The massive bye week this week probably hurts the tight ends the most, with Tyler Eifert, Rob Gronkowski, and Jordan Reed all out for their fantasy football owners. Toss in recent breakouts like Vernon Davis and C.J. Fiedorowicz and you have a big chunk of potential TE1s missing. If you’re a tight end streamer like me, however, this is no big deal. Whether you’re streaming tight end out of strategy or necessity, we have three options for you. The sleeper tight ends are owned in 50% of leagues or fewer for two, and in fewer than 10% for the third, for you deep divers. All figures are based on Yahoo! ownership percentages as of Saturday. The bye weeks and bad matchups leave us with rough streaming options, so we’re going doubly deep this weekend.
Lance Kendricks versus Carolina (11% owned)
Kendricks has quietly become a top target for Case Keenum and the Rams, totaling 27 targets in his last four games, and 17 in his last two. He’s hauled in over 70% of his targets in that span and has gotten the increased faith of the offense. This week Kendricks and the Rams take on a Panthers squad that allows the second-most fantasy points per game to the tight end. They have yielded an average of a touchdown a game to tight ends so far this year, and that is what we are looking for in streaming a tight end (ten yards and a score is seven fantasy points, the average TE12, or starting TE). The only tight ends to get more than five targets, which Kendricks is averaging recently, have gotten at least 70 yards and a score against these Panthers.
Virgil Green at Oakland (11% owned)
Green was a trendy preseason sleeper for the Denver passing attack, but he has been mostly missing this season. He had no targets two games ago and has never gotten more than six. The next time he surpasses 55 yards will be his first time doing that this season. However, the Broncos travel to Oakland to take on a secondary that has gotten better against wide receivers recently but remains poor against tight ends. Whether it’s Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch under center this weekend, they may have no choice but to target Green against the defense yielding the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends so far this year. They’ve given up four touchdowns to tight ends over the last four weeks.
Richard Rodgers versus Indianapolis (8% owned)
Let’s get this out-of-the-way: Rodgers is not a great tight end, and the Green Bay tight end position is a fantasy fallacy, but he takes on the terrible Indianapolis defense that has given up the fifth-most fantasy points this season to tight ends. This one promises to be a shootout, and with questionable running back options (at best) for the Packers, there should be a Rodgers-to-Rodgers connection this weekend in the red zone. The Colts have given up seventy yards or a touchdown to six different tight ends in eight games this season. Rodgers should be next.