As we enter week 10, the fantasy football playoffs are almost within striking distance. It's hard to believe that we are already into November, the month where the good and great teams start to separate from the rest of the pack. Having a productive option at tight end is always a coup heading into these big November games. With some interesting matchups on the board for week 10, we'll sort through the bye weeks, injuries, and sleepers to consider as we roll out our week 10 tight end rankings.
Remember: an asterisk (*) next to a player's name denotes a possible injury concern for that player.
Week 10 Tight End Rankings 1-10
1. Rob Gronkowski @ NYG- You already know.
2. Greg Olsen @ TEN- It's basically to the point where we can fill this space with some sort of whimsical anecdote representative of Olsen's status as a weekly shoo-in top-2 play. It also helps that the Titans had some trouble against the Saints' plethora of tight ends in week 9. So, yeah.
3. Gary Barnidge @ PIT- I start trying to think of a more clever nickname for Gary Barnidge than "Big Play Barnidge," but then I start to think of Gary Barnidge, his deceptive smile, Loch Ness Monster-sized neck, and the fact that he basically destroys any defense that is placed in front of him. Well, things changed a bit in week 9 as he caught just 2 balls for 35 yards. Johnny Manziel started and surprisingly failed to look Barnidge's way throughout the week 9 loss to the Bengals. With ten days to prepare for yet another rugged divisional clash, look for Manziel, Josh McCown, or any of the Brown's previous 6,093 quarterbacks that have started upon the team's rebirth in Cleveland to emphasize looking for Barnidge. If Manziel gets another start and wants to make the job his own, getting Barnidge the ball would be a wise step in the right direction.
4. Jordan Reed vs NO- Reed salvaged his week 9 outing with a score, but it was an otherwise disappointing effort as he caught just 3 balls for 18 yards. He had issues with drops, and DeSean Jackson's return could steal some looks resulting in slightly-diminished value for Reed, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder. However, Reed is healthy, and a locked-in TE1, especially against a Saints' defense that collectively has trouble covering anything that moves.
5. Tyler Eifert vs HOU- Leading the league with 9 receiving touchdowns, Eifert found the end-zone thrice against Cleveland in week 9. His red-zone presence was most promising, and he used his route-running ability to get free over the middle when matched up with smaller defenders. He's averaging a solid 7.5 targets over his last 4 outings.
6. Travis Kelce @ DEN- Teams generally like to get back to what they do best following a bye. For the Chiefs, that means looking Travis Kelce's way. He has only scored once since his 2-touchdown effort in week 1 against Houston, but he's always at or near the top of the totem pole in the Chiefs' pass attack hierarchy. They'll need to look his way if they are to make something of their week 10 trip to Denver.
7. Jimmy Graham vs ARI- Speaking of teams coming off of their bye weeks, Seattle is another, and it would be prudent of them to find some kind of a way to get Jimmy Graham into consistent form. The Cardinals defend the pass well on the perimeter, so Graham's presence will be valuable in the medium-range areas. In Graham's week 8 outing against Dallas, he saw 10 targets -- his second-highest of the year -- and caught 7 of them for 75 yards. Talent is undeniable; consistency is key.
8. Martellus Bennett @ STL- Another diligent effort from Marty B, who pulled in 8 of 9 targets for 57 yards and a touchdown. Zach Miller's ridiculous one-handed touchdown catch may have stolen the tight end show, but Bennett is a good bet to see plenty more work on another tough roadtrip to St. Louis in week 10. Alshon Jeffery is established on the outside, leaving Bennett room to make his mark underneath.
9. Delanie Walker vs CAR- Walker had a monster day in week 9 against the Saints, catching 7 of 8 targets for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns while also tacking on a successful two-point conversion reception. Granted, one or two of those big plays came off of fluky deflections, Walker was right where he needed to be to make the play. Furthermore, Marcus Mariota showed no rust on his return from injury and was willing to look his tight end's way on numerous occasions. He'll be useful against a Panthers unit that will be licking their chops against a talented but young Titans receiving corps. Mike Mularkey, a former tight end in his own playing days, is at the helm now, and that bodes well for Walker as a TE1 and Anthony Fasano as a deep streaming option.
10. Richard Rodgers vs DET- Caught two touchdowns as the Packers played catch-up in week 9 at Carolina. He's a red-zone weapon, and a nice option for owners under the gun in the form of bye weeks and injuries. Tight ends usually shine in these NFC North rivalry games, so we expect to see Rodgers channel his inner Mark Chmura in week 10 against Detroit. The struggling Lions have surrendered the 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends this year.
Week 10 Tight End Rankings 11-32
11. Zach Ertz vs MIA
12. Jason Witten @ TB
13. Benjamin Watson @ WAS
14. Jordan Cameron @ PHI
15. Eric Ebron @ GB
16. Julius Thomas @ BAL
17. Vernon Davis vs KC
18. Charles Clay @ NYG
19. Kyle Rudolph @ OAK
20. Crockett Gillmore vs JAX
21. Heath Miller vs CLE
22. Larry Donnell* vs NE
23. Jared Cook vs CHI
24. Austin Seferian-Jenkins* vs DAL
25. Darren Fells* @ SEA
26. Lance Kendricks vs CHI
27. Clive Walford vs MIN
28. Jermaine Gresham @ SEA
29. Josh Hill @ WAS
30. Owen Daniels vs KC
31. Anthony Fasano vs CAR
32. Donteea Dye vs NE
Week 10 Tight End Sleepers
Crockett Gillmore vs JAX- Everyone's favorite Gillmore (with two L's, anyway) since Rory and Lorelai, Crockett is trending up now that he's healthy and among Joe Flacco's top options with Steve Smith Sr. done for the year. Scored in week 8 and has seen a shade over 5 targets a game since his return.
Clive Walford vs MIN- High-risk/medium reward, but if you're really in a crunch and finding yourself in search of a deep, deep sleeper, Walford has scored in two of his last 3 games, and is playing with one of the best young passers in the game (Derek Carr). Saw 5 looks in week 9, catching one of them for a score.
Kyle Rudolph @ OAK- His overall numbers have been underwhelming, but Rudolph is a major red-zone threat, and gets a Raiders defense that often struggles against tight ends. If Shaun Hill starts in place of Teddy Bridgewater (concussion), Rudolph could see a slight boost to his weekly value as Hill is well-versed in looking for the tight end.
Week 10 Tight End Injuries to Monitor
Larry Donnell (neck)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder)
Darren Fells (shoulder)
Good luck in week 10.