So, week seven was a fun one for tight ends, wasn’t it? I am sure you were expecting Gavin Escobar to outscore Julius Thomas, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Cameron combined. Juluis Thomas failed to score a touchdown for the first time this season, Jimmy Graham played, but did nothing, Larry Donnell lost two fumbles and the immortal Cooper Helfelt topped 15 fantasy points. In other words, it was a very strange week for tight ends. Luckily it is a new week, and we get new teams. Here is a look at the tight end position for week eight:
Check Out the Other Week 8 NFL Positional Breakdowns:
Points per Game
|Juluis Thomas||Denver||$6,200||vs San Diego||1st||19.2||6.7|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||$5,900||vs Chicago||20th||14.1||11.8|
|Antonio Gates||San Diego||$5,600||@ Denver||21st||15.00||15.1|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans||$5,600||vs Green Bay||13th||15.3||0|
|Greg Olsen||Carolina||$5,500||vs Seattle||30th||17.6||21.5|
Julius Thomas, Denver, $6,200 – The good news in Thomas’ bad game against San Francisco was he was targeted six times. The bad news is he did not score a touchdown and dropped one of his six targets. Things do not get any easier schedule-wise for Thomas this week as he is facing the team allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Still, it is hard to imagine Thomas having two consecutive bad games, so he is a solid, if risky play this week.
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $5,900 – It is funny how a few days can change one’s perception. Following the Thursday Night game, Gronkowski was not looking like a good play. Not that 11.8 fantasy points is bad, it just seemed, at the time, that it would be pretty weak for one of the higher-priced tight ends. Following the Sunday games, those 11.8-points were looking considerably better. Gronkowski is seeing a lot of targets, is looking healthy and is facing a below average defense against tight ends. In other words, Gronkowski is a good play this week.
Antonio Gates, San Diego, $5,600 – So, have you gotten Gates’ production pattern down yet? I sure have not. Gates started the season out with two good games, followed it up with a 1.8-point disaster, then a bad six-point game, then exploded for 22-points, had a decent 11.7-point game and had 15.1 last week. Gates is scoring ten fewer fantasy points per game on the road compared to at home, which is not a great stat with him playing in Denver. I am not a fan of Gates this week – what that means for his actual production is debatable though.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, $5,600 – I am not sure that Graham playing last week was a good thing. His shoulder is not going to heal any faster with him taking game-speed hits. It also likely meant that a few people decide to start him as their tight end, which did not work out at all. While Graham could easily have a monster game, even playing injured, I am again avoiding him in daily leagues in week eight.
Greg Olsen, Carolina, $5,500 – No tight end has been better the last three games than Olsen who is averaging 21.6 fantasy points per game in that span. Further, his worst game in the last three weeks was 18.2 points. That pace might be tough to sustain, but Olsen again has a very favorable matchup this week facing a Seattle defense that ranks 30th against tight ends. Of the elite tight ends, I like Olsen the most this week.
Points per Game
|Martellus Bennett||Chicago||$5,200||@ New England||18th||16.0||10.8|
|Delaine Walker||Tennessee||$4,300||vs Houston||9th||13.7||3.7|
|Owen Daniels||Baltimore||$4,100||@ Cincinnati||32nd||10.4||17.8|
|Clay Harbor||Jacksonville||$4,100||vs Miami||15th||11.9||9.4|
|Gavin Escobar||Dallas||$3,900||vs Washington||16th||4.8||21.5|
Martellus Bennett, Chicago, $5,200 – 10.8 fantasy points seems like a “blah” game, but given the tight-end-apocalypse that was week seven, it was actually a pretty good game for the position. Pretty good is not good enough when you want to win big money though. I think that average best describes Bennett this week. His matchup is about average, he is coming off what could be considered an average game for a tight end, his prospects for this week are not great, nor is he likely to have a horrible game. Average is fine, but it is not what I want in a GPP.
Delaine Walker, Tennessee, $4,300 – There is a very large price drop at tight end after Bennett this week. Given the way Walker has been playing, his price is very much warranted. He has scored fewer fantasy points the last three weeks than Olsen is averaging per game the last three weeks. Further, he could manage only 3.7 points against Washington last week. Even at this price, I do not like Walker in week eight.
Owen Daniels, Baltimore, $4,100 – UPDATE Daniels has been rules out for week eight. Daniels is not the pick for the faint of heart. You could call him the “poor man’s” Antonio Gates if you wanted, it is fitting. Daniels has had some very good game, some useless ones, with little rhyme-or-reason to when they occurred. That said, if you are looking for a cheaper option with the potential for a big game, Daniels is a nice option. Cincinnati has been the worst team against tight ends this season and Daniels did score 17.8 fantasy points last week.
Clay Harbor, Jacksonville, $4,100 – Unexciting is not always a bad thing, sometimes it is just what you are looking for. It is also the term for Harbor. He does not have a huge amount of upside, but he has also topped five fantasy points in every game he has played this season, and is averaging 11.9 fantasy points per game. If you are just looking for a safe play in the medium price range at tight ends this week, Harbor is your guy.
Gavin Escobar, Dallas, $3,900 – Add Escobar to the list of tight ends who see a huge price increase after a big game. Before you get too excited about Escobar, realize that Jason Witten is still healthy, and players usually do not score two touchdowns on three receptions. Avoid Escobar at this price.
Points per Game
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||$3,800||vs St. Louis||7th||12.1||7.3|
|Jordan Cameron||Cleveland||$3,700||vs Oakland||14th||8.0||1.5|
|Coby Fleener||Indianapolis||$3,400||@ Pittsburgh||25th||8.1||10.4|
|Heath Miller||Pittsburgh||$3,300||vs Indianapolis||23rd||9.5||3.9|
|Lance Kendricks||St. Louis||$3,000||@ Kansas City||19th||7.8||9.7|
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $3,800 – There is no truth to the rumor that Kelce has a restraining order in place against me. Yes, Kelce once again makes the column, and once again is back in the bargain section. While Kelce did not do much last week, he was facing the best team against tight ends. St. Louis has been good against tight ends this season, but for $3,800, I really like Kelce this week.
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland, $3,700 – Honestly, it is tough to recommend a guy who managed only one reception for five yards against Jacksonville. But, as the saying goes, “no guts, no glory“. Cameron is my contrary pick of the week. He is coming off a bad game, he is facing an opponent that has been above average against tight ends, yet I still like him. Despite the poor game in week eight, Cameron was targeted six times. I also do not buy the Oakland defense being above average at anything.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $3,400 – It is tough to trust either of the Colts’ tight ends while both are healthy. Of the two, I like Fleener more because I am cheap and he is the cheaper of the two. It does not hurt that Fleener is facing the Steelers who ranks 28th against tight ends this season. Fleener is not a sure thing, but for $3400 he is a nice option this week.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh, $3,300 – What can I say? I am a sucker for proven players coming off of bad weeks. Miller only managed 3.9 fantasy points in week six against the Browns, since the pricing came out before the Monday Night game, that helped set his price for week eight. Indianapolis has struggled against tight ends, making Miller a nice, cheap tight end option.
Lance Kendricks, St. Louis, $3,000 – Finding a $3,000 tight ends each week is tough. There is a reason that guys are priced for the minimum, they are huge risks. Risk is apropos for Kendricks. Kendricks has more games of fewer than six fantasy points than he has for over ten this season. But, he does already have three touchdowns this season and is facing a team that has been below average against tight ends. Consider Kendricks your “best” super-cheap tight ends this week.
That is our look at the tight position for week eight. Good luck with your team; you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.