Week eight was another interesting one for tight ends. Once again, Julius Thomas had a poor fantasy game, while the elite tight ends in general fared better in week eight than week seven, two of the top-five priced tight ends were busts for the week. This week we have a new highest priced tight end with Thomas falling all the way down to the fourth most expensive TE. Without further ado, he is a look at the TE position for week nine:

Check out the other positional breakdowns for Week 9
* QB Breakdown
* RB Breakdown
* WR Breakdown

Elite TE

NameTeamSalaryOpponentOpponent
vs Position
Average Fantasy
Points per Game
Last Game
Rob GronkowskiNew England$7,600vs Denver24th18.044.9
Jimmy GrahamNew Orleans$6,700@ Carolina6th15.516.9
Greg OlsenCarolina$6,000vs New Orleans2nd15.72.6
Julius ThomasDenver$5,600@ New England23rd17.14.3
Antonio Gates San Diego$5,300@ Miami8th16.022.4

Rob Gronkowski, New England, $7,600 -Finally, we finally got to see Gronkowski as the monster tight end we remembered. Gronkowski exploded for 44.9 fantasy points against the Bears in week eight. You name it, Gronkowski did it on Sunday: three touchdowns, nine receptions, 149 yards, treating defenders like rag-dolls. He probably will not have 40+ points against Denver this week, but Denver does rank 24th against TE this season so Gronkowski’s matchup is favorable. Gronkowski is expensive, but I think the price is reasonable given the potential.

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans $6,700 – 16.9 fantasy points from a guy who could barely use one of his arms is a pretty impressive game. Still, Graham scares me this week. Yes, he could easily have a monster game, but, his shoulder is an obvious problem, and he is playing on Thursday Night after a Sunday Night game, so will have little time to heal up. I am not using Graham on any of my teams this week, there is just too much risk there for me.

Greg Olsen, San Diego, $6,000 – The thing about hot-streaks is we do not know they have started until after they have, and it only takes one bad game for them to end; Olsen’s ended abruptly Sunday when he managed only 2.6 fantasy points against Seattle. Coming into the game, Olsen had been the hottest tight end in fantasy. Despite the bad game and a bad matchup, Olsen actually gets a $400 price increase this week. New Orleans has been the second toughest teams for opposing tight ends, so I do not like Olsen at $6,000 this week.

Julius Thomas, Denver, $5,600 – Thomas has scored a total of 11 fantasy points the last two games. Some of that can be explained by his matchups; last week he played the best team against tight ends this season, the week before a top-10 defense against the position. But, Thomas has also not looked all that good in either game, having a bad drop in both. New England has struggled against tight ends this season, so there is nothing wrong with Thomas’ matchup, he is just hard to trust right now.

Antonio Gates, San Diego, $5,300 – Slowly but surely it looks like Gates is becoming more consistent. He has topped 11 fantasy points in each of his last four games, after starting the season alternating good and bad fantasy games, Gates also has caught at least one touchdown in each of his last four games. Things get a little tougher schedule-wise for Gates this week facing Miami which has allowed the 8th fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. Given the matchup, I think Gates is priced reasonably this week, he is also probably not going to be on any of my teams.

Mid-Priced TE

NameTeamSalaryOpponentOpponent
vs Position
Average Fantasy
Points per Game
Last Game
Larry DonnellNew York Giants$4,600vs Indianapolis29th12.514.0
Tim WrightNew England$4,500vs Denver24th6.618.9
Jordan ReedWashington$4,400@ Minnesota7th10.011.0
Heath MillerPittsburgh$4,300vs Baltimore4th10.827.2
Travis KelceKansas City$4,100vs New York Jets27th11.68.5

Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $4,600 – Despite two lost fumbles, Donnell did manage 14 fantasy points in his last game. This week he draws an Indianapolis defense that just allowed Heath Miller to score 27.2 fantasy points. The matchup is nice, and we know that Donnell can potentially have a big game; we also know that he can do little with a favorable matchup. In other words, Donnell is a medium risk/high reward option in week nine.

