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Fantasy football rankings, Week 12: Tight ends

Never has a position presented so many question marks as tight end does right now.

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Publishing rankings Wednesday for games that in some cases don't play until Monday is such a double-edged sword. On the one hand, getting the rankings out Wednesday means people can prepare earlier, make a framework, that sort of thing.

On the other hand, though ... so much guesswork.

I was working on my rankings of the Week 12 tight ends Monday night, and had a thought:

Tuesday night, fellow ranker Dan Ciarrocchi was working on his own, and he had a thought as well:

It's not that every tight end after Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham is bad for fantasy. Greg Olsen is on bye (as is Heath Miller, for whatever that's worth), and Julius Thomas and Dwayne Allen have both been fairly productive this season. But this early in the week, we haven't any kind of realistic guess as to Thomas' and Allen's status for Week 12 thanks to the injuries both tight ends suffered in Week 11.

And it doesn't end there. Will Delanie Walker return from injury in Week 12? What about Jordan Cameron? Marcedes Lewis? How did Kyle Rudolph feel after his Week 11 return? Is Jordan Reed's hamstring OK?

I talked about the insane difficulty of the tight end position in Tuesday's Ticker, but it bears repeating: Only two tight ends - Gronkowski and Olsen - have gone the whole season without presenting their owners with headaches. The position is crazy.

This is true of every position, every week, of course. But Week 12 among tight ends is perhaps the most complicated week of rankings we've ever seen.

So when you read our rankings this week, that's why there's a range of fifth to unranked for Thomas. Allen, Cameron and Reed are in the low double-digits, or they're unranked. These are helpful and good. Yay for us. But I will bet all sorts of dollars that things will change.

That doesn't mean ignore what comes next. It just means this is the first step of a full week of preparation. That's always true, really.

Oh well. On to Week 12:

Tight end rankings, Week 12

(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)

Rank Consensus Team Opponent DK DC JD SK
1 Rob Gronkowski NE DET 1 1 2 1
2 Jimmy Graham NO BAL 2 2 1 2
3 Antonio Gates SD STL 4 3 9 5
4 Coby Fleener IND JAC 6 7 4 4
5 Larry Donnell NYG DAL 7 6 5 6
6 Martellus Bennett CHI TAM 10 4 10 3
7 Travis Kelce KAN 2OAK 8 5 7 7
8 Jason Witten DAL @NYG 3 8 18 8
9 Jacob Tamme DEN MIA 12 17 3 15
10 Owen Daniels BAL @NO 9 14 11 14
11 Mychal Rivera OAK KAN 23 10 8 8
12 Julius Thomas DEN MIA 5 9 -- 11
13 Charles Clay MIA @DEN 16 11 15 10
14 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TAM @CHI 21 18 6 13
15 Delanie Walker TEN @PHI 17 16 13 12
16 Dwayne Allen IND JAC 11 12 -- 20
17 Jordan Reed WAS @SF 15 15 -- 16
18 Kyle Rudolph MIN GB 24 13 21 17
19 Jared Cook STL @SD 20 19 17 19
20 Vernon Davis SF WAS -- 22 19 18
21 Jordan Cameron CLE @ATL 14 -- -- 21
22 Jermaine Gresham CIN @HOU -- 24 12 --
23 Jace Amaro NYJ @BUF -- 23 14 --
24 Jim Dray CLE @ATL -- 21 16 --
25 Scott Chandler BUF NYJ 18 25 22 24
-- Zach Ertz PHI TEN 22 20 24 23
-- Tim Wright NE DET 13 -- -- 25
-- John Carlson ARI @SEA 19 -- 20 --
-- Marcedes Lewis JAC @IND 25 -- -- 22
-- Garrett Graham HOU CIN -- -- 23 --
-- Niles Paul WAS @SF -- -- 25 --

★★★

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