The usual suspects head up Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 12 tight end rankings, but this season hasn’t lacked for surprises when it comes to the position either. Take Miami’s Charles Clay for example. Not really on the radar entering this season, a serious leg injury suffered by Dustin Keller, provided Clay an opportunity for more playing time, and the hybrid fullback/tight end has made the most of it.
Clay has 42 catches for 474 yards and four touchdowns, along with one rushing score, which places him eighth in fantasy points among tight ends. He faces a pretty tough matchup this week with Carolina’s defense, but his versatility and obvious presence in the Dolphins’ offense makes it hard to bench him.
This doesn’t mean that Jimmy Graham won’t continue his domination at the position or that Rob Gronkowski or Julius Thomas won’t both put up big numbers when their teams face off on Sunday night. What it does mean is that Graham, Gronk, Thomas, along with the likes of Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten aren’t the only tight ends you have to own to make some noise at the position. After all, who would have guessed that Jordan Reed would emerge as a top-10 option in 2013 or that Garrett Graham or Delanie Walker would enter Week 12 with more fantasy points than Gronk, Jermichael Finley, Heath Miller, Jared Cook or Kyle Rudolph?
Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.
2013 NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle
at ATL (Thurs.)
No TDs in last 2 G, still No. 1 fantasy TE by wide margin.
No debate on the one TD he caught vs. CAR on MNF.
Tied Graham with 10th TD grab, dealing w/ knee strain.
at WAS (Mon.)
Shook off concussion, caught 8th TD pass.
Had 8 catches for 70 yards and 2 TD vs. Giants in Week 1.
Only 3 TD catches, but still a top 5 fantasy TE.
Cardinals have surrendered 10 TD catches to TEs.
Just 1 TD catch in his last six games.
Has a TD catch in three of last four games.
vs. NO (Thurs.)
Played through toe injury, caught 7 passes for 63 yds.
vs. SF (Mon.)
Held to just 1 catch for 12 yards last week by PHI.
Quietly putting together solid (39-403-5) season.
Recorded 4th TD catch last week, top 10 fantasy TE.
Solid (12-167-1) production in 2 G w/o Rudolph.
Rams giving up second-fewest fantasy pts. to TEs.
Broke out (7-136-1) last week vs. Raiders.
Has totaled 3 catches for 32 yards in last 2 games.
Has 10 catches for 127 yards and a TD in last 2 games.
Season-high 8 catches (67 yards) last week.
Bears have yielded just 2 TD receptions by TEs.
One TD reception this season.
Jets have had some problems defending TEs.
One of few bright spots on offense last week for Jets.
Fasano's presence in the passing game growing.
Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points
Additional Week 12 Positional Rankings