From a fantasy perspective, having teams like theand on a bye in Week 11 is handy -- very few fantasy-relevant players being out means very little fantasy disruption. When Denver and Green Bay go on a bye, we mourn. Jacksonville and New York? We shrug.
Fantasy owners will be down two moderately important tight ends this week since the byes for Dallas and Baltimore putand Owen Daniels on the shelf. But in general, the big names are back for the rest of the season, save the bye for Carolina (and ) in Week 12.
That means, for the most part, fantasy owners are done worrying about "What do I do when he's out?" for their tight ends. And that means we're left with the other, likely more important question:
Who the heck do you use?
The chart below lists my top 25 preseason tight ends. Sure, it's based on my opinion, but it's not like I am some crazy guy; my stuff was at least close.
Look at that top 10. The top three have been great, sure. But Vernon Davis and Jordan Cameron have been disasters. Witten started the same, but has rebounded at least a little of late. Charles Clay? Dennis Pitta? Ladarius Green?
If there were only 8-12 competent tight ends this year, but they were inside the preseason top 15 or so, we'd be fine -- basically every team would have someone. But with guys like Donnell, who were unranked in the preseason, and Kelce, Walker and Allen considered more like afterthoughts, I'm seeing lots of situations where one owner has, for example, Graham and Kelce (my duo in one league), while another is sitting on Jared Cook and Tim Wright.
This is why, in recent editions of The Ticker, I have advocated speculative adds for Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert and Marcedes Lewis. All three are hurt. Eifert might not return. None of the three is exciting. But with teams increasingly having to rely on Coby Fleener, Charles Clay or Zach Ertz, and with the best waiver guys some motley assortment of and , the guys at least could be down-the-stretch names that matter.
If you are stuck at tight end, you might just be stuck. But you've gotta try something. On to the Week 11 rankings:
Tight end rankings, Week 11
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)