This week 17 tight end analysis article will explore the difference between expert consensus rankings (ECR) and projected PPR stats (both as per www.fantasypros.com). I’ll also offer my insight on their weekly match-up, along with whether or not they can beat their weekly projection.
Top Ten Tight End Analysis
Top 15 Rank#: 1. Rob Gronkowski (NE) vs NYJ (24th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 16.90
Gronk caught 5-of-7 targets for 67 yards and a touchdown in their week 16 win over the Bills. Gronk has at least 100 yards or a touchdown in his last 4 games, ending the season on a high note for fantasy owners. It looks like the Patriots have to play to win in week 17, as home field advantage is on the line. It’s a good thing for owners’ still playing week 17, as the Jets allow an average of 12.8 PPR points/game to TE. Fire up Gronk and enjoy the production.
My Projected Points: 18.00 (6 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 2. Greg Olsen (CAR) at ATL (13th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 11.60
Olsen caught 3-of-6 targets for 27 yards against the Buccaneers, which is a disappointing performance given his previous week’s production and the dream match-up. The Panthers only attempted 25 passes on the day, winning the game with their solid defensive unit. The good news is that he led the Panthers in targets and looked very healthy. The Falcons are a solid defensive unit, allowing only 11.1 PPR points/game to TE. Fire up Olsen in a must-win game for the Panthers.
My Projected Points: 16.00 (6 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 3. Delanie Walker (TEN) vs JAC (10h ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.50
Walker caught 3-of-5 targets for 33 yards in a loss to the Rams, forcing Tennessee into a must-win position in week 17 to secure their wildcard spot. It’s a tough spot for Walker, as the Jaguars allow the fourth lowest yards per game to tight ends (38.2 YPG). Furthermore, they only allow 10.2 PPR points/game to tight ends. I can see the Titans keeping Walker involved throughout the game, but I wouldn’t expect much yardage or a touchdown reception for Walker in week 17.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 4. Jimmy Graham (SEA) vs ARI (14th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.60
Graham caught 1-of-1 target for 3 yards and a touchdown in their week 16 win over the Cowboys, living up to his stereotype of being touchdown or bust. He now has 10 touchdowns in his last 11 games, but only has 2 catches for 2 yards in his past 2 games. Owners can hope for a touchdown against the Cardinals, who have allowed 6 touchdowns on the year to tight ends. I would bet against Graham, but owners know what they’re getting into with starting Graham.
My Projected Points: 5.00 (2 receptions, 30 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 5. Eric Ebron (DET) vs GB (6th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.40
Ebron caught 5-of-8 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, continuing his surging play. He now has 26 targets in his last three games and has been a staple part of the Detroit Lions offense. He will try to continue his surge against the Packers this Sunday, who do have a tough tight end defense. However, they have given up 4 touchdowns to tight ends in their last 5 games, and Ebron is playing very well. I like his chances of beating his projections this week again.
My Projected Points: 13.00 (6 receptions, 70 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 6. Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs CHI (7th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.20
Rudolph caught 1-of-1 targets for just 6 yards in their win against Green Bay. The Minnesota defense was strong all game, limiting the Green Bay offense to a shutout. Fortunately, the Vikings still have something to play for, as they are trying to lock up their first-round bye. Rudolph is still limited by an ankle injury in practice this week but has been playing through the injury each week. Chicago only allows 10.7 PPR points/game to tight ends, and only 4 touchdowns to TE all year. Given the strength of the Vikings defense and the injured ankle for Rudolph, I can see the Vikings limiting Rudolph’s reps heading into the playoffs.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 7. Jack Doyle (IND) vs HOU (26th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 11.60
Doyle caught 5-of-10 targets for 41 yards, continuing his solid PPR season. The Colts offense hasn’t been strong all year, but Doyle has made his living with his reception production. It’s a good thing that he faces the Texans, as they rank 28th in receptions allowed to opposing tight ends (5.1 receptions/game). In week 9, Doyle had 8 receptions for 63 yards, so fantasy owners can look to expect a similar output. I like Doyle’s chances of beating his projections this week, given his involvement and match-up.
My Projected Points: 12.00 (6 receptions, 60 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 8. Antonio Gates (LAC) vs OAK (25th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 8.90
With Hunter Henry on the I.R., it was the revival of Gates. He caught 6-of-8 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown against the New York Jets. This week, he faces the Raiders, who allow 14.8 PPR points/game to tight ends. Gates will be a decent stream option against the Raiders, as the Chargers look to finish the season strong and feed Gates in what may be his last game. I think Gates performs well this week.
My Projected Points: 11.00 (7 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 9. Charles Clay (BUF) at MIA (29th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.30
Clay caught 4-of-10 targets for 37 yards in week 16 against the Patriots, which was a tough match-up as Tyrod Taylor come back from injury. He gets an easier match-up this week, as he faces the Dolphins, his former team. Miami has given up the third most points/game to tight ends this year, allowing 15.7 points/game to tight ends. I think Clay has a decent PPR day, as he’s become the number 1 passing option in the Bills offense.
My Projected Points: 14.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 10. Vernon Davis (WAS) vs NYG (32nd ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.20
Davis draws a dream match-up in week 17, going up against the worst TE defense in the league. Davis did alright in week 16, which was another plus match-up for him against Denver. He caught 2-of-3 targets for 42 yards and a touchdown, which is serviceable for fantasy owners. A back-end TE1, I would still fire up Davis if needed in week 17, given the easier match-up for the week.
My Projected Points: 11.50 (2 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD)
Season Projection Record: 131-90-0 (60.47%)