Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's not a huge upset that New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham isn't on top of the tight end rankings. It's just that Denver's Julius Thomas appeared unstoppable Sunday night.
Thomas has started each of the last two seasons with a 100-plus yard, two- touchdown effort. The Broncos' tight end was a touchdown machine last season (wasn't every Denver receiver?) scoring in 10 of 14 games he played. The difference this season is the team also needs him to move the chains with Eric Decker in New York and Wes Welker on suspension. So another 100-yard receiving day is likely.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski played slightly under 50 percent of the plays, yet led the team in targets. As he gets healthier his percentage of participation will improve. In the meantime, he still posted double-digits.
Cleveland's Jordan Cameron is top-five worthy when playing, but he re-injured his shoulder last Sunday. The first time he injured the AC joint, he missed about two weeks of camp, so you won't find his name on this weekend's list. If, however, he makes a miraculous recovery, he's obviously a fantasy-worthy starter as the best receiving option on the Browns' active roster.
Any time a receiver is targeted 15 times, fantasy owners should pay attention. We are. Baltimore tight end Dennis Pitta saw 15 targets Sunday as Joe Flacco threw a stunning 62 passes. With the Ravens running game a shambles, Pitta is going to see the ball early and often against the Steelers Thursday night.
With Tyler Eifert placed on injured reserve/designated for return, Jermaine Gresham has a chance to be a low-end fantasy value.
Top-25 Tight End Rankings
1) Julius Thomas, Denver
2) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
3) Rob Gronkowski, New England
4) Vernon Davis, San Francisco
5) Dennis Pitta, Baltimore
6) Greg Olson, Carolina
7) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia
8) Jason Witten, Dallas
9) Zach Rudolph, Minnesota
10) Charles Clay, Miami
11) Antonio Gates, San Diego
12) Martellus Bennett, Chicago
13) Delanie Walker, Tennessee
14) Niles Paul, Washington
15) Jared Cook, St. Louis
16) Anthony Fasano, Kansas City
17) Larry Donnell, New York Giants
18) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh
19) Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis
20) Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati
21) Mercedes Lewis, Jacksonville
22) Levine Toilolo, Atlanta
23) Brandon Myers, Tampa Bay
24) LaDarius Green, San Diego
25) Jace Amaro, New York Jets