Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings for Divisional Round Games: Tight Ends

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIIJanuary 12, 2012

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Tight end Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots acknowledges the fans during the game between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens at the TD Garden on December 19, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In the history of the NFL, only 30 tight ends have had 1,000-plus receiving yards.

The two that did so this season became the first two to ever finish with 1,300-plus yards: Rob Gronkowski (1,327) and Jimmy Graham (1,310). The previous record for the position was 1,290 yards set by Kellen Winslow in 1980.

Gronkowski set the record for receiving touchdowns (17) by a tight end while Graham had the third-most receptions (99) by a tight end.

Here are our tight end rankings for the divisional round:

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (vs DEN): Not only did Gronkowski set the single-season record for tight ends as noted above, but the second-year tight end led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (17). Over the past two seasons, Gronkowski trails only Calvin Johnson in receiving touchdowns by a margin of 28 to 27.

2. Jimmy Graham, Saints (at SF): Graham had 99 receptions for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. In fact, Graham and Gronkowski were the only two players in the NFL to finish with 90-plus receptions, 1,300-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns this season.

[Related: Our poll on who should be drafted first in 2012: Gronkowski or Graham?]

3. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots (vs DEN): In his last game against the Broncos, Hernandez had a season-high nine receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown and one rush attempt for 16 yards. In his past three games counting the game in Denver, Hernandez has 20 receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns plus four carries for 43 yards.

4. Vernon Davis, 49ers (vs NO): In Week 17, Davis had eight receptions for a season-high 118 yards. That said, Davis, who has scored only once in the past six games, had as many touchdowns in 2009 (13) as he has had in the past two seasons combined.

5. Jermichael Finley, Packers (vs NYG): Finley is as talented as any tight end on this list, but his production is less consistent than the guys ahead of him. Finley had only four games with double-digit fantasy points and seven games with less than 40 receiving yards this season.

6. Jake Ballard, Giants (at GB): After missing two (the final regular-season) games, Ballard returned last week and finished with two receptions for 16 yards. Ballard had three catches for 47 yards the first time around against the Packers.

7. Owen Daniels, Texans (at BAL): Despite a "hand issue," Daniels will play according to coach Gary Kubiak, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. That said, the Texans tight ends combined for two receptions for 13 yards in their first matchup against the Ravens, who ranked second in the NFL in fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year.

8. Ed Dickson, Ravens (vs HOU): In his first matchup against the Texans, Dickson finished with only two receptions for 20 yards and no touchdowns. The Texans ranked fourth in the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends this season.

9. Dennis Pitta, Ravens (vs HOU): In the final game of the regular season, Pitta finished with six receptions for a season-high 62 yards and a touchdown. Pitta scored all three of his touchdowns in the final six weeks of the season.

10. Joel Dreessen, Texans (at BAL): From Weeks 5 to 14, Dreessen was a scoring machine. Six of his 16 receptions during that span were touchdowns, but he hasn't scored since.

Other positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Playoff Predictions: 49ers vs. Saints | Patriots vs. Broncos | Ravens vs. Texans | Packers vs. Giants

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