We have a bit of everything at tight end this week. Rob Gronkowski has the toughest matchup a tight end can have, Jimmy Graham has done virtually nothing the last two games, Martellus Bennett was limping around in the fourth quarter of his last game, and Julius Thomas was active in week 14, but did not play a single snap. Figuring out where to spend your tight end dollars this week will be a challenge. Here is my overview of the TE position for week 15:
Points per Game
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||$7,600||vs Miami||1st||18.6||22.7|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans||$6,300||@ Chicago||31st||14.9||5.5|
|Martellus Bennett||Chicago||$5,900||vs Chicago||10th||15.6||26.4|
|Greg Olsen||Carolina||$5,400||vs Tampa Bay||16th||15.2||23.2|
|Julius Thomas||Denver||$5,100||@ San Diego||3rd||15.8||2.3|
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $7,600 – Ho hum, another week, another good game for Gronkowski. The only knock on Gronkowski, was he did not even return triple value since his price last week was $8,000. He gets a price decrease this week which is nice; he also is facing a team that has been very tough against tight ends this season. Miami’s ranking against tight ends is a little misleading since they have had a pretty easy schedule. Once again, Gronkowski is a good play, you just have to realize you are probably only getting triple value out of him given his price.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, $6,300 – Yes, it was another disastrous week for Graham. It was better than week 12, but three receptions for 25 yards is much less than I expected for Graham. The bad game is not without a silver lining however. It helps keep his price down this week in time to face Chicago which has been horrible against tight ends. Graham also was targeted by Drew Brees 11 times against Carolina – unlike the zero targets in week 13. I know it is hard to trust Graham, but if you are brave enough to start him this week, I think he is a good play.
Martellus Bennett, Chicago, $5,900 – After three games in single digits, Bennett had his second consecutive game of over 20 fantasy-points against Dallas in week 14. It would seem like Bennett would be a good play this week, but I am a little down on him. New Orleans has been good against tight ends this season – they ranks 10th against the position so far – and Bennett was limping around very noticeably late in his game against Dallas. Unless Bennett is practicing without issues by Friday, he will not be on my daily fantasy teams.
Greg Olsen, Carolina, $5,400 – Olsen put up 23.2 fantasy-points against what had been a good New Orleans tight end defense last week, this week he is facing a weaker Tampa Bay D. In his first game against the Buccaneers, Olsen put up 22.3 fantasy-points. I think he can easily do that again this week. I think that Olsen is the best bargain among the elite tight ends this week.
Julius Thomas, Denver, $5,100 – It would be very hard to trust Thomas even if he is active. He was actually active against the Bills in week 14, but did not play a single snap. Perhaps he will actually play this week, but the risk is just too much. $5,100 is just too much to play for such a major question mark.
Five Mid-Priced TE
Points per Game
|Coby Fleener||Indianapolis||$4,700||vs Houston||7th||11.3||10.6|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||$4,600||vs Oakland||15th||11.1||20.0|
|Antonio Gates||San Diego||$4,500||vs Denver||29th||12.8||8.4|
|Delanie Walker||Tennessee||$4,400||vs New York Jets||26th||12.3||6.7|
|Mychal Rivera||Oakland||$4,400||@ Kansas City||5th||9.3||26.9|
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $4,700 — Despite the return of Dwayne Allen, Fleener was targeted ten times against Cleveland in week 14. Those ten targets only earned Fleener 10.6 fantasy-points however. Allen will likely be more involved for Indianapolis this week, and Houston has been tough against tight ends this season. In other words, Fleener is not a great play this week.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $4,600 – Oh Travis how you do taunt me! Sure, the week I am down on Kelce, he puts up an even 20 fantasy-points against Arizona. This week he faces Oakland which has been average against tight ends. I am back on the bandwagon, and think Kelce is a good play given his price.
Antonio Gates, San Diego, $4,500 – If Scott Chandler can rack up 16.1 fantasy-points against Denver… Gates has been up and down all season so he is a risk, yet Denver did just make Scott Chandler fantasy relevant – at least for one week. More importantly, Gates had 22.4 fantasy-points the last time he played Denver. Is Gates a risk? Sure. Do I like him this week? Yes, yes I do.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee, $4,400 – This one is a tough call. Do you want to go with Walker’s recent history – 8.3 fantasy-points total his last two games, single digits in three of the last four – or do you rely on the fact that the Jets have been horrible against tight ends this season. Walker was targeted ten times against the Giants, so I put more stock in the matchup than Walker’s recent struggles.
Mychal Rivera, Oakland, $4,400 – Rivera had 13 more fantasy-points against San Francisco than he had had in his three previous games combined, so the big game was sort of a shock. Given the big game, Rivera is a tempting option, but you should avoid him. Kansas City has done well against opposing tight ends, and Rivera managed only one reception for eight yards the last time he faced the Chiefs.
Points per Game
|Heath Miller||Pittsburgh||$4,200||@ Atlanta||2nd||10.2||9.1|
|Jared Cook||St. Louis||$4,000||vs Arizona||27th||8.6||22.1|
|Jordan Cameron||Cleveland||$4,000||vs Cincinnati||21st||7.9||8.1|
|Larry Donnell||New York Jets||$3,800||vs Washington||28th||10.9||6.8|
|Charles Clay||Miami||$3,200||@ New England||25th||8.3||6.1|
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh, $4,200 – Miller accomplished something very rare on Sunday. He somehow managed to score 9.1 fantasy-points on a one-yard reception. Actually it is not really a mystery. His reception was a touchdown – one point for the reception, .1 points for the yard, six points for the TD – and he had a two-point conversion – which counts for two points, but the reception was not an official reception. Do not put too much stock in Atlanta’s ranks against tight ends this season, they have had an easy schedule. Miller is a decent play this week.
Jared Cook, St. Louis, $4,000 – Week 14 marked Cook’s first good fantasy game since week ten. Luckily, that week ten game was against Arizona, his opponent this week. No doubt Cook is a risk this week, but a pretty good one given what he did against Washington, and the last time he faced the Cardinals.
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland, $4,000 – In 2013 Jordan was targeted 19 times and had 16 receptions against Cincinnati. That Bengals defense was much better than this season’s version. Sure, Cameron did not have a huge game against Indianapolis, but he looked good and healthy. I like Cameron more than both Cook and Miller this week.
Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $3,800 – Ignore what Donnell has done recently. Donnell’s biggest game of the season came against Washington, and Washington ranks 28th against tight ends this season. As with all players in this price point, Donnell is a risk, but the matchup suggests he is a very good play against the Redskins.
Charles Clay, Miami, $3,200 – As hard as I tried, I could not find a good tight end for $3,000 this week. The best I could come up with is Clay for $3,200. New England has struggled against tight ends this season, and Clay managed over 20-yards per reception against a good Baltimore defense in week 14.
That is our look at tight ends this week. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.