Tight end scoring in fantasy football was down across the board in Week 4. In Week 1, 11 tight ends scored double-digit fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring leagues. Nine guys at the position scored 10 or more in Week 2.
Eight scored double-digits in Week 3, and just five topped 10 points in Week 4.
Is this a trend that was based on the officiating, and thus will continue for the rest of the season?
Or was Week 4 an anomaly that will be just a blip on the radar during a bye week for two teams?
Heath Miller of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been one of those double-digit guys in two of the first three weeks, so perhaps he would have put up that kind of production in Week 4.
The Indianapolis Colts’ Coby Fleener has nine fantasy points on the year, so I wouldn’t expect that he would have put up 10-plus if the Colts weren’t on a bye.
Still, we’re looking at maybe six tight ends scoring more than 10 fantasy points in Week 4.
Whether or not this pattern will continue, it appears that the premium has been placed back on the tight ends that are known to be primary options for their NFL teams. Guys like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis…you know the type.
That’s why they continue to be at the very top of the rankings. Fantasy owners know that they should be getting footballs thrown in their respective directions on Thursday, Sunday or Monday.
And that’s why they populate the top of this list.
1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (vs. San Diego Chargers)
Graham is one of those guys who you know is going to get the ball every week. Never mind that the Chargers have been reasonably stout against tight ends; Tony Gonzalez was easily the best they’ve faced, and he caught nine balls for 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 3.
2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Buffalo Bills)
Davis had an off fantasy game against the Jets last week, but the passing game was not required for the 49ers to roll in New York. The Bills have only faced one tight end of Davis’ caliber: Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski went for 104 yards and a touchdown.
3. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (at Washington Redskins)
Gonzalez has five or more catches in every game this year. The Redskins have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in three of their four games.
4. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (vs. Denver Broncos)
Denver has given up one touchdown in three of its first four games. Gronk is Gronk.
5. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Tennessee Titans)
Tennessee has allowed seven scores to players at the tight end position.
Start your tight ends against the Titans. It’s the right thing to do.
6. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at New Orleans Saints)
7. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)
8. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos (at New England Patriots)
9. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (at Kansas City Chiefs)
10. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
11. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (at New York Jets)
12. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (at Minnesota Vikings)
13. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (at Indianapolis Colts)
14. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
15. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (at San Francisco 49ers)