Tim Wright, New England, $4,500 – Lost in Rob Gronkowski’s monster game Sunday – at least by me – was the fact that Wright had a big game himself. Wright had 18.9 fantasy points against the Bears, who allowed over 62 fantasy points to the New England tight ends in week nine. As I have already mentioned, Denver is below average against tight ends, so Wright does have a favorable matchup this week.

Jordan Reed, Washington, $4,400 – Reed has the talent to be an elite tight end, the problem he has is a quarterback issue, and a tough matchup this week. We do not know who will be Reed’s quarterback for week nine yet; we do know that Minnesota has been tough against opposing tight ends. This is not the week I plan on using Reed on my daily fantasy squads.

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh, $4,300 – All Miller did last week was almost double his production his last three games combined – he had 13.8 total fantasy points the three previous week, 27.2 against Indianapolis in week eight. After the monster game, Miller gets a $1,000 price increase this week. Given the large price increase and unfavorable matchup in week nine, I am advising avoiding Miller.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $4,100 – It would not be a Tight End Breakdown without Kelce in it. The Jets ranks 27th against tight ends this season and I have a soft spot for Kelce – and still no restraining order. Perhaps Kelce is not likely to have a monster game, but I have confidence in at least double value from him. I like him more in a 50/50 league than a GPP, though if I just want a solid TE game in a GPP I could see going with Kelce.

Bargain TE

NameTeamSalaryOpponentOpponent
vs Position
Average Fantasy
Points per Game
Last Game
Vernon Davis San Francisco$3,700vs St. Louis9th8.04.1
Jordan CameronCleveland$3,500vs Tampa Bay28th7.87.0
Mychal RiveraOakland$3,200@ Seattle26th5.315.3
John CarlsonArizona$3,000@ Dallas32nd4.63.6
Lance KendricksSt. Louis$3,000@ San Francisco11th7.57.1

Vernon Davis, San Francisco $3,700 – Davis is averaging only eight fantasy points per game this season, and is facing a good defense against tight ends this week. So, you probably think I am going to be anti-Davis this week? Not so fast. Davis has been banged up this season, week eight was San Francisco’s bye week so he will get an extra week to get healthy for this game. St. Louis also has a deceptive ranking against tight ends; it is easy to be tough against tight ends when you play teams like Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Dallas Philadelphia, San Francisco – Davis hurting – Seattle and Kansas City. I like Davis at this price.

Jordan Cameron, Cleveland, $3,500 – [Update]I have seen a report that Cameron will miss the next two games after suffering a concussion on Sunday. As of the publication of this blog post, I have not been able to confirm that Cameron will be out this week, but the possibility just adds to what I originally wrote about Cameron: Just say no to Cameron. I have learned my lesson, hopefully you have too. You just cannot trust Cameron no matter the matchup. No in-depth analysis here, Cameron just has too many low-scoring fantasy games to trust when money is on the line.

Mychal Rivera, Oakland, $3,200 – Despite shutting down Greg Olsen last week, Seattle has struggled against tight ends this season. It is likely that the Seahawks built their game plan around stopping Olsen last week, there is little chance they will be planning around Rivera. All Rivera did in week eight was score 15.3 fantasy points against the Browns, I would not be shocked if he put up similar numbers this week.

John Carlson, Arizona, $3,000 – Carlson is a total matchup pick this week. Dallas has been horrible against tight ends this season – in fact the worst team against tight ends using Draft King’s scoring format. While Arizona does not target their tight ends a lot, Carlson plays a ton of snaps and Dallas – again — is horrible at defending tight ends. Carlson is a risk for sure, but there is the potential for a huge profit with him this week.

Lance Kendricks, St. Louis, $3,000 – At the opposite end of the as cheap as possible tight ends spectrum this week is Lance Kendricks. Kendricks does not have a great matchup this week, nor is he likely to give you a monster game. What he has been lately is a solid fantasy option. While 8.7 fantasy points per game – Kendrick’s average the last three weeks — is not great, It is a nice return for a $3,000 tight ends. If you are looking for a “safe” minimum priced tight end, Kendricks is the guy for you.

That is our look at the tight position for week nine. Good luck with your teams; you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.