Jimmy Graham has brought some uncharacteristic volatility to the top echelon of tight end ranks. Last week I didn't rank him and although he was active he scored 0 points. I think that Graham gets into the action this week but not in his normal top of the league capacity. Let's get down to the ranks and see where everyone falls in my predictions.
Bye Week: NY Giants, San Francisco 49ers
Injury Concerns: Jimmy Graham, Martellus Bennett, Travis Kelce, Owen Daniels, Charles Clay, Eric Ebron (not ranked)
The Elite Tier (Must Starts)Dwayne Allen is emerging as the top tight end option in Indy.
1. Antonio Gates SDG @DEN
2. Greg Olsen CAR vs. SEA
3. Julius Thomas DEN vs. SDG
4. Rob Gronkowski NE vs. CHI
5. Dwayne Allen IND @PIT
I like Gates in a high scoring game in Denver, Rivers loves going to him in the red zone. Olsen is as steady as they come and the Seahawks defense is looking tired. Julius Thomas is always a top choice but the San Diego defense shows flashes of brilliance. Gronkowski should be solid but New England's offense is up and down. Dwayne Allen breaks into my elite tier this week due to his continued production.
Starter Worthy (Should Be Safe To Roll With These Guys):
6. Jordan Reed WAS @DAL
7. Zach Ertz PHI @ARI
Owen Daniels BAL @CIN
(Daniels had a procedure and is out as of 10/24, adjust your lineups accordingly)*
9. Martellus Bennett CHI @NE
10. Jimmy Graham NO vs. GB
11. Jordan Cameon CLE vs. OAK
12. Coby Fleener IND @PIT
I have some questions about everyone in this group, things are getting dicey for tight ends. Jordan Reed is a great talent but I worry about his propensity for injury and the unsettled QB situation. Ertz just needs steady targets and he can be a stud. Daniels is hit or miss, like every BAL option except Steve Smith. Bennett appears to be in his normal mid year swoon but the Bears should keep throwing. Jimmy Graham is just an injury concern, of course he's a no brainer when he is 100%. Jordan Cameron just keeps underperforming but the thin depth at this position would have me starting him if I had drafted him in any league. Fleener is a nice player but Dwayne Allen is clearly a superior option on his team.
Dangerous With Potential (Hit Or Miss):
13. Delanie Walker TEN vs. HOU
14. Scott Chandler BUF @NYJ
15. Charles Clay MIA @JAC
16. Jared Cook STL @KC
17. Clay Harbor JAC vs. MIA
18. Gavin Escobar DAL vs. WAS
19. Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. BAL
20. Jason Witten DAL vs. WAS
I may upgrade Walker next week but Mettenberger's first game starting is not a place that I would want to use any of his receiving options (I do like Mettenberger long term by the way). Chandler has a tasty matchup versus the hapless Jets. Clay goes against a similarly awful defense in Jacsksonville. I think that Escobar has passed Witten in the Cowboys pecking order.
Waiver Fodder (There Are Better Options):
21. Jace Amaro vs. BUF
22. Travis Kelce KC vs. STL
23. Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB vs. MIN
24. Timothy Wright NE vs. CHI
25. Heath Miller PIT vs. IND
26. John Carlson ARI vs. PHI
27. Cooper Helfet SEA @CAR
28. Anthony Fasano KC vs. STL
29. Lance Kendricks STL @KC
30. Andrew Quarless GB @NO
If you must gamble here, roll the dice with Amaro. I like his talent but the Buffalo defense is legit. Good luck this week and get those lineups set before the Thursday night game.