This is a list of the top Tight End targets for NFL games based on potential production and price. The players are split into three tiers based on likelihood of success. Remember that these rankings take potential production and price into account, so some guys may be higher up on the list despite having a lower projected score for the week if the price point is favorable. Here are some TE options to consider.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
CREAM OF THE CROP
Jordan Reed ($5100) – Jordan Reed is going to be a very popular play this weekend. He goes up against the New York giants who have slow linebackers that have struggled against the tight end position all season long. They have actually allowed the most points to the position of any team in the league, so you know Reed is going to be part of the gameplan. Reed is currently tied with Greg Olsen for the second most targets per game at the position with 8.3. He does get some red zone looks, although he has not scored a ton of touchdowns so far this year. He has 5+ catches or a touchdown in ever game he has played so far this year. That equates to a safe floor and a lot of upside at a price point below $5K. With a matchup this good, he is destined to be a highly owned option this weekend in cash and tournament pay.
Delanie Walker ($5400) – Delanie Walker faces the Oakland Raiders who many consider to be the worst team in the league at stopping tight ends. While they have played them better recently, they have been beaten by some mediocre ones for huge games already. Walker is the highest targeted Titans pass catcher in recent weeks and has put up some solid numbers all season. He has seen about 8 targets a game since week 3, which would rank him in the top 3 at the position over that time frame ahead of guys like Gronk and Jordan Reed. He is one of the major weapons for the Titans inside and out of the red zone as well. He is averaging over 15 fantasy points per game and has scored 12 or more in 8 of his 10 games this season. The price has risen a tad, but he’s consistency stills makes him one of the top options.
Gary Barnidge ($4800) – This is the most gutsy of the top TE calls this weekend, but the logic behind it is sound. Gary Barnidge had a string of games where he put up big numbers with McCown under center. In fact he had not put up under 18 fantasy points per game with McCown since week 3. He missed that mark in only one of the last 8 games and that was with Johnny Manziel at QB. He had 68 targets since weeks 3, which breaks down to about 9.5 per game. This is not the easiest spot for a TE matchup, but it’s hard to argue with the volume he is seeing. Barnidge is also a touchdown scorer as his wide bodied 6’6″ frame make him an ideal guy to look for in the red zone. With a probably score of 18+ and a price under $5K, he is a good bet to score enough points to help you stay on pace for a roster that finishes near 200 on the day.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Rob Gronkowski ($7900) – Gronk has a lot going for him. New England is quickly running out of pass catchers due to injury. He plays on one of the most prolific offenses we have in the league this year. He is highly targeted all over the field, but especially in the red zone. He has the highest floor and ceiling projections on a weekly basis. All those things would make you think he belongs up in the top group, but the price is what dings him a little bit here. While Gronk has the highest scoring average at the position, he has only made it to here times value in 5 of his 10 games and four times value only once. Gronk could have a good game and catch 7 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown and still only return about 2.5 times his salary. It’s not that I do not like Gronk or his chances this week, but with so many options that are so much cheaper, it’s unlikely that he is the top value on the day at the position.
Jacob Tamme ($3300) – Tamme has seen an uptick in usage over the recent weeks and his price still remains pretty low. He has flashed the upside to put up double digit points with 5+ catches and 70+ yards. He has also been a guy who disappears at times and winds up with 2 catches for 20 yards. The good news is that a bad performance will not kill you at his low price. The bad news is that his targets have slipped a little in recent weeks with the return of Leonard Hankerson. With Devonta Freeman out, the pass game could be featured more and a few more targets will be up for grabs. While Tamme is not likely to be the top overall scorer this week, he could return 12-15 points and be one of the top value’s on the day.
Julius Thomas ($3400) – San Diego gives up the 10th most fantasy points to the tight end position so far in 2015. Julius Thomas is really cheap and plays in a pretty pass happy offense. If Allen Hurns is out, it ticks Thomas up even more. Even if Hurns does play, he is still a solid option based on price and potential production. He has seen 39 targets in the last five games since coming off the injury list. That is almost 8 targets per game which is great volume for the $3400 price. He has yet to do a ton with them as he is averaging only about 4 catches and 30 yards per game, but he has found the end zone twice. There is a good chance this game features a lot of throwing and if so, Thomas will be able to have one of his better games.
REST OF THE FIELD
Heath Miller ($3100) – Heath Miller is not a sexy play with tournament winning upside, but he is a solid play that allows you the price savings to fit in the studs. $3100 is cheap for the guy who should find plenty of room in the middle of the field to operate. Roethlisberger tends to look for Miller a good amount as is evidenced by the increased number of targets with Big Ben under center. With the way Antonio Brown is playing and the speed Martavius Bryant has, teams can not allow their safeties to creep up to the line and not give help to the corners on the outside. That will leave Miller in a lot of matchups with linebackers and while he does not have the speed to break away, he will have the route running ability to get open and be a solid outlet. This could be a game where he makes 5 or 6 catches for 60+ yards. At a price of only $3K, that would equate to over 4 points per $1000 of cost and make him one of the best plays on the day.
Tyler Eifert ($5800) – Eifert is a boom or bust play every week. He sees too few targets on a weekly basis with only about 6 per game and is very touchdown dependent for his fantasy points. While he is a great red zone threat this season, his lack of targets and catches does not give him a safe floor for cash games. The Touchdown upside makes him a viable tournament option, especially when you consider he is priced up right behind Gronk for Sunday. Eifert has a ton of talent, but that offense spreads the ball around. At his elevated price, you really need a ton of catches, a ton of yards, or multiple touchdowns to pay it off. It’s not that I do not think he can get those things, but it is not the nrm for him and the downside is a 6-8 point outing that would kill your chances if you paid up for him.
Antonio Gates ($4700) – This one is tricky for me. Gates has averaged the most targets per game of any tight end, but he and Rivers are not on the same page right now. For starters, they almost came to blows on the sidelines of a loss last weekend. A loss in which Gates also hurt his hip. Ladarius Green is back on the practice field too, so the days of Gates being the only TE option are now over. Malcolm Floyd is expected to play as well, so now we have added a few extra mouths for Phillip Rivers to feed. Gates has the talent to win someone a tournament and the price to be a viable option. He is risky with the recent string of injuries as well now, so this could also be the game that he throws up another stinker.