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
Rob Gronkowski ($8000) – The one and only tight end I would recommend paying for any week of the season finds his way back into the top part of the rankings. Gronk has the highest floor and the highest potential ceiling of any player at the position, which is why he also comes in with the highest price tag by a wide margin. We have seen him got double digit catches for 100+ yards and a score in one game and nab three TD catches in another. Very few of his peers have come close to either of those marks. Gronk is more in play this week than many of the others based on the fact that we had a huge rash of injuries last week which opens up a lot of value plays at other positions. It was always tough to use him and take cheap options elsewhere with most of the viable ones being more expensive than some of the viable plays at the TE position were. This week that is not the case and if you can outscore the cheap TEs with guys at other positions for the same price, then paying up for Gronk with the free cash could be the reason that roster gets pushed over the top.
Charles Clay ($4200) – Clay is one of the cheap options who I am expecting a big game out of this weekend. In two of the last three games with Tyrod at QB, he saw 13 targets in each. Tyrod is back after a sub par week for Clay wit EJ Manuel at the helm. Both Sammie Watkins and Percy Harvin are likely out for this game, which means a lot more targets are open and could be funneled towards Clay. When Clay has seen the targets, he has produced. He had 9 receptions in each of those games with 13 targets while averaging 19+ fantasy points per contest. The Bills will need someone to step up and produce for them through the air and Clay is both cheap enough and talented enough to fill that void.
Heath Miller ($2700) – Heath Miller is coming off his best game of the season. He caught 10 of his 13 targets for 105 yards in this one. He is also facing an Oakland team that has been shredded by opposing tight ends all season. It would seem like the perfect spot for him based on those factors and his $2700 price, but it honestly is not a slam dunk. Big Ben has a lot of weapons and usually gives most of the market share to his WRs. Miller is so cheap that he still makes for a fine play, but to expect a repeat of his last performance is probably pretty foolish. He has two big games as bookends with a string of sub par performances mixed in the middle. He has done better when Ben is at the helm though, so the combination of insanely low price and top match up in the league still have me looking his way.
Delanie Walker ($4200) – Walker is another guy who should benefit from injures to his teammates. Both Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas are questionable in this contest. The Titans are expecting to be trailing, which means we should see an outsized number of pass attempts late in this one. Since he missed the week 2 game with an injury he suffered that ended his first game, Walker has averaged over 8 targets. That number could easily reach double digits with the game script and lack of other options. He has at least 6 catches and 55+ yards in 4 of his last five starts. With the WR core banged up, he is the safest and most consistent pass catching option on the field for the Titans. This New Orleans defense was just shredded by Eli Manning and the Giants, so they can be thrown on.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Greg Olsen ($6500) – Olsen is both expensive and very erratic in his production. With that being said though, he is still one of the better tight ends we have in the league. Olsen is the second most targeted tight end at 8.9 per game a mere 0.1 behind Gronk who is the league leader. Carolina is home and the underdog here, so it looks likely they will have to throw it around a bit more than usual. Olsen is the main red zone threat through the air for the Panthers and he will likely need a touchdown in order to have a big output in this one. Olsen should see a good amount of targets and rack up some yardage and catches with them. While I do not love him as a tourney play with a high price, he does make sense to use in cash if you need to save money and come down from Gronk.
Ben Watson ($4000) – Benjamin Watson is starting to be a bigger part of the Saints passing attack. After averaging a hair above 4 targets per game through week 5, he has 27 in the last three contest with two games where he saw double digit throws come his way. Watson has produced with those extra looks as he threw up 31 and 32 fantasy points in those recent contests. At a price of only $4,000 that is some serious production. With Khiry Robinson out, the Saints may look to throw a little more in the red zone here too. Watson is the best short yardage target they have in that area and he should benefit. If he keeps making catches, racking up yards, and scoring touchdowns then we will see that price rise soon. It’s a great idea to take advantage of it now while he is still cheap.
Jordan Reed ($4500) – This is strictly a GPP play for me and I wanted to let people know why. I love Jordan Reed. When he is healthy and playing, he sees a ton of targets. He has 11, 6, 9, 8, and 13 in the five games he has played. That’s just about 10 per game and would make him the league leader if he didn’t miss two games with injury. With Washington likely to be trailing and New England allowing a ton of passing as well as the most fantasy points to QBs, this should be a great spot. My only concern is that New England takes away your favorite toy and forces the rest of the team to beat you. Reed has been Cousin’s favorite toy when healthy, so he could have a tough day here. The price is still friendly though, so even a rough outing will not murder your chances of cashing if it happens. The risk is higher than normal of it though, which is why he is not a top option.
REST OF THE FIELD
Martellus Bennett ($4900) – Despite being the second most targeted Bear last game, Bennett did not put up decent numbers. In fact he has been very up and down this year and the fact that Alshon is back does not bolster his case. The fact that Forte is gone actually might as he was a heavily targeted part of the passing game which should free up some targets. San Diego is also pretty bad against the run though, so we may see the Bears try to keep it on the ground a little bit. If they find success against the team allowing the most fantasy points to RBs, they may not be throwing much at all. Bennett is also getting expensive, so despite the obvious advantage of being highly targeted, he needs to really produce touchdowns with those targets or he will fall short of value.
Gary Barnidge ($4800) – Barnidge has been an absolute stud. He is big and has really good hands. That is why he has become Josh McCown’s favorite red zone target. The problem is McCown is out and Johnny Football is in. Manziel targeted his WRs downfield and threw way less pass attempts when he was playing earlier in the year. Cincy also has a pretty solid defense, so nothing really lines up here for a big Barnidge game. Barnidge did have some nice games in tough spots already, but at the elevated price and the downgraded QB situation it is not wise to expect another one here.
Tyler Eifert ($5400) – Nothing about Eifert makes me confident in his game this weekend. He has caught over 4 balls twice all season and only reached 100 yards once. For a guy who is priced up, those are some pretty weak stats most of the time. The biggest problem for me is the lack of targets. He sees under 7 a game and is tenth in the league despite being the third highest priced at the position. He has a match up that does not scream pass heavy game plan either, which makes it even less likely he sees an uptick. He has six touchdowns this season, but it does not set up as a game where he reaches the end zone multiple times and he would likely need to in order to make value.