Here are my top 25 tight ends for Week 3 (standard-scoring leagues).
To clarify, this countdown doesn't lean on a particular stat. It's merely an educated best guess of which rushers will tally the best combination of total yards and touchdowns for the NFL's second weekend.
Note: These rankings shall remain fluid through Sunday morning. Perhaps the stock for Dustin Keller (hamstring) will surge in the coming days.
Week 3: Top 25 Tight Ends
1. Rob Gronkowski @ Baltimore
2. Jimmy Graham vs. Kansas City
3. Vernon Davis @ Minnesota
4. Brent Celek @ Arizona
5. Antonio Gates vs. Atlanta
6. Jermichael Finley @ Seattle
7. Brandon Pettigrew @ Tennessee
8. Martellus Bennett @ Carolina
9. Coby Fleener vs. Jacksonville
10. Jermaine Gresham @ Washington
11. Dennis Pitta vs. New England
12. Tony Gonzalez @ San Diego
13. Jacob Tamme vs. Houston
14. Jason Witten vs. Tampa Bay
15. Marcedes Lewis @ Indianapolis
16. Jared Cook vs. Detroit
17. Owen Daniels @ Denver
18. Greg Olsen vs. N.Y. Giants
19. Kyle Rudolph vs. San Francisco
20. Fred Davis vs. Cincinnati
21. Scott Chandler @ Cleveland
22. Heath Miller @ Oakland
23. Dallas Clark @ Dallas
24. Tony Moeaki @ New Orleans
25. Dustin Keller @ Miami
1. If Rob Gronkowski was the undoubtable choice as fantasy's No. 1 tight end with Aaron Hernandez in the Patriots' lineup...just imagine the damage he'll inflict with Hernandez out for the next month or so (ankle injury).
2. I have Falcons-Chargers tabbed as the highest-scoring game of Week 3, ahead of Giants-Panthers, Packers-Seahawks and Chiefs-Saints. Fingers crossed on Antonio Gates (ribs) being healthy enough to revel in the goodness that awaits this clash of prolific passers (Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers). Obviously, Dante Rosario would be a solid Plan B for fantasy owners, if Gates sits another week.
3. In two games with the Giants, Martellus Bennett (nine catches, 112 yards, two TD) has already racked up more combined targets (16) in back-to-back outings than his four previous seasons with the Cowboys—primarily as Jason Witten's understudy.
4. Forget about Coby Fleener's two-catch, four-target, 16-yard clunker against the Vikings in Week 2. If you're looking for the next big thing at tight end...look no further than Fleener, whose size, athleticism and natural football instincts compare favorably to Rob Gronkowski.
We all remember Gronk's explosion in his second season (90 catches, 1,327 yards, 18 total TDs in 2011). But during his rookie campaign (2010), Gronkowski essentially took his lumps for nine games, before breaking out against the Steelers in Week 10—five catches for 72 yards and three touchdowns.
Bottom line: Fleener could have a similarly stellar coming-out party at any point this season. He already has a built-in rapport with Colts QB Andrew Luck, his teammate at Stanford.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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