Charch's Week 2 Tight End Rankings

RankPlayer
1
PHI @TB

Tampa Bay's defense allowed 439 passing yards to New Orleans in Week 1, but don't let it fool you – 87% of the damage was done by Saints wide receivers and running backs. That was the theme for 2017 as well, as the Bucs' lowly secondary yielded the most receiving yards to wide receivers (180 per game) but the fifth-fewest to tight ends (40). It is noteworthy, however, that the Bucs didn't face a tight end at Ertz's elite level last year. Tampa's biggest challenges at tight end? Eric Ebron, who tallied a career-best 94 receiving yards against Tampa (woof!), and Evan Engram, who set a career high as well (at the time) with 62 yards in his fourth game. Expect Ertz to change the narrative on Tampa's reputation against tight ends, especially considering he saw a team-high 10 targets in Week 1. And don't sweat over Ertz's pair of dropped passes last week -- he only had four total drops in 2017. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 10/10

2
IND @WAS

In Jordan Reed's eight career meetings with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom current Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus served as linebackers coach (2011-17), Reed tallied 50+ receiving yards in four games, highlighted by a 95-yard, two-touchdown performance in 2016. It appears Reed has already established himself as one of new quarterback Alex Smith's favorite weapons to utilize in the red zone, as two of Reed's five targets last week were inside the 20-yard line – and one went for a score. That's good news, because Indianapolis allowed a touchdown to tight ends in half of their games last season. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 9.5/10

Only three teams allowed fewer receiving yards to tight ends than the Jags defense last season, and they followed it up by holding Evan Engram to 18 yards on five targets in Week 1. But if anyone can be Jacksonville's kryptonite, it's Gronk. The only time he's been healthy for a full game against the Jags was a Week 3 matchup in 2015 when Gronkowski piled up 101 receiving yards on four receptions. Last season against New Orleans, a defense that was one of the league's top five units in receptions and yards allowed to tight ends, Gronk registered six catches for 116 yards and a score. And after all, the 29-year-old will be looking to avenge Jacksonville strong safety Barry Church's helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked him out of last year's AFC Championship game in the second quarter. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 9.25/10

4
KC @PIT

Pittsburgh was stellar against tight ends a year ago, allowing the fewest touchdown receptions to the position (two), a trend that continued in Week 1, as the Steelers held Cleveland tight ends to a combined 25 yards and no touchdowns. Kelce was mostly absent in Kansas City's Week 1 box score, grabbing one pass for six yards, but fear not, his six targets was second only to Tyreek Hill. For his career, Kelce has tallied 6+ targets in all five games he's played against Pittsburgh and registered 70+ yards or a touchdown in three of them. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 9.25/10

5

George Kittle has posted solid numbers since Jimmy Garoppolo took over at quarterback, averaging 52 receiving yards per game. But Kittle has done well w/non Jimmy Gs. In the six career games Kittle has seen 6+ targets, he's tallied three games of 80+ yards, three times. The only tight ends to have more games of 80+ receiving yards in that span: Gronk, Zack Ertz and Travis Kelce. Last week's matchup against Minnesota looked ugly on paper, but Garoppolo (who knew "ugly" and "Jimmy GQ" would ever be in the same sentence?) found Kittle five times for 90 yards, but it could have been so much more (couple drops and overthrows by Jimmy G), however. Oh well, but Kittle is in a decent spot, as Detroit yielded 52.3 yards per game to tight ends last year. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 9/10

6
SEA @CHI

Last season, new Seattle defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was in Oakland leading a unit that yielded the most yards per game to tight ends (68). And that was with a pass rush that included Khalil Mack. Now with the Seahawks, sans Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, Norton's squad will be tasked with stopping Burton in Week 2. Seattle, which allowed four total tight end touchdowns a year ago, hasn't allowed a score for the position since Week 11 of 2017. Burton finished Week 1 with just one catch for 15 yards, and he was ignored when wide open in the end zone, but his six targets were encouraging. Among the five tight ends to hang 5+ receptions on Seattle last season, three posted games of 60+ receiving yards and two found the end zone. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

