2012 Fantasy Football Week 15: Tight Ends (TE) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIDecember 12, 2012

December 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) scores on a 19-yard touchdown reception during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Hernandez and Jason Witten it’s starting to get ugly at the tight end position for fantasy options. Super star names like Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates continue to play way below the expectations we have for them, while other options, like Kyle Rudolph and Brandon Myers, have good games and then disappear for a week or two.

After the top names, look to Jermaine Gresham as the most reliable player for production. In each of the last six games, Gresham has had at least 43 yards per game, or he’s made up for it with a touchdown.

Cincinnati is still pushing for the playoffs after a disappointing loss at home to the Cowboys, and they have a tasty matchup against the Eagles on Thursday night. Don’t expect big numbers from Gresham, but if you feel you can get by with 50 yards and a score from your tight end position, Gresham is a solid play once again.


What Did We Learn From Week 14?

One tight end that should present good upside down the stretch is Greg Olsen of the Panthers. Olsen has scored from distances of 25 yards and 47 yards in the past two weeks. His uptick in production comes on the heels of Cam Newton breaking out over the past three weeks and the fact that the Panthers are looking to fill the void left by Brandon LaFell’s injury.

Don’t expect Newton to slow down even against the Chargers this week, and as for Olsen, tight ends have had decent success against this secondary in recent weeks. Olsen has a terrific matchup the following weekend as the Panthers will play against the Raiders next.

After a three-game stretch where Kyle Rudolph accumulated over 50 yards and a score each week, the Vikings' talented tight end was held without a catch against the Bears. At this point I think it’s safe to speculate that the only reason Christian Ponder is still starting is because the Vikings believe he’s the “future” at the position.

Ponder is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league, and the Vikings are content with pounding the football early and often with Adrian Peterson. It’s hard to stick with Rudolph in this situation going forward, but he is a threat to score if the Vikings coaching staff actually allows Ponder to put the football up in the red zone again.


Sean’s Week 15 Watch List

Because the Lions have so many injuries in the receiving corps, they will continue to turn to Tony Scheffler for more work. Even Brandon Pettigrew went down with an ankle injury last week, so if you’re looking for a dark horse to start this week, Scheffler is a good bet.

Furthermore, consider that the Cardinals gave up over 100 yards receiving to Anthony McCoy and a 24-yard touchdown to Zach Miller last week in Seattle. Both tight ends haven’t done much this season, so the Lions veteran could have a sneaky big day.

Brandon Myers remains on the TE1 radar, but his snap count for pass patterns was down last week as the Raiders appear to prefer him in pass protection. Offensive line problems have hurt many tight ends over the years (just look at Vernon Davis), and if this continues, Myers may lose out on valuable opportunities.

1 Jimmy Graham Buccaneers
2 Tony Gonzalez Giants
3 Aaron Hernandez 49ers
4 Jason Witten Steelers
5 Jermaine Gresham @ Eagles
6 Greg Olsen @ Chargers
7 Brandon Myers Chiefs
8 Owen Daniels Colts
9 Tony Scheffler @ Cardinals
10 Heath Miller @ Cowboys
11 Jermichael Finley @ Bears
12 Kyle Rudolph @ Rams
13 Martellus Bennett @ Falcons
14 Antonio Gates Panthers
15 Vernon Davis @ Patriots
16 Scott Chandler Seahawks

Week 15 Standard Rankings – QB | RB | WR | K | D |