It’s playoff time! Win or go home and a good week from your TE can be a big bonus for your squad. As I’ve done the last few weeks, I created a larger stat sheet for everyone to review that you can see here. I got a couple requests to edit the file last week, and while I won’t be granting edit access to the spreadsheet, you can go to ‘File’ and ‘Make a Copy’ for yourself. 

ELITE

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
1 1 Travis Kelce KC 239.6 82 1114 8 96.6 70.7 31 43

It’s Travis Kelce and then everyone else at the TE position. Darren Waller has been almost as good over the last 5 games, but for the season, there’s still a significant gap between the 2. Looking forward to next year, I will say, the age 32 season has not been kind to the TE position. I wrote about TE aging in a pre-season column with some other interesting tid bits here

 

To The Window, To The Wall(er)

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
2 2 Darren Waller LV 191.2 77 742 7 93 73.1 31 46

Til the sweat drops down his footballs. Where did you think I was going with that? This is a family estab…never mind, no it’s not. Regardless, those of you that have Waller on your roster may be screaming that he deserves to move up into the ELITE tier after last week (13 catches on 17 targets for 200 yards and 2 TDs). However, as noted above, he doesn’t have the season long numbers to stay up there with Kelce. Even with that huge week 13, he still only has 2.4 more points than Kelce for the last 3 weeks. Looking ahead, he faces 2 top 7 defenses vs the TE in his 3 remaining matchups, which is another knock to drop him to his own tier. 

 

Pretty…Pretty Good

 

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
3 3 T.J. Hockenson DET 145.4 52 614 5 58.3 40.1 24 36
6 4 Robert Tonyan GB 138.7 41 497 8 54.8 47 15 20
5 5 Dallas Goedert PHI 93.4 35 404 3 58.1 50.8 23 29
  • The Hock has left the nest and he’s growns up and he’s growns up and he’s growns up. T.J. is averaging over 11 points per game over the last 5 weeks. The one tough-ish matchup left is against Green Bay this week, and then it’s clear sailing the rest of the way.
  • Yellow and green with a kick to leave your breath mean. Tonyan like Funyun has broken out in front of our eyes. Rodgers history doesn’t have a lot of TE success strewn throughout it, but perhaps this is the right storm of actually having a good TE and not having a dedicated 2nd receiving target. Tonyan has scored in 3 consecutive weeks with 5 targets in each game. So, even if he fails to find the end zone, at least he’s unlikely to drop a goose egg on you. Detroit has been good against the tight end (week 14 opponent), but Robert gets the 24th and 25th worst defenses vs the TE in week 15 and 16. 
  • Goedert doesn’t have any plus match ups left, which is why he falls below Tonyan. He faces the 11th, 8th, and 12th best defenses vs the TE on out. The good news is that once you get passed the top 3 defenses vs TE, there’s a lot of the same. So, it may not be as bad as it sounds. Goedert has been killing it since the bye week, and while the return of Ertz may take some targets away, those targets were already going to Richard Rodgers while Ertz was out, so, I don’t expect it to be much different. 

 

