Unlike a number of other positions around the league, the tight end is one that has actually become stronger over the first six weeks of the 2013 fantasy season. The emergence of both Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas have lengthened our top couple of tiers and while recent injury has removed Owen Daniels from the fantasy radar, Garret Graham looks fully capable of stepping in and providing useful statistics in his stead.
Jimmy Graham is separating from the group, and you could make an argument that he belongs in a tier of his own. Of course, he showed that he is, indeed, human in Week 6 when he got banged up and put up a goose egg… Rob Gronkowski is reportedly Gornkin’ just fine on the practice field, now we just have to wait until he’s given the green light for game action. We have no doubt that he’ll be a top-2 option for however long he is on the field… While it is hard to imagine that Julius Thomas can continue to put up number on a team where the third wide receiver is on pace for 90+ catches and 1,200 yards, Peyton Manning has a way of lifting the players around him. Thomas has earned the trust of his hall-of-fame quarterback and while we expect the Broncos offense to slow down a bit at some point, it appears Thomas will continue to get his looks, particularly in the red zone… Davis has had a couple of monster games and while the Niners have been reluctant to put the ball in the air, when they do, Vernon Davis is their most effective playmaker. There is boom or bust upside for certain, but as the coaching staff continues to take the reigns off of Colin Kaepernick, VD will put up points more often than not.
So what if he doesn’t catch touchdowns? Jason Witten is a stud… With Randall Cobb and James Jones down, the Packers will turn to Jermichael Finley to fill some of that void in the passing game. Inconsistency will likely to continue to plague Finley, but the upside as a top target in an Aaron Rodgers offense is undeniable… A rejuvenated Antonio Gates and resurgent Philip Rivers has re-installed one of the most dominant combinations in the league to fantasy prominence.
Tier Three brings us the steady, lower upside options that we feel just fine rolling out each and every week in a standard league. Martellus Bennett isn’t flashy, but he continues to get it done… Though we never got the goal line rushes that we were hoping for from Charles Clay, he’s developing into Ryan Tannehill‘s top option in the red area with a pair of red-zone targets in each of the Dolphins’ last two games.
Tier Four and beyond
Outside of the top three tiers, it’s development projects and matchup plays. Jordan Reed has emerged as the Redskins’ go to option out of the tight end spot, easily passing by the corpse of Fred Davis… In St. Louis we want Jared Cook to step up as a consistent option, but it’s Lance Kendricks who has gained Sam Bradfrod’s trust when they get in close.
Rest of Season Tight End Rankings
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