It’s shaping up to be a poor overall week for fantasy football tight ends in Week 9. Two of the top five matchups (the New England Patriots and New York Jets) for fantasy tight ends are on a bye this week. The other three (Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos) are up against tight ends that won’t be the focal point of their respective offenses.
Jermaine Gresham is currently the highest-ranked fantasy tight end to face a top-five opponent in terms of points allowed to his position.
All of this is not to mention that Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Vernon Davis are all on a bye this week. Still, there are fantasy TE slots to be filled. Here are six through 15 for Week 9’s tight ends.
6. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (vs. Buffalo Bills)
7. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Denver Broncos)
8. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
9. Kellen Davis, Chicago Bears (at Tennessee Titans)
10. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Detroit Lions)
11. Joel Dreessen, Denver Broncos (at Cincinnati Bengals)
12. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (at Houston Texans)
13. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
14. Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Oakland Raiders)
15. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
Greg Olsen is a nice sleeper this week at tight end. He has only scored one touchdown this season, but he has got a matchup with the Washington Redskins: the second-most favorable matchup against fantasy tight ends this year.
On 76 targets, Washington has surrendered 53 catches for 573 yards and seven touchdowns to tight ends. To his credit, Olsen has caught multiple passes in every game but one this season. His Week 9 performance should be his best of the year.
After an incredibly hot start through the first five games of the season (39 receptions, 388 yards and four touchdowns), Tony Gonzalez has gone through a mini fantasy slump in his last two: seven catches for 71 yards.
He’s still a trustworthy fantasy option as his resume supersedes those of most of the other guys who have games to play this week.
The best fantasy tight end that the Dallas Cowboys have faced this season is Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants—a guy who scored a touchdown against them in Week 1.
Fresh off an 18-catch, 167-yard performance in Week 8, it’s safe to say that Jason Witten is going to be a force in fantasy for the remainder of the season. The first test of that comes against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night; Atlanta has faced one top-notch fantasy tight end this season.
His name is Antonio Gates, and he has been struggling—by his standards.
Still, Atlanta’s defense is middle-of-the-road in terms of fantasy points allowed to tight ends. When the Falcons face a tight end that could be targeted 22 times in a game, they’re going to be susceptible to giving up fantasy points to that guy.
Miller hasn’t even approached 100 yards in a game this season, but he has scored enough touchdowns (six) to be the second-ranked tight end in fantasy football through eight weeks despite already having his bye week.
This is a Touchdown Roulette list entry as the Giants have allowed just one touchdown to any tight end this season—but it was last week. Miller has scored in five of the Steelers’ seven games.
Graham is a No. 1 option in a New Orleans offense that will be without Darren Sproles vacuuming up receptions from Drew Brees. Graham seems to have come back from his Week 5 injury in Week 8, grabbing five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t the best matchup, having limited Tony Gonzalez and Heath Miller to no touchdowns, but Graham can be Brees’ primary target on Monday Night Football and win you your fantasy matchup in spectacular fashion.