Jan 18, 2013
- Written by Kyle Smith
- Edited by Marc Caviglia
The championship round of the NFL playoffs has arrived, and fantasy football season is nearing the end. We saw some very good performances out of the tight end position last week, though we expect a mixed bag in the conference championship games, especially with the absence of Rob Gronkowski. Let’s take a look at how the tight ends will perform this week.
::RANKINGS UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 18, 2013::
1. Aaron Hernandez (New England Patriots) vs. Baltimore
Hernandez was targeted nine times and caught six passes for 85 yards during the Patriots’ win over the Texans last week. He should continue to see plenty of looks with Rob Gronkowski out for the playoffs after having suffered a broken arm. Hernandez did not play when the Pats and Ravens met during Week 3, and even though Baltimore allowed the fewest fantasy points in the NFL to opposing tight ends, Hernandez is too talented and gets too many opportunities to be shut down.
Point Projection: 14 points
2. Dennis Pitta (Baltimore Ravens) @ New England
Pitta continued his strong late-season play by snaring a trio of passes for 55 yards in Baltimore’s win over Denver last week. He has been strong for fantasy owners from the end of the season and into the playoffs, and shouldn’t suffer a letdown against the Patriots. New England gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends during the regular season, and Pitta had five receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown against them in Week 3.
Point Projection: 10 points
3. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons) vs. San Francisco
Gonzalez hauled in six of the seven passes thrown his way during the Falcons’ win over the Seahawks last week, and gained 51 yards and a touchdown in the process. We think he can put up similar numbers this week against San Francisco, because even though they limit tight ends in terms of yards, only six squads allowed more touchdowns to players at the position during the regular season.
Point Projection: 8 points
4. Delanie Walker (San Francisco 49ers) @ Atlanta
Walker had a single reception for 17 yards for the 49ers as they dispatched the Packers last week. He was targeted five times in the contest, which was tied for second-most on the team, but the results were still middling. Walker did little during the regular season and there’s no reason to believe he’ll break out against the Falcons.
Point Projection: 2 points
5. Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers) @ Atlanta
Like the aforementioned Walker, Davis was targeted five times and caught one pass during the 49ers win over the Packers last week. Yet he did more with his single reception, gaining 44 yards on the play. It was Davis’s highest yard total since Week 11, yet he still has caught more than one pass in a game just once in that time. The Falcons weren’t great at stopping tight ends this season, and Zach Miller had plenty of success against them last week, but Davis has not been a contributor for some time and we don’t think that will change in the NFC Championship game.
Point Projection: 2 points