As a position group, tight ends have been recently disappointing in fantasy football. Most legitimate fantasy options have been inconsistent at best, but the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham (along with injured New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski) has been the gold standard at the position.
In his last four games, Graham has caught 26 passes for 310 yards and five touchdowns—including at least five catches and one score in each week.
Without Gronkowski for the foreseeable future, Graham’s reliability and dynamic play make him the No. 1 ranked tight end in every week that he’s healthy.
Four of the top five tight ends for Week 12 are of the blue-chip, big-name variety. Here’s who didn’t make the cut.
6. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at Chicago Bears)
7. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (at New York Giants)
8. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (at Philadelphia Eagles)
9. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Oakland Raiders)
10. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (at Indianapolis Colts)
11. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
12. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Carolina Panthers)
13. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Tennessee Titans)
14. Tony Moeaki, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Denver Broncos)
15. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (vs. Green Bay Packers)
16. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (at San Diego Chargers)
17. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Buffalo Bills)
18. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos (at Kansas City Chiefs)
19. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cleveland Browns)
20. Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Antonio Gates has been dynamic or terrible in fantasy football. In the last five weeks, he’s either gone for 43-plus yards and one or more touchdowns in a game or caught two passes for fewer than 20 yards.
His last two games at home—where he’ll be in Week 12—have been productive. Against the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, Gates totaled nine catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns.
The targets and catches have always been there for Brandon Myers (four or more grabs in eight of 10 games), but the touchdowns arrived late to the party. Myers’ first TD came in Week 9—and so did his second.
Myers’ last three included 19 receptions, 171 yards and three touchdowns.
Tony Gonzalez has been less consistent over his last seven games, but when he’s been good, he’s been really good. Despite five showings of 51 yards or fewer, he has posted two games with double-digit catches, 120-plus yards and found the end zone once or twice in each one.
In Week 11, Vernon Davis had his first big game since Week 5 (five catches and 106 yards against the Buffalo Bills) with a season-high six grabs for 83 yards and a TD against the Chicago Bears. He was just the third tight end to find the end zone against Chicago this year.
The New Orleans Saints have allowed just four touchdowns to tight ends this season, but three of them have been in the last two weeks.
Jimmy Graham trails Rob Gronkowski by a considerable margin of 29 fantasy points (ESPN standard scoring), but he missed a game earlier this season. As the new No. 1 fantasy tight end, he’s averaging 1.8 fewer fantasy points per game (11.1) on the season than Gronk (12.9).
His last four games (14.8) have exceeded Gronkowski’s season average.
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