Fantasy NFL

Week 17 Player Fantasy Rankings - Tight Ends

By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - With Rob Gronkowski out for the season and Jimmy Graham's health suspect after he played just 54 percent of the downs last Sunday, fantasy owners can't go with the "usual suspects."

Under these circumstances its always comforting to count on Peyton Manning to help you out. Manning used to throw it to Dallas Clark in Indianapolis and made him a fantasy stud and now in his second year with the Broncos is turning unknown Julius Thomas into a star.

Thomas is coming off a solid six-catch, 78-yard, one-touchdown effort in Houston and Denver faces an Oakland defense that has proven to be little resistance to offenses throughout the season. The Raiders have yielded the third-most passing touchdowns (29) in 2013. If Nick Foles can toss seven touchdown passes against Oakland, Manning could bookend his 2013 season another seven touchdown game. We think Thomas will get his fair share of the pie.

Sure, Graham is hurting, but even so he still produced decent numbers last weekend. Playing only about half the time he managed to catch five balls for 73 yards and a touchdown. As long as he's in uniform, he's dangerous.

The Eagles figure to get after Dallas backup QB Kyle Orton and when a veteran is in trouble he frequently searches out his tight end. Dallas has a great one in Jason Witten and he should be a busy guy Sunday night.

This will the last game of Tony Gonzalez's Hall-of-Fame career and we expect the Falcons to make sure he goes out on a high note. Gonzo has scored in four consecutive games and we full expect he will make it five. Thanks for a great 17 years!

The Arizona Cardinals defense has been playing very well down the stretch, but they have given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season and the 49ers' Vernon Davis should be able to take advantage of the situation.

Top-25 Tight End Rankings

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1) Julius Thomas, Denver

2) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans

3) Jason Witten, Dallas

4) Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta

5) Vernon Davis, San Francisco

6) Delanie Walker, Tennessee

7) Greg Olsen, Carolina

8) Coby Fleener, Indianapolis

9) Jordan Cameron, Cleveland

10) Charles Clay, Miami

11) Antonio Gates, San Diego

12) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

13) Andrew Quarless, Green Bay

14) Tim Wright, Tampa Bay

15) Dennis Pitta, Baltimore

16) Martellus Bennett, Chicago

17) Zach Miller, Seattle

18) Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati

19) Mercedes Lewis, Jacksonville

20) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

21) Brandon Myers, New York Giants

22) Ryan Griffin, Houston

23) Brent Celek, Philadelphia

24) Jared Cook, St. Louis

25) Joseph Fauria, Detroit

12/26 21:28:45 ET