Good news, fantasy owners: tight end is a bad position this year, and now you have to sit your good players! Yes, the bye weeks are in full swing and the handful of stud tight ends in the league will be unavailable. Just this week, we have Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, and Julius Thomas sitting out.
Those names will be hard to replace, but fantasy owners will have to make due and hope they guess right this week. We'll make our best guesses for starters in Week 5, along with a few tight ends you should avoid -- even in this dumpster fire of a fantasy position.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (at Cleveland Browns)
Yes, Gronk has been frustrating to own this year. His hamstring injury is still bothering him and he's been more of a blocker than a receiver in the few times he played. However, take heart. Tom Brady is back this week and he should help get Gronk back on track. It's also a friendly matchup spot with the Browns' defense getting torched by Jordan Reed last week. Don't lose faith in Gronk yet -- he'll be back, possibly as soon as Sunday.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at Detroit Lions)
The early bye week was a blessing for Ertz, who is returning from a rib injury he suffered in Week 1. Ertz showed some nice chemistry with Carson Wentz in that game, getting six catches for 58 yards. He's a solid bet to find the end zone against a Lions defense that can't cover tight ends right now.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Houston Texans)
Yeah, it's time to take Rudolph seriously. He is Sam Bradford's favorite target and Stefon Diggs is out with a groin injury. Rudolph has scored a touchdown in three straight games and he could easily make that four this week. The Texans' defense is more vulnerable than previous years thanks to the loss of J.J. Watt.
Hunter Henry/Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at Oakland Raiders)
Henry has been playing well and the Raiders are an extremely friendly matchup. However, Gates is coming back from his hamstring injury this week. In all likelihood, Gates will be on a snap count, but tight ends losing snaps for any reason is bad news in fantasy football. It's possible that neither person ends up being worth starting this week, and the committee has to be monitored going forward.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (at Los Angeles Rams)
Being the second receiving option in Buffalo's run-centric offense is hardly appealing in fantasy football. Clay is also dealing with a knee injury, though he will be suiting up this week. Regardless, it's hard to recommend streaming Clay against the Rams defense.
Will Tye, New York Giants (at Green Bay Packers)
Larry Donnell is out with a concussion, leaving Tye as the undisputed No. 1 tight end. However, he's never been an inspiring talent and it's more likely that the Giants will double down on their wideout trio of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, or Victor Cruz. Tye is just a bottom-barrel dart throw if you've exhausted all other viable options.