Useful…Useful That

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
7 6 Hunter Henry LAC 117.7 49 507 3 50.3 30 19 32
8 7 Eric Ebron PIT 119.1 49 481 4 56.8 39.8 29 41
12 8 Logan Thomas WSH 117.2 43 426 5 57.4 41 18 29
14 9 Mark Andrews BAL 119.4 38 454 6 38.9 20.6 7 21
4 10 Rob Gronkowski TB 111.5 37 505 4 35.4 21.1 13 22
13 11 Evan Engram NYG 110.9 48 508 2 43.4 24.1 17 30
9 12 Dalton Schultz DAL 111.6 48 476 3 37.1 28.3 15 22
16 13 Mike Gesicki MIA 116.7 39 537 4 56.8 43.6 21 30
  • Hunter Henry starts the group of useful, but less consistent options at the TE position. As soon as I decide to bump Henry back up in the ranks, he gets nearly shut out for 5 yards on 1 reception. The game was a wash for Herbert and the Chargers offense as a whole, so, I’m giving him a pass for now. Hopefully this isn’t the kiss of death, as Henry hasn’t performed when I have him in a good spot in the rankings. Plus, plus game this week against the Falcons and then middle of the road in week 15 and 16. 
  • Eric Ebron has been getting the targets all year, but there wasn’t much in the way of yardage or TDs. Well, in the 2nd half of the year, he’s had 3 TDs in 6 games with 46 targets over that period. Ebron couldn’t ask for much more in week 14 and 15 in regards to his opponent, but you may want to plan for week 16 as Indianapolis is 2nd best against the TE. Some good news if you get to week 16 and can’t find yourself sitting Ebron, the Colts haven’t faced many top TEs this year, so, that ranking is at least partially because of who they played. In recent weeks, the Colts did shut down (for the most part) Mark Andrews and the Titans TEs, but Tonyan was able to score against them. 
  • Since the bye week, Logan Thomas has averaged 6 targets per game. He has TDs in back to back games, which is good for 2 of the 4 games that Alex Smith has started. Week 14 is the worst game left for Logan as he faces the top defense vs the TE, the 49ers, but then it gets better with Seattle and Carolina. 
  • Andrews and LJax had just started to get on track with back to back good performances from Mandrews, but then, he had to go sit on the bench with COVID for a week. He’s been activated for this week already, so, no worries there. Cleveland this week is one of the worst against the TE followed by a good one versus the Jags, and then a not ideal, but not awful game with the Giants
  • Gronk was on bye in week 13, but was coming off a strong performance in week 12. We’ve seen that Gronk (and Brady) can just disappear at times, so that’s why he falls down the list a bit. Those goose eggs in the playoffs can be brutal. Minnesota is right in the middle against TE, then, he gets a good game versus the Falcons, but the Lions are not ideal in week 16. 
  • Evan Engram is averaging more than 8 targets over his last 6 games. Only one touchdown over that period hurts his point total, but it feels as though his role in the offense is pretty steady. The Cardinals this week are the 8th best against the TE, but then he gets the Browns (30th) and the Ravens (16th). 
  • Similar to Evan Engram, the TDs haven’t been there, but Dalton Schultz is averaging 6 targets per game over the last 5. The upside for Schultz hasn’t shown up in recent weeks, but he’s involved in the offense and shouldn’t drop a 0 on you. Week 15 against San Francisco is the worst matchup for a TE, but it’s sandwiched in between 2 great ones in week 14 and 16. 
  • Mike Gesicki had a terrific week 13 and has been trending up for a few weeks, averaging 6.5 targets over the last 4 weeks. With TDs in back to back weeks, maybe Mike G is finally becoming the TE I thought he could be all year. Kansas City this week is a fairly good match up. NE in week 15 is not as they are 4th vs the TE, and then the season wraps with the Raiders (13th). 

 

Could Be Worse

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
11 14 Noah Fant DEN 107.2 44 492 2 33.8 21.5 14 24
18 15 Trey Burton IND 76.7 24 224 5 32.8 25.8 14 21
10 16 Hayden Hurst ATL 106.8 42 468 3 23.9 10.7 14 22
20 17 Austin Hooper CLE 70.6 30 286 2 22.1 20 9 11
25 18 Zach Ertz PHI 54.9 26 209 1 5.1 5.1 4 4
  • Noah Fant hasn’t scored since September, but I’m hoping for some pro-gression (positive regression) to wrap up the year. Even without TDs, he’s getting 5.25 targets over his last 4 games. The Denver passing game isn’t one I have a lot of faith in at this point, but I don’t mind starting Fant if you’re down in this area. Fant is all clear in regards to match ups the rest of the season, which aids his spot in the rankings as well. 
  • Trey Burton seems to be the lead receiving TE more often than not for the Colts. If there wasn’t such competition around him, Burton could move up the list, but he’s still splitting time and targets with both MAC and Doyle. We’re starting to get into the more TD dependent side of TE, but Burton has found the end zone in 2 of his last 3 games. Burton has 2 middlig match ups in week 14 and 15 followed by a bad one against the Steelers in week 16. 
  • The fall of the Atlanta Falcons offense has coincided with a drop in Hurst’s production. He still has 12 targets in the last couple of games, so, he’s still a part of the offense. With Julio a bit banged up, I’m looking at Hurst to take a step up. Hurst doesn’t have any plus, plus match ups left, but he doesn’t have any bad ones either. Just a lot of the middle ground left for H squared.
  • Austin Hooper doesn’t really deserve to move up in the ranks not based on his recent performance, but as I said when he had his surgery, it still could take him time to get fully back up to strength. The Browns are using a decent amount of 2 TE sets, so, he’s not the only one on the field, but if there’s a TE that could possibly improve his lot over the last few weeks here, I think it may be Hooper. 
  • Zach Ertz returned for the Eagles last week to 2 receptions on 4 targets for 31 yards. Not overly impressive, but it was good to see him get through the game and have a part in it. Ertz hasn’t really looked like his old self all season, so, that’s why he doesn’t climb any higher on the list. The swap to Hurts at QB is something to monitor as it may give a boost to the offense, but it also may adjust the target share as Wentz has always peppered the TEs. Another reason behind his 18th ranking, the Eagles don’t have any good match ups left for the TE facing only teams that are among the 12th best against the position.

