Fantasy Football 2012 Week 1 Rankings: Top 20 Tight Ends

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 3, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints gets tackled by Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter during the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 36-32. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While the potential absence of Jason Witten could take away one of the premier tight end options, there are plenty of other players for fantasy owners to choose from in Week 1.  Let’s take a look at how the rankings currently fall:

  1. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints – vs. Washington
  2. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – at Tennessee
  3. Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots – at Tennessee
  4. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – at Green Bay
  5. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
  6. Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons – at Kansas City
  7. Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers – vs. San Francisco
  8. Fred Davis – Washington Redskins – at New Orleans
  9. Jacob Tamme – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
  10. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
  11. Dustin Keller – New York Jets – vs. Buffalo
  12. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Jacksonville
  13. Colby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts – at Chicago
  14. Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions – vs. St. Louis
  15. Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans – vs. New England
  16. Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – at Cleveland
  17. Owen Daniels – Houston Texans – vs. Miami
  18. Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
  19. Martellius Bennett – New York Giants – vs. Dallas
  20. Ed Dickson – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati


  • According to, the Washington Redskins allowed the third most points to tight ends in 2011. You couple that with all of the options that the Patriots have (as well as the rumors that Aaron Hernandez could have passed Rob Gronkowski on “Tom Brady’s favorite target list”) lead to Jimmy Graham taking the top spot. Time will tell how things play out in New England, but it is easy to call both Hernandez & Gronkowski top options as both should get ample opportunities.
  • For now Jason Witten is being omitted from these rankings due to the fear that he won’t suit up on Wednesday. Obviously, if he plays he is among the top options in the league. We’ll have to monitor the news and see how things play out before making any decisions.
  • I think Brandon Pettigrew will be a Top 10 tight end this season, but if the Rams defense is anything like it was a year ago he could get his season off to a slow start. According to, the Rams defense allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends at 3.77 in 2011.  Do I think he’s usable? Absolutely, but based on that number it’s hard to consider him more than a low-end option.
  • Colby Fleener has the potential to get off to a good start, especially given his rapport with Andrew Luck already. With this being Luck’s first NFL start and all, I’d expect to go with what he knows.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

Haven’t drafted yet? Make sure to check out our 2012 preseason fantasy football rankings: