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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Unfortunately, there aren't any clear- cut No. 1 options at tight end for Week 17. The usual suspects, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas, all have their "cons" that keep them out of the No. 1 spot.
Therefore, the oldie but goodie, Antonio Gates comes in as the No. 1 ranked tight end. Gates also has his "cons," facing a pretty tough Chiefs defense on the road, but with a playoff spot on the line, Philip Rivers should look for his hottest and favorite target. Gates has 16 catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns over the last two weeks.
Speaking of hot, after failing to catch more than six passes in any game before Week 15, Jason Witten has seven catches in each of the past two games. Over that stretch, he also has 159 yards and a touchdown.
Witten is facing Washington, who allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, so it would be wise to ride out his hot streak.
Gronkowski returned to his 2011 form this year with 82 catches, 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he remains a top option at tight end in Week 17. The only thing keeping him from being ranked No. 1 is the fact New England has nothing to play for, having already locked up home-field advantage.
Even though he might not play much in the second half, owners must start Gronkowski if they are in a championship game this weekend.
Martellus Bennett really let owners down with just one catch for zero yards in Week 16, but he should benefit with Jay Cutler back under center. Among tight ends, Bennett is second in receptions (82) and third in receiving yards (857) with six touchdowns and that is all with Cutler at quarterback.
If owners need some help at tight end, the Bengals vs. Steelers game could see some great production from the position with Jermaine Gresham and Heath Miller. Both caught touchdowns in the first matchup between these two teams three weeks ago and both are coming off a good Week 16.
Miller made seven catches for 68 yards versus the Chiefs, and Gresham had nine catches for 62 yards and a score against the Broncos last week.
Luke Willson surprised pretty much everybody with three receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday versus the Cardinals, but he likely won't repeat that performance against the Rams. St. Louis allows the second-least amount of fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Top-25 Tight End Rankings
1) Antonio Gates, San Diego
2) Jason Witten, Dallas
3) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
4) Greg Olsen, Carolina
5) Rob Gronkowski, New England
6) Delanie Walker, Tennessee
7) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia
8) Julius Thomas, Denver
9) Martellus Bennett, Chicago
10) Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati
11) Jordan Reed, Washington
12) Travis Kelce, Kansas City
13) Mychal Rivera, Oakland
14) Charles Clay, Miami
15) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh
16) Luke Willson, Seattle
17) Larry Donnell, New York Giants
18) Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis
19) Zach Rudolph, Minnesota
20) Scott Chandler, Buffalo
21) Jared Cook, St. Louis
22) Jordan Cameron, Cleveland
23) Coby Fleener, Indianapolis
24) Eric Ebron, Detroit
25) Owen Daniels, Baltimore