Here are my top 25 tight ends for Week 9 (standard-scoring leagues).
This countdown identifies the weekend's best bets for catches, total yards, touchdowns and targets—a stat that must always factor into lineup strategies with receivers and tight ends.
NOTE: The Patriots, 49ers, Rams and Jets are all on byes.
Week 9: Top 25 Tight Ends
1. Jason Witten @ Atlanta
2. Jimmy Graham vs. Philadelphia
3. Owen Daniels vs. Buffalo
4. Tony Gonzalez vs. Dallas
5. Antonio Gates vs. Kansas City
6. Brandon Pettigrew @ Jacksonville
7. Heath Miller @ N.Y. Giants
8. Greg Olsen @ Washington
9. Jermaine Gresham vs. Denver
10. Brent Celek @ New Orleans
11. Martellus Bennett vs. Pittsburgh
12. Dwayne Allen vs. Miami
13. Jacob Tamme @ Cincinnati
14. Brandon Myers vs. Tampa Bay
15. Scott Chandler @ Houston
16. Jared Cook vs. Chicago
17. Kyle Rudolph @ Seattle
18. Dennis Pitta @ Cleveland
19. Logan Paulsen vs. Carolina
20. Jermichael Finley vs. Arizona
21. Marcedes Lewis vs. Detroit
22. Zach Miller vs. Minnesota
23. Robert Housler @ Green Bay
24. Joel Dreessen @ Cincinnati
25. Benjamin Watson vs. Baltimore
1. Jason Witten may be riding high from setting an NFL single-game record for catches by a tight end (18), but his career track record against the Falcons is not optimal. In three games against Atlanta, Witten has averaged 3.67 catches, 41 yards and zero scores.
2. Owen Daniels has been a model of consistency for points-per-reception league owners. Through seven games, Daniels has crossed the PPR-elite threshold (among tight ends) of six catches, 85 yards and/or one touchdown six times.
3. There are only so many ways to frame Antonio Gates' season (21 catches, 238 yards, two TD) in a positive light. But I can still spin future goodness from the past: In Gates' last three home games against the Chiefs (2007-09—going wayyyyyyyy back), he boasts per-outing averages of seven catches, 88 yards and one touchdown.
4. I wanted to reward Tony Gonzalez (46 catches, 459 yards, four TD) with a No. 2 ranking on this Gronkowski-free weekend, but Gonzo's home averages for the year—3.3 catches, 54 yards, 0.33 TDs—are too mediocre for my liking.
5. Brent Celek's lofty ranking includes fond recollections of his second career breakout game (in 2009), but really this is the first time I've deemed him "fantasy relevant."
In Week 2 of that year, with Kevin Kolb subbing in for an injured Donovan McNabb in Philly, Celek rolled for eight catches against the Saints (a career high at the time) and 104 yards.
The following Sunday against the Chiefs, under the watchful eye of doubters everywhere, Kolb-to-Celek accounted for another outing of eight catches and 104 yards—but with one touchdown.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.