1. Scott Chandler, BUF vs. TEN
This is the week. We've powered up the Delorean, the Flux Capacitor is fluxing, and we're taking Scott Chandler back to September. He's going to break out of his ninth-month funk this week and score against the Titans. Tennessee, as we've highlighted several times this season, has allowed the most receptions, yards and touchdowns to tight ends in the league this year. If the Bills don't recognize and exploit this weakness, they've got more problems than Jay Z (who has 99).
2. Heath Miller, PIT at CIN
Sixty-two and a half. That's how many yards a player needs to gain in order to top 1,000 yards in a 16 game season. Most would say that a 1,000-yard season for a tight end is a huge accomplishment, while others (especially in the fantasy game) are dependent on their tight ends scoring each week. Here's how Heath Miller stacks up. Miller has scored or topped 62 yards in four of his five games this season. Cincinnati has not played the top flight group of tight ends this season, but have still allowed three touchdowns and two games of 70 or more yards to tight ends.
3. Aaron Hernandez, NE vs. NYJ
Here's why we like Aaron Hernandez. In the two games he's finished this season, he's caught six balls and scored a touchdown. He's topped 60 yards or scored in eight of his last nine games and he's received seven or more targets in a game in ten of his last 12 contests. We don't care that he's on the same field with Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. There's more than enough to go around. The Jets have been pretty solid against the pass, but in Week 5 they allowed tight end Owen Daniels to grab 79 yards and a score.
4. Martellus Bennett, NYG vs. WAS
If the Titans are the worst team in the league against the tight end, the Redskins are a close second and nipping at their heels. Washington has allowed the second-most receptions, yards and touchdowns to tight ends this season, and they face a good one this week in Martellus Bennett. While a bad knee has slowed Bennett for the last few weeks, he's no longer on the injury report and ready to cash in and score for the first time since Week 3.
5. Rob Gronkowski, NE vs. NYJ
In his third year of his career and only two games removed from topping 100 yards and scoring, some are suggesting it's time to sell on Rob Gronkowski. He's topped 60 yards and scored three times this season, but that's nothing compared to the eight multi-touchdown games he scored last season. That's not even possible to repeat! Last time he faced off against the Jets, he had eight catches, 113 yards and two scores. To quote That 70's Show, "BURN!"
6. Jermaine Gresham, CIN vs. PIT
Jermaine Gresham has now topped 60 yards in three of his last four games and scored in two of those last four. It's not that he suddenly became talented. He's always been a solid play. He'll continue to be solid as he faces off against the Steelers in prime time. Pittsburgh has allowed a tight end to score in every odd-numbered week of the season. Fantasy Victory has learned that it's Week 7. Last year in the home matchup with the Steelers, Gresham scored as well.
7. Jason Witten, DAL at CAR
Jason Witten appears to be as healthy as ever, after compiling two consecutive great games for the Cowboys. Witten has 19 catches for 200 yards and a score in just his last two games. Do you think Tony Romo has a bit of confidence in Witten? I do. I figure he's going to be looking for Witten early and often this week against the Panthers. Carolina has allowed an opposing tight end to top 50 yards in each of their last four games. That's child's play for Witten.
8. Brandon Pettigrew, DET at CHI
If you have read this article before, you may have heard us state a few times that the key to beating the Bears is solid tight end play. The aforementioned Jason Witten was the only bright spot in the Cowboys' implosion a few weeks ago. Witten recorded 13 catches for 112 yards and a score against the Bears, on a night where Tony Romo seemed to hit navy blue and orange jerseys more than the Cowboys' home whites. Brandon Pettigrew and the Lions should have fair luck against the Bears on Monday night too, a Lions tight end has scored against Chicago in two straight games.
9. Vernon Davis, SF vs. SEA
It's tough for traditional wide receivers to have a positive fantasy day against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle has held the bigger, speedier receivers in check, while the smaller slot players and tight ends have had much more success. For instance, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez each scored last week in Seattle, while Brandon Lloyd was left out in the rain. Vernon Davis has that ability to create mismatches. Unfortunately for Davis, he hasn't had the greatest of success against Seattle. Last year in two meetings he had yardage totals of only 47 and 54 yards and did not score.
10. Kyle Rudolph, MIN vs. ARI
The main threats on the Vikings offense are Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson. Stand them on top of each other and they're barely as tall as Kyle Rudolph. The 6'6" Rudolph is the Vikings go-to target near the end zone, as Rudolph has more touchdowns inside the 20 (five) than Peterson and Harvin have combined (four). The last time the Cardinals faced a tight end of Rudolph's stature, it was Rob Gronkowski who gathered 75 yards and a score. I see a similar day for Rudolph.