The tight end position in fantasy football used to be just a gamble on getting a touchdown. Now, tight ends are being targeted with regularity that rivals that of wide receivers on plenty of teams.
The position is incredibly touchdown-dependent. Or, at least, it was in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season. Every tight end that scored nine or more fantasy points (in standard scoring) did so by way of scoring a touchdown.
With that in mind, however, touchdowns are very hard to predict. That’s why tight ends that are a featured part of their offenses still make the top spots on fantasy ranking lists week after week.
These are my top 15 fantasy tight ends for Week 2.
1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. Tennessee Titans). Gates wasn’t featured as much as a lot of us would have liked in Week 1 against the Raiders. He left the game with a rib injury, but returned to action. Tennessee gave up scoring strikes to Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski last week.
2. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (at Carolina Panthers). Graham is Drew Brees’ No. 1 target.
3. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Detroit Lions). Let’s see if Davis can get his post-touchdown dunk to go down on his home field.
4. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (vs. Arizona Cardinals). He’s splitting work with Aaron Hernandez, but there’s enough to go around.
5. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots (vs. Arizona Cardinals). See Rob Gronkowski.
6. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (vs. Chicago Bears). If Greg Jennings misses this game, look for Finley to make some plays for Aaron Rodgers.
7. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos (at Atlanta Falcons). Tamme will be on Monday Night Football with his old quarterback in a shootout with the Falcons.
8. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (at San Diego Chargers). Kenny Britt will return this week, which should spread the field even more for the Titans. Cook should find space to make plays.
9. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (at Jacksonville Jaguars). The Texans might roll in this game. Daniels has a shot at a red zone look if the Jaguars stack the box against Foster.
10. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Denver Broncos). Gonzalez will look to make it two weeks in a row with a score on Monday night.
11. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (vs. Kansas City Chiefs). Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely lean on his tight end a bit more in the absence of his No. 2 WR.
12. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (at San Francisco 49ers). The Lions are going to have to throw the ball. Pettigrew got 10 looks last week.
13. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Minnesota Vikings). Fleener also got 10 targets from quarterback Andrew Luck against the Bears in Week 1.
14. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. New York Jets). Miller was finally allowed to run free (and not stay in to block so much) at Denver in Week 1.
15. Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New York Giants). If Josh Freeman is getting pressured by the Giants' defensive line, Clark should get enough targets to be fantasy-relevant in Week 2.