Tight ends are somewhat of an afterthought in fantasy football. They don’t consistently score at the levels of running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers, but they can be fantasy difference-makers if the matchup is right. Every team in the league is looking for an impact player at the position, but less than half of the teams in the NFL actually have one. Here is a look at four tight ends who have favorable fantasy matchups in Week 13.
1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Graham seems to have a favorable matchup in every game the Saints play, but in Week 13, he will be facing a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that is giving up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends in the NFL in 2014. The Steelers have the 10th-best rush defense in the league, so it is highly likely that the Saints will be throwing the ball early and often in this game, meaning Graham should see double-digit targets in Week 13.
2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce has been a pleasant surprise for the Chiefs in his second season in the NFL. In Week 13, he will be playing against a Denver Broncos defense that is giving up the 10th-most fantasy points per game in the league in 2014. The Broncos have the second-best rushing defense in the league, giving up an average of only 75.5 yards per game in 2014, which bodes well for Kelce. If the Broncos can limit the Chiefs’ rushing attack, Kelce, who is Kansas City’s second-leading receiver, should see an increase in targets in Week 13.
3. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Gronkowski is now fully healthy and has re-emerged as quarterback Tom Brady’s favorite target. Gronk’s Week 13 opponent, the Green Bay Packers, has done a pretty good job against tight ends in 2014 but has struggled against impact tight ends such as Jimmy Graham and Martellus Bennett. Gronkowski is a better tight end than Graham or Bennett, and given his rapport with Brady, you can expect to see a big fantasy day out of the Patriots’ two-time All-Pro tight end.
4. Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins
Clay has been a big part of the Dolphins’ offense in 2014. In Week 13, Clay will be matched up against the New York Jets, who are giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends in the league in 2014. As bad as the Jets have been this season, they have played well against the run, giving up only 86.2 yards per game, which is good for fourth-best in the NFL. Clay may not put up Gronkowski-esque numbers this week, but his matchup against the Jets suggests that he will score double-digit fantasy points in Week 13.