7
MIN @GB

Whether Aaron Rodgers is walking on one functional leg or two, Jimmy Graham has a tough matchup against Minnesota's defense, which allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends a year ago. With Rodgers hobbling around against the tenacious Vikings defense, he'll have to get the ball out quickly, which may bode well for the Packers' new tight end. Three of Graham's four targets in Week 1 were short-yardage attempts by Rodgers. Those might be the only opportunities for Graham, as the Vikings yielded 50-yard games to tight ends just twice last year (Vernon Davis, Coby Fleener). BUT, George Kittle had a good game against the Vikes last week with five catches for 90 yards and dropped what could have been a 50+ yard touchdown. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

8
IND @WAS

Although Arizona's uninspiring tight ends were held to three receptions and 19 yards in Week 1 against Washington, the Redskins allowed the fourth-most receiving yards (60+ per game) to the position in 2017 and didn't add much to improve the unit in the offseason. Eric Ebron swiped away a touchdown from Doyle last week, but Doyle was targeted twice inside the red zone, was on the field for 94% of Indianapolis' offensive snaps, and ran 50 routes in Week 1! His usage was off the charts. Ebron, on the other hand, was on the field for only 45% of the snaps, saw one target inside the 20-yard line, and ran 22 routes. Doyle is the clear alpha dog between the two tight ends. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8.5/10

9
NYG @DAL

Dallas' defense boasts a new challenge for tight ends this season in rookie linebacker (and first-round pick) Leighton Vander Esch, who is tasked with using his 6-foot-4, 255-pound frame to shadow the position. Although three-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen exited in the first quarter due to injury, it is worth noting the Cowboys held Carolina tight ends to four receptions for 37 yards in Week 1. That's been the trend dating back to the start of last season, as Dallas has allowed 4+ receptions to tight ends just seven times, but at least Engram accounted for two of those instances. Against the Boys in his rookie campaign, Engram tallied four receptions for 44 yards in his pro debut and four receptions for 54 yards in Week 14. The last tight end to crack 100+ receiving yards against the Cowboys was Zach Ertz, who caught 13 passes for 139 yards in Week 17 of the 2016 season, so EE will have his work cut out for him on Sunday night. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

10
BAL @CIN

Take advantage of a healthy Tyler Eifert while you can. The Bengals sure are. Eifert played just 23 snaps in Week 1 but, according to Bengals.com, he ran a designed pass route on 18 of those plays, which is healthy usage. Eifert has yet to play against Baltimore in Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's new offense, but last year, his backup, Tyler Kroft, tallied six receptions for 53 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

11
MIN @GB

Kyle Rudolph has logged more receiving yards against the Packers (452) than any other team in his eight-year career. Although his production at Lambeau hasn't been much to brag about. In five games in Green Bay, Rudolph is averaging three receptions and 29 yards and has only had the chance to do the enemy "Lambeau Leap" once. Green Bay's defense is still catching up to speed after losing linebackers Jake Ryan and Oren Burks to injury, so Rudolph has a good chance to dominate in the red zone, as the Packers conceded touchdowns 65% of the time, which ranked 30th in the league last season. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8/10

12
OAK @DEN

Tight ends torched Denver last year, racking up 70+ receiving yards on seven different occasions. In fact, the Broncos allowed the third-most receiving yards per game to tight ends (64) and the fourth-most touchdowns (nine). And it seems nothing has changed. Even with first-round pick Bradley Chubb in the mix at linebacker, the Broncos allowed Will Dissly, selected in the fourth round by Seattle as a block-first tight end, to compile 105 receiving yards and a touchdown in his debut. However, Cook struggled a bit against the Broncos in a pair of 2017 matchups, hauling in a combined four receptions for 48 yards (13 targets). But coming off a 12-target-game, Cook is an easy start in a favorable matchup. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 8/10

Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a touchdown called back last week and the Jaguars scored a tight end touchdown in the playoff game with New England. -
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

14

Cleveland's defense was its strongest unit last season, but it still allowed the third-most receptions (89) and touchdowns (10) to tight ends … and some big numbers to Ben Watson. Playing for Baltimore, Watson compiled 12 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown over two games against the Browns. He's already reestablished himself as a reliable option for quarterback Drew Brees in 2018 as well, converting all four targets in Week 1 into first-down receptions, including a key fourth-down catch in the final quarter. The 38-year-old, who suited up from New Orleans from 2013-15 before returning this fall, has played some of his best football at the Superdome, where he's scored a touchdown in four of his last seven games. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

15
IND @WAS

Eric Ebron's touchdown dance last week was, as the kids say, "lit." It appears he can follow it up with a solid matchup against the Redskins. The past three units (2017 Redskins, 2014-15 Colts) coached by Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky have all been among the worst five teams in receiving yards allowed to tight ends. If you look at my Jack Doyle breakdown, you'll notice Ebron ran significantly fewer routes than Doyle in Week 1 (22 compared to Doyle's 50), but so far, there appears to be room for two tight ends at the table in Indy. Ebron looks to be the new, younger Dwayne Allen, who poached targets, yards and especially touchdowns away from Doyle from 2013-16. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 7.5/10

Ndamukong Suh. Aaron Donald. Marcus Peters. Aquib Talib. Despite owning some of the biggest names on defense this season, Los Angeles was beaten all over the field in Week 1 by 31-year-old tight end Jared Cook, who stung the Rams for 180 yards on nine receptions. We're not expecting this sort of production from Seals-Jones, who compiled 44 receiving yards on two receptions against Los Angeles in Week 13 last season, but tight end might be the crutch of this killer defense. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 7.5/10

17
CLE @NO

Njoku's outlook against the Saints isn't favorable, despite the fact only wide receiver Jarvis Landry saw more targets (15) for the Browns than Njoku (7) in Week 1. New Orleans stifled opposing tight ends to the sixth-fewest receiving yards in 2017. Njoku suited up against four teams that finished, like the Saints, in the top-10 in receiving yards allowed to tight ends last season: Minnesota, Jacksonville, Green Bay and Chicago. In those four games, Njoku averaged 1.3 receptions for 12 yards and did not find the end zone. Oof. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 7.5/10

18
HOU @TEN
19
LAC @BUF

The three certainties in life: death, taxes and Gates catching touchdown passes from Philip Rivers. No quarterback-tight end combination has connected for more touchdowns in NFL history. It hasn't happened yet in 2018, but a decent chance awaits the veteran in a Week 2 matchup against the lowly Buffalo Bills. In Leslie Frazier's first season at defensive coordinator in Buffalo a year ago, the Bills allowed 57 yards per game to tight ends, which ranked 26th in the league, but just four touchdowns. Gates, who signed with the Chargers on Labor Day after what he's calling a "mini retirement" this summer, played 40 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 1 and didn't record a target until the fourth quarter. But look for his output to slowly increase as he gets back into football shape for the 16th season of his historic career. - Tom Dierberger (@tomdierberger)
Charch's Rating: 7/10

20
CAR @ATL
21
PHI @TB
22
SEA @CHI
23
LAC @BUF
24
HOU @TEN
25
26
KC @PIT
27
28
MIA @NYJ
29
CAR @ATL
30
31
32
IND @WAS
33
BAL @CIN
34
DET @SF
35
OAK @DEN
36
SEA @CHI
37
LAC @BUF
38
MIA @NYJ
41
42
SEA @CHI
44
NYG @DAL
45
47
CLE @NO
48
BAL @CIN
49
ARI @LAR
50
BAL @CIN
51
BAL @CIN
52
SEA @CHI
53
58
NE @JAC
62
64
CAR @ATL
69
KC @PIT
72
SEA @CHI
73
KC @PIT
76
KC @PIT