by Dante Pitts
Alright Skullking Nation, school is in session! We are halfway through the NFL season and grades are in! Now listen, there is no reason to take this report card and hide it from mom so you play outside this weekend. But you might want to take a look in order to gauge the output of the most coveted fantasy football Tight Ends. There may be a few surprises. As for the Tight Ends this year, it has been pretty standard. While most of the top Tight Ends haven’t changed like Greg Olsen and Rob Gronkowski, there have been a few standouts like Hunter Henry, Cameron Brate, Jack Doyle, and SkullKing Podcast favorite….. C.J. Fiedorowicz.
Rob Gronkowski: B+, The reason that Gronk doesn’t get an ‘A’ is because of his track record with injuries. Gronk rarely finishes a full season, but the production value of Gronk is extremely high. Since the return of Brady, Gronk has had 21 catches, 473 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Patriots are going on a BYE, and will be facing the Seattle Seahawks in week 10.
Greg Olsen: B+, As of right now, I have Greg Olsen ranked as the number one Tight End in fantasy football over the big Gronk. He leads all Tight Ends in fantasy points and in yards. Olsen has made an impact each week in the Carolina offense and is one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets. For the most part, Olsen sees double digit targets frequently and can usually reel many of his targets in. During week 8, he faced an Arizona Cardinals defense that played hard in a rematch from last year’s NFC championship game. Olsen caught one of three passes for 11 yards. Look for Olsen to quickly bounce back with a favorable match-up against the Los Angeles Rams.
Jack Doyle: B/C+, the reason “you don’t know Jack….Doyle” doesn’t get the B in my book is because there were a few games where he was expected to have a decent output and missed his mark. In week 8, he had 2 catches for 36 yards. The Colts’ offense right now is atrocious and obviously that has an effect on his performance. As of right now, Doyle is the primary Tight End in Indy with an injury to Dwayne Allen. The Colts are going to remain pass heavy, so it still leaves some upside for Doyle. Continue to monitor Allen’s injury as his return will dictate Doyle’s production.
Coby Fleener: D, Fleener was poised to have one of his biggest seasons yet and has completely let owners down. I expected Fleener to thrive in the New Orleans Saints offense where last year, Ben Watson was able to thrive and put up career numbers. He has been alternating in games, sometimes having high points but he has definitely had his low point. During week 8, Fleener played his lowest amount of snaps this season against a Seattle Seahawks defense that plays the Tight End well. At this point, I would go ahead and cut ties with the tight end – I can’t predict him turning it around for the rest of the season.
Hunter Henry: C, Triple H, arrived on the scene with an offense that has had one, Antonio Gates, running the show for quite some time. Henry saw his best production during weeks 3-6, even with Gates participating in most of those contests. Against the Broncos, Hunter caught 2 for 4 passes, for 14 yards. Hunter’s production has gone down significantly and most of that has been attributed to Gates returning from his hamstring injury. With Gates back, I don’t see much upside for Henry anymore going forward this season.
Cameron Brate: C, Brate has a lot of value in deeper fantasy leagues and with DFS formats. If the targets don’t go to Evans, Winston is able to find Brate for a portion of his targets. I would not trust Brate going forward as a starter, but could be reliable for streaming depending on the match-up
Delanie Walker: B, As Marcus Mariota is getting better in the Titans offense, Delanie Walker will also see a rise in production. In his past two games, Walker has pulled in 11 0f 13 targets for 159 yards. The Titans have become a run heavy offense and in some contests this will affect the amount targets he will see. If you have Walker, keep and feel confident as a TE1.
Jordan Reed: C/D, Jordan Reed has regressed in terms of past performances we have seen from the Redskins’ Tight End in previous seasons. In week 8, he had one of the best outings of this season after return from a concussion where he missed the last 2 weeks. He pulled in 9 receptions for 99 yards and shows that he still has upside. Washington now has a bye week and will give Reed some extra time to rest up before continuing the season.