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
Antonio Gates ($5000) – Starting tight ends against the Oakland Raiders has been a thing all season long. When you get to do it with a talented, highly targeted and well priced option, it is almost a must. Gates has averaged 9 catches 94 yards and a TD in 2 games since coming off suspension. That’s a 24.4 average for only $5000. He is seeing multiple red zone looks and double digit targets per game. His team is expected to score three or four TDs in this one and there is a great chance Gates gets one of those. For this price, there is no reason not to roll with him in your lineups.
Travis Kelce ($4900) – Kelce is a very interesting play this weekend. He is the most talented Chief”s offensive option that is healthy with Charles out and Maclin doubtful. After Maclin left the last game Early, Kelce was the guy who led the team in targets. Kelce should get more chances in this one, including some TE screens and short passes where he can pick up yards after the catch. At his cheap price, those extra targets will yield an increased number of catches that can really add up to good value. The Chiefs are likely to be trailing in this one and with Charcandrick West and Albert wilson as the other options for Alex Smith, you have to think it’s finally time for Kelce to see the decent number of targets everyone has been hoping for him to see.
Delanie Walker ($3900) – Walker is a little too cheap here for the number of targets he has seen recently. In his last three full games, he has caught 19 of the 26 targets that came his way. Starting QB Marcus Mariota is likely out for this game, which would mean Walker could see some extra looks as a safety valve for Zach Mettenberger. Tennessee will likely be trailing in this one, so that adds the garbage time potential to his projection as well. If they get near the end zone, Walker is one of the better red zone threats on the team so he should even be in line for a TD chance. He is averaging over 13 fantasy points per contest, which would be a great return for a price under $4000 is he can match his recent production.
Gary Barnidge ($4900) – Barnidge is another option in the $5K range and has been the hottest tight end in the league over the last month. He is a big reason why the Browns passing attack has exploded. He has 23 catches for 358 yards and five touchdowns over the last four games. His big 6’6″ frame makes him an easy target to find near the red zone, which is part of the reason he has scored a touchdown in four straight games. While the Rams defense is pretty solid against the tight end, Barnidge’s size causes mismatches and he should continue to see some looks in this one. Tight ends that can score touchdowns are very valuable fantasy options and Barnidge has proven to be very good at that so far this season.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Rob Gronkowski ($8100) – We all know Gronk is a beast, but how much is too much to pay for this manchild? Everyone is wondering how teams leave guys like Edelman and Dion Lewis so wide open, but the truth is most teams have concentrated on stopping Gronk with multiple defenders and that has helped create space for his teammates to make plays. He is a great option to have in real life, but that does not really help us in fantasy. Gronk can have five catches for 100 yards and a TD in this game and still only reach about three points per thousand dollars of salary. He is capable of having a huge game, so this is a risky downgrade, but I do not mind fading him against the best statistical defense in the league at his elevated price.
Greg Olsen ($6100) – Olsen has been very good in a couple games this year and non-existent in some others. He has a really tough match up in this one against the Eagles. While the CBs have been burnt on the outside for Philly, they have allowed the third fewest points to tight ends this season. Olsen is now the second most expensive tight end option on the board. While I think he still sees a few targets, I am not confident he has huge upside in this match up. At a lofty price in a bad spot, he is a prime candidate for a fade in tournaments and cash games for week 7. He will still produce some catches though, so I can not completely write him off.
Jason Witten ($4800) – Witten has a great match up against a weak Giants tight end defense. The problem is he has not been producing big games lately. Part of it may have to do with his injury status and part of it may have to do with the inept offense, but the truth is he has not reached value in a few games. The QB Switch to Cassel may help his case, but it’s going to be tough to see him have a huge performance. The match up is too good not to at least consider him and that is the only reason he is not on the bottom rung.
Benjamin Watson ($3300) – It’s tough to fathom why a guy coming off a 10 catch, 128 yard performance with a touchdown is not a top option, but that game was not the norm for Watson. Most games he sees five targets or less, so that explosion did come out of no where. The Saints are expected to throw a lot and score a lot of points in this match up, so he is not someone you can totally ignore. Nothing other than his number of targets really changed here as he played the same number of snaps as usual. He is very cheap, so it’s not unfathomable he could reach value, but it also is not incredibly likely he approaches the numbers he saw in week 6 again this season.
REST OF THE FIELD
Jordan Cameron ($3300) – The good news is that Cameron led the team with eight targets last Sunday and finished with his high fantasy score of the season. The bad news is that score was only 12. Cameron has been a disappointment to say the least. Many were expecting him to be a huge part of that Dolphins pass attack and so far we have not seen it. Miami should again be looking to pound the run in this game as Vegas expects them to win it and play from ahead. That will likely mean another game light on the passing attempts and thus light on the targets for Cameron. He has yet to have a big game, so it would be foolish to expect one. He is cheap enough to pay off his salary just on yards and catches though, which is why he is still worth mentioning.
Crockett Gillmore ($2500) – Arizona has a really solid defense against every position, so this is not a great spot for Gillmore. This play relies more on the fact he is absurdly cheap at minimum price and saw the lion’s share of the snaps at TE. Flaaco will likely have to throw in this game as they are an underdog with a high total. At his price, he would return excellent value if he could add a TD to his usual 3 or 4 catch performances. Even without the TD, a 4 or 5 catch game for 50 yards would pay off this salary.
Tim Wright ($2500) – Another minimum price special that is interesting is Tim Wright of the Detroit Lions. If Eric Ebron is out, Wright is worth a look. Wright is the passing down TE for Detroit with Ebron out, so while I do not see a ton of upside, he could see 4-6 targets and make a run at value for a price of only $2500. With the attention the outside options draw, he could find himself in one on one coverage in the red zone and a TD catch would almost be enough by itself to make him a solid option here.