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fantasy football

Fantasy players miss Rob Gronkowski, too

This has been a tough stretch for Rob Gronkowski and his fantasy owners, as the Patriots tight end hasn’t played yet.

john tlumacki/globe staff

This has been a tough stretch for Rob Gronkowski and his fantasy owners, as the Patriots tight end hasn’t played yet.

When I heard reports that Rob Gronkowski’s teammates were frustrated because he had yet to play in a game, I had to laugh. Do these reports address how Gronkowski’s fantasy owners feel?

I have Gronkowski in one league, so in the meantime I’ve been surviving with Coby Fleener. Fleener took over as the Colts starter early in the season and has had two productive weeks and three terrible weeks. He has fluctuated between good and poor, and that puts him in line with many other tight ends in fantasy football.

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The position this season has a few studs (Jimmy Graham of New Orleans, Vernon Davis of San Francisco, Julius Thomas of Denver), a handful of reliable guys (Jordan Cameron of Cleveland, Antonio Gates of San Diego, Jason Witten of Dallas, Tony Gonzalez of Atlanta), and then a bunch of decent players who may or may not come through for you.

Let’s take a look at which tight ends will deliver this weekend and which tight ends to avoid:

Three up:

Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis: Why not? Fleener and the Colts are facing Denver, which allows the most passing yards per game in the NFL. Denver’s secondary is often under siege because opponents are playing from behind and are forced to throw the ball.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota: Rudolph failed to develop a rapport this season with either Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel, but he’s worth a chance because the Vikings have moved on to their third quarterback, Josh Freeman. Perhaps Freeman will take more advantage of the tight end?

Tim Wright, TE, Tampa Bay: Tampa’s new quarterback, Matt Glennon, has targeted Wright 15 times in two games, and Wright has responded with 12 catches for 132 yards.

Three down:

Dallas Clark, TE, Baltimore: Clark had a solid day against the Packers, but his résumé before last week was subpar. He’s unlikely to provide much help during a rugged divisional matchup in Pittsburgh.

Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit: Fauria’s three touchdowns in Cleveland were exciting if you had him in your lineup, but the chances of that happening again — particularly with Calvin Johnson rounding into form — are minuscule.

Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets: Kellen Winslow’s four-game suspension leaves Cumberland as the starter, but it’s impossible to trust any skill position player in New York’s offense, especially a backup tight end.

Ed Ryan can be reached at ed_ryan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan
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