2012 Fantasy Football Week 7: Tight End Rankings & Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIOctober 16, 2012

Oct 14, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) catches a touchdown pass against Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jeron Johnson (32) during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Working his way back from an ankle injury, Aaron Hernandez's availability was a question mark heading into the weekend. Hernandez played and while he only had 30 yards, he did pick up six receptions and a touchdown.

With Hernandez in the lineup, the Patriots have the flexibility to do more as an offense. They can set up the two tight end looks they would prefer to run instead of using a three-receiver set as their standard offense. Expect Hernandez to have another productive game against the Jets, but it may be awhile before we see him effectively stretch the field vertically and make big plays.

What Did We Learn From Week Six?

- Kyle Rudolph continues to have a breakout season, and his 11 targets against the Redskins tells us Christian Ponder continues to view him as one of his top options in the passing game. Already with five touchdowns on the season, I like Rudolph’s odds of going over 10 for the year—especially if Adrian Peterson continues to struggle to hammer in the touchdowns in the red zone.

- Jermichael Finley continues to battle injury, but it seems like he’s also not in harmony with the rest of the offense. Too skilled to keep on the bench over D.J. Williams, Finely presents matchup problems for a defense. Even if he’s not showing up in the box score, he’s helping the rest of the offense that way.

We should keep him on the bench until he starts to play like the player we saw at the start of the 2010 season.

- Dennis Pitta started out hot, but has only 11 targets over the past three weeks. It's time to put him on the bench if you’ve been sticking with him.

Sean’s Week 7 Watch List

- Jason Witten failed to find the end zone last week, but had another solid performance with six receptions for 88 yards against the Ravens. With Miles Austin still not playing at the level we would expect and DeMarco Murray injured, expect Tony Romo to continue to lean on Dez Bryant and Witten going forward.

- Battling a leg injury from his Week 5 game against the Chargers, I don’t expect Jimmy Graham to play this week and have him listed off the tight end rankings. If he should play, of course you put him in your lineup.


1 Rob Gronkowski Jets
2 Jason Witten @ Panthers
3 Vernon Davis Seahawks
4 Kyle Rudolph Cardinals
5 Owen Daniels Ravens
6 Aaron Hernandez (I) Jets
7 Jermaine Gresham Steelers
8 Heath Miller @ Bengals
9 Brandon Pettigrew @ Bears
10 Scott Chandler Titans
11 Jared Cook @ Bills
12 Fred Davis @ Giants
13 Dennis Pitta @ Texans
14 Greg Olsen Cowboys
15 Jermichael Finley (I) @ Rams

Week 7 Standard Rankings – QB | RB | WR | Waivers | Start – Sit |