1. Jimmy Graham @ CHI
Jimmy Graham is wreaking havoc on opposing defenses and barring he stays healthy, Graham is the top tight end each and every week. The New Orleans Saints target tight ends a league most 32 times, causing Graham to accumulate stats similar to a wide receiver. In fact, Graham currently has more yards (458) than any receiver in the league. The Bears defense has allowed a sixth worst 299 yards to tight ends this season, meaning Graham will accumulate points at Soldier Field on Sunday.
2. Jordan Cameron vs. BUF
Brian Hoyer is looking like a stud and hasn't affected Jordan Cameron's weekly performance. Cameron added a touchdown last week, while being targeted 12 times versus the Bengals. Cameron leads all tight ends with 43 receptions and is targeted the most of any Browns player. It is safe to say he is a top three tight end each week for the remainder of the season. The Buffalo defense has allowed just 161 yards and a touchdown to tight ends this season, but the Bills haven't faced a tight end with pure athleticism. Jimmy Graham 2.0 seems to be a prototype in the making for the Browns, which in turn should help Cameron's owners reap the weekly benefits.
3. Antonio Gates @ OAK
Antonio Gates has recorded the third most receptions (25), along with reaching the end zone for a pair of touchdowns this season. The Raiders defense has allowed the third most touchdowns to tight ends this season, meaning Gates should see chances. Given Malcom Floyd is on IR with a neck injury and rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen is inexperienced, the offense will continue to feature Gates. In Floyd's absence last week, Gates recorded 136 yards and a touchdown, which shows the role he will play in the Chargers offense.
4. Tony Gonzalez vs. NYJ
Tony Gonzalez is making contributions in the Falcons offense and recorded a pair of touchdowns against a New England defense who hadn't allowed a tight end to score through the first three weeks. Gonzalez has been targeted 25.7% of the time in the red zone, which is more than any pass catcher on the Atlanta roster. The Jets defense has allowed a pair of touchdowns and just 94 yards to tight ends, but that will happen when you face a cast of characters similar to Michael Hoomanawanui. This week the Jets defense will see their first challenge from a tight end, which bodes well for Gonzo's fantasy value.
5. Jared Cook vs. JAC
After dropping a touchdown bomb in week one, Cook is averaging just three receptions per game and hasn't reached the end zone. He has been battling for receptions as Chris Givens and Tavon Austin are becoming familiar with the Rams offense scheme. This week, he should hit stride as he squares off with a Jacksonville defense that has allowed a third worst 129 points this season. The Jags have awarded 250 yards and three touchdowns to tight ends, which adds even more matchup intrigue.
6. Julius Thomas @ DAL
Julius Thomas caught a touchdown in each of his first three games, but failed to reach the end zone last week versus the Eagles. This week he will look to redeem himself against a Cowboys defense that has allowed the fourth most yards to tight ends this season. Furthermore, Antonio Gates scorched the Dallas defense for 136 yards last week, which means they are vulnerable. The Orange Julius has caught the third most touchdown passes among tight ends, so there is no need to press the panic button.
7. Vernon Davis vs. HOU
Vernon Davis has been battling a hamstring injury, which explains his taper in production over the last two weeks. He played in St. Louis last week and managed to haul in two receptions, a measly 18 yards, and a touchdown. Given the short week and the nagging affect hamstring injuries can play, Davis should finally hit stride this week. Houston's defense has allowed a fourth best 117 yards and one score to tight ends this season. The 49ers need to get their much maligned passing game going and the only way they will is through the incorporation of Davis in the passing game.
8. Greg Olsen @ AZ
Greg Olsen has struggled along with the Panthers offense, but this week he faces unique circumstances. Carolina is fresh off the bye week which provided more time for the Panthers coaching staff to scheme for the Cardinals. Furthermore, no team has allowed more passing yards to tight ends than Arizona's 346. Both Jimmy Graham and Jared Cook tore the Cardinals defense to shreds, which means if Cam Newton has time to throw, Olsen could see more production this week.
9. Owen Daniels @ SF
Owen Daniels started the season blazing with three touchdowns over the first two games, but has failed to reach the end zone over his last two games. So how will make it happen this week against a notoriously stout 49ers defense? The San Francisco defense has allowed just 142 yards, but has awarded a pair of touchdowns to tight ends. Nonetheless, Daniels has been targeted in the red zone a team high 22.7% of the time. Each of the touchdowns San Francisco has allowed to tight ends were in the red zone, which benefits Daniels. Houston has the 5th highest red zone conversion rate (66%) in the league, which means if the opportunity is presented, Daniels will execute.
10. Jason Witten vs. DEN
Jason Witten took the guns out of the holster in week one, but has ran out of bullets over the last three weeks. He is averaging just 40 yards per game and four receptions over his last three matchups. Nonetheless, he was targeted 10 times last week and will continue to record receptions each week. Miles Austin could miss a second straight game for his annual hamstring absence, leaving Witten as one of the primary targets in week five.
Charles Clay vs. BAL
Charles Clay quietly emerged last week against a Saints team that allowed just 83 yards and one touchdown to tight ends entering week four. Clay recorded 42 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort to New Orleans last Monday night. He has whispered 286 yards and a touchdown this season, but has gone rather nondescript. This week, Clay faces a Ravens defense that has allowed a seventh worst 290 yards, along with a pair of touchdowns to tight ends. It seems as if Clay may be a great player to insert in the event your current starter faces the bye week.
Brandon Pettigrew @GB
We all expected way more from Brandon Pettigrew this season, but he hasn't awarded us with much positivity. He has been targeted 19 times, while recording 12 receptions and 92 yards. Reggie Bush is taking a significant amount of catches away from Pettigrew, which contributes to the lapse in production. The Packers defense has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends this season, along with 191 yards. Furthermore, they produced these statistics while having a bye last week. Green Bay will scheme hard for Reggie Bush, which will award Pettigrew with plenty of opportunities in week five.