Streaming tight ends has been my favorite fantasy football strategy this season. So far this week, we’ve already seen why you don’t want to stick unflinchingly with a backend TE option and instead attack the weakest tight end defenses. The Vikings blanked Eric Ebron this week, adding him to the list of casualties that includes Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed who couldn’t take advantage of the matchup. Instead, you want to go after high-target tight ends going against bad tight end defenses to make the most of your TE slot. Just like the eleven previous weeks of our sleeper tight ends, these are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo! Leagues (though this week that number dips down below 30%), as well as one tight end owned in fewer than 10% of leagues for deeper leagues.
Dennis Pitta (36% owned) versus Cincinnati
It wasn’t that long ago that we were kicking ourselves for not seeing the Dennis Pitta comeback happening before. Unfortunately, he’s turned in exactly one performance this year over six fantasy points, meaning the Dennis Pitta “comeback” was a one-week fluke. Fast forward two and a half months and you have Pitta once again in the TE1 conversation, at least for one week. He’s seen eleven targets over the last two weeks, and he takes on a Bengals defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. He could crater despite the plus matchup, but he couldn’t do worse than Eric Ebron, at least?
C.J. Fiedorowicz (33% owned) versus San Diego
The Polish Hat is the Colin Kaepernick of tight ends, in that he has turned in useful performances (with one blemish) but because fantasy football owners are waiting for the bottom to fall out, he isn’t getting the ownership respect that he is due. Fiedorowicz’ numbers are as inconsistent as every non-weekly TE starter, but what is consistent is targets. Fiedorowicz has gotten 5, 8, 7, 7, 7, 5 and 10 targets in his last seven games, and he’s turned that into six or more fantasy points five times. While seven is the golden number you’re looking for, it means he’s cratered only twice. This week they take on a Chargers team that has seen just three tight ends hit the seven target plateau this season, and all three tight ends converted that for over seven fantasy points (the usual threshold for a TE1 this year).
Will Tye (4% owned) versus Cleveland
Will Tye was a lost sleeper tight end for me, hanging out with Clive Walford on the side of the road. In the last few weeks, however, he’s retaken the role from Larry Donnell and is once again in the conversation for streaming tight ends. He’s gotten 20 targets in his last three games, after getting 25 targets all season long before that. Unsurprisingly, his yards per game increased, and he scored his first touchdown last week. This isn’t as much about Tye as it is about the Browns, though. They’re the worst against tight ends this season, and that’s with only six tight ends getting more than five targets against them. When a TE blows up against them, they go big. Tye is in line to go big with his promised target volume.