The return of two big names at the tight end position have added a little bit of depth to an already weak group. Julius Thomas has returned from hand surgery and Antonio Gates has returned from his suspension, but do they have favorable matchups this week?
Let’s delve deeper into the tight ends who may or may not perform well this week.
JULIUS THOMAS VS. BUFFALO BILLS
All of a sudden the Jaguars have a ton of solid offensive weapons to be able to move the ball. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have been solid deep threats in this offense and they now have Julius Thomas fully healthy.
Last week Thomas had seven catches for 80 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. This week Thomas has another great matchup against the Buffalo Bills who are 25th against opposing tight ends and haven’t been able to stop them all season. Thomas is a must start tight end this week.
ANTONIO GATES VS. OAKLAND RAIDERS
The Chargers continue to have little to no run game whatsoever which means Philip Rivers will continue to air it out. Rivers attempted 65 passes last week so Antonio Gates is going to receive a ton of targets going forward, along with Keenan Allen.
The Raiders are dead last in the league against opposing tight ends which means Gates will likely have a field day in a game that the Chargers need to win.
DELANIE WALKER VS. ATLANTA FALCONS
The Titans will have their backs against the wall versus the 5-1 Atlanta Falcons. They don’t have much of a running game and their only real receiving threat is Kendall Wright. Marcus Mariota has an established connection with Delanie Walker.
He’ll be needed to act as a security blanket for his quarterback after he was sacked six times last week. On top of that, the Falcons are 26th in the league against opposing tight ends and they just allowed Benjamin Watson to put up huge numbers. Delanie Walker is a solid start for this week.
JORDAN REED VS. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Jordan Reed has proven to be a solid receiving tight end with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. He’s currently the 12th best fantasy tight end and has the chance to make a strong push during the second half of the season.
However, he’s coming off a concussion where he’s missed consecutive weeks and the Buccaneers are actually 3rd in the league against fantasy tight ends. It might be best to stay away from Jordan Reed this week.
JIMMY GRAHAM VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Jimmy Graham finally started to find his groove against the Carolina Panthers last week. Graham received a ton of targets and looks like he’s going to be implemented in the offense more. The thing is, the niners are pretty decent against tight ends.
They have allowed three TDs to them over the last five games but they have yet to allow more than 56 receiving yards in a game all season.
Seattle will have to be in the redzone multiple times for Graham to catch touchdown passes and Marshawn Lynch will surely get touches. I think Jimmy Graham may be a risky play in a crucial division matchup.
ON THE BUBBLE
KYLE RUDOLPH VS. DETROIT LIONS
Kyle Rudolph is really a touchdown dependent option which is going to make him a risky play every single week. The Vikings take on the Lions who have a terrible secondary, so if there’s an open tight end spot on your team, you could take a flier on Randolph.
The Lions are 22nd in the league against tight ends and Randolph could be in line for another touchdown.