2012 Fantasy Football Week 16: Tight Ends (TE) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIDecember 18, 2012

Dec 10, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA;  New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) reacts during the game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

High expectations this summer came crashing back to earth after fantasy owners lost Aaron Hernandez to a bad ankle injury during the second week of the season. Hernandez struggled to find his way back to the active roster playing in only two games from Week 3 to Week 11.

Over the past three weeks, Hernandez has come back and performed for fantasy owners like we expected, an elite option at his position. During that span of time, he's put up 26 receptions (no fewer than eight in a game), 247 yards and three touchdowns.

With Rob Gronkowski possibly out again this week (BostonHerald.com), and the Patriots struggling with health problems in the receiving core, expect Hernandez to have another big performance against a shaky Jaguars secondary. 


Dennis Pitta Playing Well Down The Stretch

Last week Peyton Manning came to Baltimore and Dennis Pitta posted seven receptions for 125 yards and a score as the Ravens played from way behind in the second half. This week, Peyton’s brother Eli comes to town and fantasy owners with Pitta can only hope the third-year tight end can post comparable numbers.

The Giants offense has had some extreme ups and downs over the course of the second half of the season, but I have to believe they post over 20 points against the Ravens this weekend. The Ravens have struggled on offense in their own right, but Pitta has actually been playing well over the past month with four touchdowns in the past four weeks.

Don’t expect the same numbers as last week mainly because the Giants corners won’t present the same problems to Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith as defense backs game them last week.

Still, Pitta should remain as one of the top three options for Flacco and we should expect him to receive looks inside the red zone.


Pittsburgh Needs To Use Heath Miller More

Miller had terrific success early against the Cowboys, but for some reason they got away from using him toward the end of the game. Expect Miller to be a big part of the Steelers passing game this week as they face off in a huge game against the Bengals.

1 Aaron Hernandez @ Jaguars
2 Jimmy Graham @ Cowboys
3 Tony Gonzalez @ Lions
4 Jason Witten Saints
5 Heath Miller Bengals
6 Dennis Pitta Giants
7 Greg Olsen Raiders
8 Jermaine Gresham @ Steelers
9 Owen Daniels Vikings
10 Jermichael Finley Titans
11 Brandon Myers @ Panthers
12 Scott Chandler @ Dolphins
13 Martellus Bennett @ Ravens
14 Brandon Pettigrew (I) Falcons
15 Tony Scheffler Falcons
16 Kyle Rudolph @ Texans
17 Antonio Gates @ Jets


Week 16 Standard Rankings – QB | RB | WR | K | D |