Week 13 should be interesting. There are three games on Thursday, and all five of the highest priced tight ends are on the road this week. Week 12 was a little more normal for the position than week 11 was, but Rob Gronkowski had a rare disappointing game, and Julius Thomas did not play, so it was not a great week to pay for the elite tight ends. Here is how things look at the potion this week:
Points per Game
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||$7,800||@ Green Bay||16th||18.4||12.8|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans||$7,100||@ Pittsburgh||23rd||16.5||22.7|
|Greg Olsen||Carolina||$5,300||@ Minnesota||5th||14.9||11.1|
|Julius Thomas||Denver||$5,200||@ Kansas City||8th||15.8||2.3|
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $7,800 — It is not like Gronkowski had a bad game last week; it just was not nearly as good as people expected. The two touchdowns by Tim Wright were not what Gronkowski owners wanted to see. Before you get too down on Gronkowski, realize that was his ninth consecutive game of over 11 fantasy-points. Green Bay has been solid against tight ends this season, though they also have not faced many good ones. Once again, Gronkowski is a good option this week.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, $7,100 — Pittsburgh has had issues against tight ends this season, ranking 23rd against the position thus far. Oddly enough, unlike most of his teammates, Graham has been better on the road than at home — 13.9 fantasy-points per game at home versus 19.2 per game on the road. Given his price, I actually like Graham over Gronkowski in week 13.
Greg Olsen, Carolina, $5,300 — Sure, Olsen did nothing for fantasy owners in week 12, but he can be excused since it was his bye week. Before you put too much stock into Minnesota’s 5th against tight end ranking, realize they have not faced many good tight ends. I love Olsen at that price, and see him ending up on a lot of my teams.
Julius Thomas, Denver, $5,200 — The biggest question about Thomas is if he will play this week. The good news is he does get until Sunday afternoon to get healthy. The bad news is there are only four late games this week so if he is a game-time decision, you will have limited replacement options. Unless Thomas is practicing without issue by Friday, I would avoid him this week. Actually, just avoid him period. He has a tough matchup, and is a risk even if he does play.
Delaine Walker, Tennessee, $4,800 — So, Walker sure made up for missing week 11 didn’t he? Walker had a stunning 155 yards on five receptions against Philadelphia in week 12. It is doubtful he will average 31 yards per reception this week, but he is a solid play against Houston this week.
Five Mid-Priced TE
Points per Game
|Coby Fleener||Indianapolis||$4,700||vs Washington||17th||9.5||4.8|
|Jason Witten||Dallas||$4,500||vs Philadelphia||11th||10.3||13.0|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||$4,300||vs Denver||29th||10.7||10.7|
|Antonio Gates||San Diego||$4,200||@ Baltimore||12th||13.0||3.4|
|Martellus Bennett||Chicago||$4,000||@ Detroit||20th||14.1||7.7|
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $4,700 — The stars were aligned for a big game from Fleener in week 12: Dwayne Allen was inactive, he was at home, and he was facing Jacksonville. What did Fleener do? 4.8 fantasy points? I think Fleener was the most disappointing TE in week 12. We do not know if Allen will play this week, but it is tough to trust Fleener after week 12.
Jason Witten, Dallas, $4,500 — It looks like there is still some life left in Witten, after a slow start to his season, Witten has now topped 12 fantasy-points in his last four games. His matchup is not ideal, but Delaine Walker just did manage 155 yards on five receptions against the Eagles. Plus, Witten is playing at home on Thanksgiving this week. He is a nice option in week 13.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $4,300 — What can I say? The depth of my daily fantasy love for Kelce knows no bounds. He once again makes my column. This week he checks off all the boxes: he is affordable — $4,300 — he has a nice match up — the 29th ranked defense against tight ends — and he is at home in a prime-time game.
Antonio Gates, San Diego, $4,200 — Gates’ streak of games without topping 6.5 fantasy-points now stands at three. Things do not look favorable for that streak to end with him facing the Ravens who have been above average against tight ends this season — they ranked 4th before facing Jimmy Graham on Monday Night Football, now they rank 12th against the position. I would much, much rather spend the extra $100 for Kelce than go with Gates this week.
Martellus Bennett, Chicago, $4,000 — Bennett has been slightly better than Gates the last three weeks, but only slightly. He has had 6.5, 6.9 and 7.7 fantasy-points in his last three games. Unlike Gates, he has a favorable matchup this week. Bennett is not someone who is a great pick for a GPP, but is not a bad 50/50 option as long as you are fine with someone getting you 8-12 fantasy-points for $4,000.
points per Game
|Larry Donnell||New York Giants||$4,000||@ Jacksonville||19th||11.4||4.4|
|Charles Clay||Miami||$3,400||@ New York Jets||30th||8.6||8.1|
|Tim Wright||New England||$3,400||@ Green Bay||16th||7.3||20.6|
|Kyle Rudolph||Minnesota||$3,400||vs Carolina||13th||6.7||8.3|
|Marcedes Lewis||Jacksonville||$3,000||vs New York Giants||24th||8.4||.5|
Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $4,000 — Might as well keep going with the disappointing tight end theme I have going and discuss Donnell. Facing the worst team against tight ends this season, Donnell managed only 4.4 fantasy-points in week 12. He has a less favorable matchup this week. I suppose you could look at his last four games and decide he was due for a good game this week — he has alternated good and bad games the last four and his last game was bad — but that is not anything I would count on. Avoid Donnell against Jacksonville.
Charles Clay, $3,400 — Clay looked like a very good play last week; he might have been if he actually played. Same goes this week. The matchup is great, the price is nice, the issue is we do not know if he will play. Clay is a risk, but if he is practicing by Friday and I want to save money at tight end, he would be a strong consideration for me.
Tim Wright, New England, $3,400 — You are really counting on a touchdown each week for Wright. If he catches a TD, he will have a good week for you, if he does not, he will not be worth owning. His price is reasonable, and the matchup is solid, I just think we see a lot of Gronkowski this week, so I do not like Wright even at this price.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota, $3,400 — Rudolph has not been the instant quality fantasy tight end that many thought he would be once he returned from his groin injury. At least, he had a decent second game back with three receptions for 50 yards against Green Bay. Rudolph is not a good bet to get you 20 fantasy-points, but I think he can return triple value for you. He is looking healthy and Teddy Bridgewater is starting to look like a decent NFL quarterback.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville, $3,000 — I was so glad I found a $3,000 tight end this week after not finding one for week 12. As with all guys at this price, Lewis is a risk — he did just have .5 fantasy-points. He is also facing a Giants team that ranks 24th against tight ends this week. To be honest, I like Lewis more than the three $3,400 I just covered.
That is our look at tight ends this week. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.