 

2 For The Money

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
26 19 Gerald Everett LAR 78.4 34 342 2 25.4 20.7 14 17
33 20 Tyler Higbee LAR 92.6 32 345 4 29 20 12 18
15 21 Jonnu Smith TEN 111.9 30 338 8 32.7 12 6 14
19 22 Anthony Firkser TEN 73.3 34 333 1 23.8 17.4 13 22
  • The good news, both Everett and Higbee were heavily involved last game getting 7 and 6 targets respectively with Higbee finding the end zone as well. However, we know the Rams game plan changes more week to week than most, so, they could be relegated back to lesser work as soon as this week. The Rams offense has been doing pretty well recently, so, you’re banking more on the offense and potential for a big week than anything they’ve done this season. With 2 strong receiving options, it’s hard to trust either. 
  • Another complicated situation for ranking is the TEN TEs. Jonnu is dealing with a knee injury and was a limited participant in practice yesterday (Wednesday). Even while he was healthy, he had started to lose some snaps and targets to Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim. There’s also a concern that even if he is active, that he reaggravates his injury and has to leave the game. All of that combined, drops Jonnu down into this confusing tier. 
  • Firkser is not completely dependent on Jonnu being out, as he’s been a part of the game plan even with Jonnu active, but you’d really want to see Firkser getting Jonnu’s share if you’re running him out there in your playoffs. 

 

A Whole Lot Of Meh

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
21 23 Jared Cook NO 84.3 25 313 5 16.4 13.4 8 13
34 24 Dan Arnold ARI 66.6 20 286 3 40.2 30.2 8 13
24 25 Kyle Rudolph MIN 65.4 28 334 1 34.9 19.6 13 22
31 26 Tyler Eifert JAX 64.9 28 249 2 38.6 26.3 15 24
29 27 Jordan Reed SF 60 22 200 3 28.5 16 10 18

Not writing up full descriptions on the last 2 tiers. If you have specific questions about these options, I’m happy to help and you can always reference my stats sheet if you want to look at some numbers yourself. I’m hoping that you have better options as we enter the playoffs though. 

 

The Rest of the Story

Prev Rank Rank Name Team Season PPR Pts Rec Yds TD Last 5 Wks Pts. Last 3 Wks Pts. Last 3 Tgts Last 5 Tgts
23 28 Cameron Brate TB 50.1 20 181 2 24.8 12.7 10 13
NR 29 Drew Sample CIN 61.1 33 301 0 24.7 22.8 16 18
17 30 Jimmy Graham CHI 101.4 38 334 5 23.7 6.2 5 13
NR 31 Dawson Knox BUF 36.8 13 138 2 23.5 19.9 5 9
27 32 Mo Alie-Cox IND 72.1 27 351 2 23 10.8 10 17
32 33 Jacob Hollister SEA 41.9 19 149 1 24.1 11.5 12 20
30 34 Jordan Akins HOU 58.9 24 285 1 22.1 16.7 11 16
NR 35 Cole Kmet CHI 38.1 13 131 2 18.2 16.5 10 13

  1. William Hung says:
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    I still think Hurst is ranked too high, lol

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      He might be. As much a case that nobody deserves to move up as it is anything that he’s shown.

  2. For An Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron says:
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    irv smith should be higher than say sample or brate. esp if rudolph’s out (which was likely when you wrote this, no practice entire week). not 100% but if dissly gets more snaps i’d take him over hollister too.

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