, Witten has four touchdowns against the Giants in two games, in 2012 he had 20 receptions in two games. Witten’s fantasy point totals the last three games have been: 18.0, 12.2 and 14.3. To top it off, the Giants ranks 21st against tight ends this season. Perhaps you have figured out that I like Witten this week?

Martellus Bennett, Chicago, $4,000 — Bennett’s streak of games with under seven fantasy-points is now at two as he once again failed to reach that threshold against Green Bay on Sunday. While there is nothing wrong with Bennett’s matchup this week, it is pretty obvious that Bennett is just not 100%. The price makes Bennett tempting, but I would pass in week 12.

Charles Clay, Miami, $4,000 — [Update] Clay is now listed as doubtful this week with a knee injury. The good news with Clay is he has 17 receptions in his last three games, plus is facing a team that is bad against tight ends this season. The bad news is he has only two touchdowns all season, and is averaging a paltry 8.9 yards per reception this season. Clay makes a nice 50/50 selection this week, but lacks the upside to be a good selection for GPP’s.

Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $3,900 — Donnell is a very tough player to figure out. The easy thing would be to say that he will have a good game if he scores a TD. The problem with that assertion is he does have five or more receptions in five games this season. One of those games was against Dallas — seven receptions — and Dallas ranks 31st against TE this season. Donnell is a nice play this week, though not someone you can totally count on.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati, $3,300 — Yeah, we all saw that coming, right? New Orleans had allowed one touchdown to opposing tight ends in 2014, Gresham had two against them in week 11. Do not get too excited about the big game. Gresham is only averaging 7.9 fantasy-points per game, and Houston has been tough against opposing tight ends.

Bargain TE

NameTeam SalaryOpponentOpponent
vs Position
Average Fantasy
Points per Game
Last Game
Clay HarborJacksonville$3,200@ Indianapolis30th8.35.8
Owen DanielsBaltimore$3,100@ New Orleans3rd9.84.0
Delaine WalkerTennessee$3,100@ Philadelphia6th12.9(0) 6.7
Zach ErtzPhiladelphia$3,100vs Tennessee16th8.49.5
Vernon DavisSan Francisco$3,000vs Washington20th6.02.1

Clay Harbor, Jacksonville, $3,200 — This one is more a warning than anything else. Harbor looks like a consideration this week given his price and matchup. The issue is that Marcedes Lewis has been activated from the disabled list and expected to start in week 12. Harbor is not longer someone you should be using on your teams.

Owen Daniels, Baltimore, $3,100 — If you can figure Daniels out this season let me know, I sure cannot. He has had good games against good tight end defenses, bad games against bad tight end defenses and the opposite on both. Daniels is a risky play, but if Gresham can manage two touchdowns against New Orleans, I have to think that Daniel can also manage a good game against the New Orleans defense too.

Delaine Walker, Tennessee, $3,100 — I will not lie, this is a “gut call” special. Philadelphia is one of those teams that shows as good on paper against tight ends, but has also played teams with weak tight ends. If Walker plays this week, I really like him as a high upside/low-priced tight end option.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia, $3,100 — It seems to be getting tougher to find viable cheap tight ends as the season progresses. Ertz is not someone you want to use in a GPP league — his season high game has been only 16.7 fantasy-points — but makes a solid 50/50 TE if you need to save money for other positions. Ertz was targeted by Mark Sanchez seven times against Green Bay. You are probably not getting 20 points from Ertz this week but chances are good he provides triple value for you.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco, $3,000 — This will probably be the last week I tell you to “just say no” to Davis. Do not fall into the Davis trap. I know he is only $3,000. What you need to know are Davis’ fantasy-point totals the last seven games: 6.9, 2.8, 6.0, 4.1, 3.9, 1.8 and 2.1.

That is our look at tight ends for week 12. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.

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