Week 16 TE PPR Rankings
This week, I’ll be going over the top 10 ranked tight ends from a PPR standpoint, and providing thoughts on each starter.
1. Greg Olsen (CAR) vs ATL. Projected PPR points = 15.4
Olsen is the consensus top-ranked and projected points tight end for week 16, but has some concerns regarding his elbow. Olsen had injured his elbow late in the Monday night game against the Redskins and saw a specialist on Tuesday. Furthermore, Olsen has missed Wednesday’s practice as well. All signs point to Olsen being okay, with the missed practices giving him an opportunity to get some extra rest with the Panthers playing this Saturday against the Falcons. Stay updated on his status throughout the week.
2. Travis Kelce (KC) vs DEN. Projected PPR points = 13.0
Kelce had his streak of 100-yard games stopped against Tennessee last week, as they planned around taking him out of the game. Kelce draws the Broncos on Christmas evening, where he had a productive game in week 12, compiling 8 receptions for 101 yards, on an astounding 15 targets. Jeremy Maclin and Tyreek Hill actually open up the field more for Kelce, which should allow him to work underneath against the Broncos secondary.
3. Delanie Walker (TEN) vs JAC. Projected PPR points = 12.4
The Jaguars have a surprisingly stronger defense than most people think, but they still rank 18th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Walker is a huge focal point of the Titans offense and has received at least 7 targets in his last two games. While his fantasy lines have been slowing towards the tail-end of the season, he remains a key cog. Look for him to bounce back against the Jaguars, who are floundering and cannot wait for the 2016 season to end.
4. Cameron Brate (TB) vs NO. Projected PPR points = 12.6
Brate snagged a touchdown in his last game against the Cowboys, catching 5 of his 8 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. He has evolved into what Austin Sefarian-Jenkins was supposed to be: a large, mobile tight end with soft hands that can be counted on in the red zone. Brate has 79 targets on the year, but his largest contribution is the 7 TDs he has caught. With a possible shootout upcoming against New Orleans this week, I expect Brate to add to his TD total.
5. Tyler Eifert (CIN) vs HOU. Projected PPR points = 12.3
Eifert laid a huge dud for fantasy owners last week, totaling 1 catch on 3 targets for 9 yards. While Dalton was looking for Eifert in the red zone, the Steelers were focused on doubling him or providing press coverage when possible. Without AJ Green, defenses are able to focus more on Eifert, especially in the red zone. Eifert draws the Texans this week, who have one of the toughest defenses this year, especially against tight ends. Eifert’s success this week depends a lot on the health of AJ Green, and whether or not Green is at full capacity.
6. Zach Ertz (PHI) vs NYG. Projected PPR points = 12.8
As always, Ertz has been coming on strong towards the end of the year, totaling an incredible 53 targets in his past 5 games. Ertz is a focal point of the gameplan for the Eagles and should continue to get consistent targets against the Giants this Sunday. The Giants rank 24th against tight ends this year, and on a Philadelphia team where pass catchers are unreliable, Ertz will get plenty of targets. I expect him to get a few red zone looks as well if the Eagles can manage to get there.
7. Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs GB. Projected PPR points = 11.7
Rudolph is an immensely talented tight end but is limited by the offense in Minnesota. Even with the return of AP, the Vikings have the worst rushing offense in the NFL, coupled with a terrible offensive line. The positive note is that Rudolph has received at least 8 targets in his past 4 games, and continues to build his rapport with Sam Bradford. Green Bay’s defense isn’t a stalwart defense, and Rudolph should have some opportunity to move the chains. I wouldn’t count on a touchdown, but you can always hope.
8. Jimmy Graham (SEA) vs ARI. Projected PPR points = 11.3
Jimmy had a tough week 15, catching 1 of his 2 targets for 31 yards against the Rams. While the other target was a red zone target, fellow tight end Luke Wilson ended up with the touchdown on the day. Jimmy has a tough week 16 match-up against the Cardinals, who give up the fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Coupled with the inconsistent usage and an erratic Seattle offense, it may be tough to trust Jimmy this week.
9. Martellus Bennett (NE) vs NYJ. Projected PPR points = 10.2
When Gronkowski went in the Injured Reserve, everyone was convinced that Bennett would be a TE1 for the rest of the season. The issue is that Bill Belichick doesn’t care about conventional game-planning, and will spread the ball around in the Patriots enigmatic offense. Bennett only has 4 targets in each of his last 3 games and hasn’t replaced Gronkowski as a reliable red zone target. Owners starting him are hoping for a lucky touchdown against the New York Jets this week.
10. Antonio Gates (SD) vs CHI. Projected PPR points = 10.4
Gates wasn’t a factor against Oakland in week 15, totaling 1 catch on 2 targets for 11 yards. Prior to that game, Gates had been receiving a steady amount of targets, posting at least nine targets in 5 of his last 7 games. Cleveland has one of the worst defenses this year, and Gates is an upside play as he chases Tony Gonzalez for the tight end touchdown record. Gates isn’t a reliable play, but merely an upside play this week.