Fantasy Football Week 3: Early Top 15 Tight End Rankings

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIISeptember 17, 2012

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24:  Tight end Brandon Pettigrew #87 of the Detroit Lions is introduced before taking on the Green Bay Packers during the Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It appears we have found a matchup to exploit for the tight end position pretty early in the 2012 NFL season.

The Tennessee Titans have been absolutely lit up by players at the position in their first two contests.

The first pair of guys to go at them and put up numbers was Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.

The second two? Dante Rosario and Randy McMichael.

One set of tight ends is obviously more recognizable than the other in the average fantasy football fan’s eyes. But the second pair of players was even more productive than the first one against Tennessee.

Because of all of this, I wouldn’t really argue with a desperation start of the Detroit Lions’ Tony Scheffler when he plays the Titans on Sunday.

What could happen is Calvin Johnson getting a lot of attention from Matthew Stafford down the middle of the field, detracting from Scheffler seeing too many targets in Week 3.

Johnson could go off, and there would still be enough looks for Brandon Pettigrew, which is why he’s my No. 1 fantasy tight end for Week 3.


1. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans): (See above.)


2. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs): He’s still an elite tight end. The Chiefs are not so elite right now.

3. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (at Baltimore Ravens): Gronk has got the tight end job to himself for the time being. Aaron Hernandez is expected to miss some time.

4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (at Minnesota Vikings): This guy is making noise early in the season. Already, three touchdowns in two games.

5. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (at Seattle Seahawks): Scored six of his eight 2011 touchdowns on the road.

6. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. Atlanta Falcons): If he’s healthy, Gates is basically a must-start tight end.

7. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals): Had a huge Week 2 and will be relied upon by Michael Vick if Jeremy Maclin can’t go in Week 3.

8. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers): He’s back, as evidenced by his 10 targets at Seattle in Week 2.

9. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions): Playing Touchdown Roulette here, but Vernon Davis got to the end zone twice against these Lions in Week 2.

10. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (at Cleveland Browns): Like Celek, Chandler’s team will be without one if its starting receivers. Until someone out wide steps up, Chandler will be one of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s primary targets.


11. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers): Has scored in each of the season’s first two games. Eli Manning looks for him in the red zone.

12. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New England Patriots): Pitta had 15 targets from quarterback Joe Flacco in Week 2.

13. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos (vs. Houston Texans): Tamme caught all five of his targets in Week 1. He’ll look to help Peyton Manning rebound in Week 3.

14. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (at San Diego Chargers): He’s still got a chance to score on any given week with Roddy White and Julio Jones around to spread the field.

15. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Oakland Raiders): Touchdown Roulette again. Miller has two touchdowns in 2012. He’s scored in each game, but in Week 2 it was on just one target.