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
Greg Olsen ($6900) – Olsen left the last game with a knee injury, so this is purely based on the fact that early reports say he will be good to go this weekend. If he is, then he is an excellent start in this matchup against the Giants. The Giants play a fast pace and like to throw the ball, so that should mean a few more plays for the Panthers. The Panthers offense has been relying on the arm of Cam Newton a little more lately and Greg Olsen has the most targets at the tight end position in the entire NFL. If the Panthers are going to throw near the redzone, Olsen is also one of the top options to see some looks there. The price is high and the injury concerns may scare some away. The Giants linebackers are slow and unathletic, so if Olsen plays, he should be able to have a huge game against one of the worst teams in the league at stopping tight ends.
Antonio Gates ($4600) – Gates and the Chargers face a Miami team that has struggled against the pass. They have a weak running game, so they will likely be attacking through the air anyway. Gates averages the most targets per game of any player at the position. San Diego is now down to WR4 and WR5 starting with Allen out, Johnson banged up and doubtful, and Inman also not 100%. Rivers is running out of pass catchers he trusts and we can see that in the game logs with 6 catches in each of the last two games for Gates. TEs tend to do well as home favorites, and this game sets up for Gates to make some catches and get some red zones looks for a very cheap price.
Julius Thomas ($4700) – Thomas faces an Atlanta team that has given up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year. Since his return from injury, he has averaged 7 targets per game. Over the last month, he has really started to pick up his own production. Thomas has averaged 17.5 points over those last four games and has scored a touchdown in each one. He is a huge red zone threat for a team that likes to throw inside the red zone. This game has a huge total at 49 and will likely featured a ton of passing. Thomas has a big chance to score a TD and pull in a half dozen catches for 60 or more yards in this one, which would be an excellent return on his price tag.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Zach Miller ($3600) – If you need a cheap option to round out your rosters, Zach Miller deserves a long look this weekend. He is the #2 pass catching option in that Chicago offense and has a lot of upside at his low price. He had five catches on six targets last game for 85 yards and a touchdown. He has seen all the snaps whenever Martellus Bennett is out this season. With Bennett done for the year and guys like Royal and Wilson banged up, Miller is the most likely beneficiary of what could be a pass heavy game plan for the Bears.
Rob Gronkowski ($7700) – Gronk is a beast and there is no denying that. With all the pass catching injures the Patriots have seen, he is the most reliable and dependable target they have left. Gronk plays in one of the higher total games and despite his team being a heavy favorite, we have seen them throw the ball regardless of how big a lead they do have. This should be especially true this week if Blount is out after getting injured in the last game. No Blount also means that they may look to throw more in the redzone and Gronk would be a prime target if that is the case. He has averaged the most fantasy points per game this year at the position and has the safest floor and highest ceiling. He proved healthy enough to have a good game last week and as long as the Patriots have a top seed and home field advantage to play for in the playoffs, we should see him out on the field and doing his thing.
Gary Barnidge ($5000) – Since week 3, Barnidge has only failed to record five or more catches one time. He has also only failed to score at least 11 fantasy points on one occasion as well. Seattle is really tough on the outside, so a big target over the middle will be a good security blanket for Manziel. Barnidge was a star with McCown under center and it looks like Johnny realized that going to his big tight end is beneficial to the team. Barnidge has put up some huge yardage numbers for a tight end and is a legit redzone threat at 6’6″ tall. His price has come down here, but the truth is that Cleveland will likely have to throw to stay on pace with what has become an explosive Seahawks offense. With highly targeted Brian Hartline going down with an injury, a few of those extra looks should head in his direction.
REST OF THE FIELD
Jordan Reed ($5900) – Jordan Reed is a top 5 tight end when he is healthy. Jordan Reed is currently healthy. He is a big part of that Redskins passing attack and sees more targets than most of the other options we have to consider. He is not only a safety valve for Cousins, but he also occasionally lines up on the outside as a wide receiver. You might think he deserves to be higher here, but the Bills have been one of the best at stopping tight ends over the last two seasons. Gronk lit them up in week 2, but they have been stingy to fantasy TEs the rest of the season. That is why Reed is on the bottom rung of guys to consider, but his targets and production always make him a threat to surprise to the upside with a big game.
Delanie Walker ($5600) – Since his week one injury which forced him out of the game early, Walker has seen at least 5 targets and 12 fantasy points in every start he has had this year except for two. He is one of the more highly targeted TEs in the league and that number has gone up along with his catches since Kendall Wright went out injured. In Fact Walker is often the most targeted pass catcher on his team. The Titans are expected to be trailing here as well, which should lead to more pass attempts. The only negative here is that the Patriots will likely scheme to take away Marriota’s favorite toy, so we may see a few less looks go Walker’s way. His price has come down a tad and he has been one of the best in the game over the last month. Walker definitely has the talent to be a top option on the day, but it’s risky with the likelihood he will not be given much room to operate on Sunday.