He's not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 tight end rankings, but there's no mistaking the immediate impact Rob Gronkowski had in his long-delayed, much-anticipated season debut. Gronk led the Patriots with 17 targets, finishing the game with eight catches for 114 yards. As long as he doesn't experience any setbacks with his back during the week, he should have another solid game against Miami, a team that has struggled to defend against tight ends.
Jimmy Graham is still ahead of Gronk in the rankings, but for this week he appears to be the one who is a bigger question mark health-wise. Graham injured his foot in the Week 6 loss to the Patriots and apparently it isn't back to 100 percent even though the Saints were on bye last week. There's still time until Sunday's kickoff, but Graham's status needs to be monitored closely. If he does play against the Bills, don't expect him to finish the game with zero catches, which is what he did two weeks ago in New England.
Even with Gronk returning and as good as Graham, Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates and others have been this season, it looks like there's a new kid on the block. Washington's Jordan Reed has not only replaced Fred Davis as the Redskins' top tight end, he is quickly establishing himself as one of the position's top playmakers. Reed has shown good chemistry with Robert Griffin III over the past month and blew up against the Bears last week with a nine catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. Is this a sign of things to come? Reed is a top-10 choice in our eyes this week, as the Broncos are ninth in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.
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 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee
Injured his foot in last game, monitor status closely.
No surprise Brady locked on Gronk (8-114, 17 targets).
vs. JAC (London)
Led team in targets (8) once again.
Cardinals allowing most fantasy points to TEs.
Leads all TEs with 8 TD receptions.
Leads his position w/ 45 catches, also has 6 TDs.
Lions have given up 1 TD to a TE this season.
at TB (Thurs.)
Appears to be over foot issue.
Only two catches, but TD vs. Ravens.
Exploded (9-134-1) last week vs. Bears.
Has caught a TD in each of last 3 games.
May not offer much until Vikes figure out QB situation.
Only three catches, but first TD vs. Bengals.
Geno Smith keeping Cumberland involved.
vs. SEA (Mon.)
Will Kellen Clemens focus on Cook?
Caught first career NFL TD last week vs. Lions.
Saints allowing second-fewest fantasy pts. to TEs.
Still looking for first TD catch of season.
Has 7 total receptions in last 5 games combined.
Lions cut Scheffler, could mean more work for Fauria.
Season-high 7 rec., 53 yds. vs. Seahawks.
vs. CAR (Thurs.)
Glennon locked on VJax vs. Falcons.
at STL (Mon.)
Tied for team lead w/ 7 targets vs. ARI, also had TD.
Caught four passes in first game since Week 2.
Starting job is his with Finley (spinal contusion) out.
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 8 Positional Rankings