Steaming Pile of
Streaming Tight Ends
Finding a fill-in at the tight-end position will be more challenging than ever with so many teams enjoying a bye week, but we’re here to help find a few that offer some upside. The position is constantly being churned in most leagues, so keep an eye out who has been dropped to upgrade your lineup
Travis Kelce is back on top of the tight end leaderboard in Week 6, so all is right with the universe. The most impressive part of the week: the Atlanta Falcons had two of the top four finishers. The Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys gave us two top finishers in Gerald Everett and Jake Ferguson after the pair pulled in a touchdown each. Few were as frustrated as Evan Engram managers after seeing Brenton Strange, a top-six finisher, cross the stripe. After such a heavy workload for Zach Ertz at the beginning of the season, he saw his lowest snap count in Week 6 as second-year player Trey McBride played over 60% of snaps and landed himself in the Top 12 for the week. Continue to watch the splits for these two with Kyler Murray‘s practice window opening up this week, as we will soon see the Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback make his way back onto the field in an effort to ramp up this offense. It’s that crazy part of the season where Taysom Hill breaks into the streaming conversations: he finished the week with a carry and seven receptions on his eight targets and can be considered in deeper leagues or for more significant underdogs in matchups.
Atlanta’s Tight End Tango
Kyle Pitts & Jonnu Smith
The Atlanta Falcons have taken quite the offensive journey through the first third of the season. At the outset, the Falcons boasted a wild, run-heavy approach, and first-round rookie Bijan Robinson seemingly served as a featured target. However, we saw some changes over the last month. In the previous four weeks, the Falcons have passed the ball more than they have thrown it; they only hit that mark three times last season. The Falcons also lead the league in targets to the tight end position at 38%, that’s 8% higher than the second-place team. Since Week 3, both tight ends are near the top, with Jonnu Smith being the number five overall. If you’re looking into a streamer between the duo, the ceiling play is Kyle Pitts. His air yards alone scream big plays; he ranks first with 432 air yards, over 112 more than the second-highest at the position. Pitts is third in targets over the last three weeks, inspiring confidence in this call.
Rollin’ the Dice with the Rookie
For the longest time, I have never even glanced at a rookie tight end for fantasy. They typically don’t get much playing time in pass-catching situations. Fast forward to the 2023 season, and I can’t stop adding them to this article. Michael Mayer was a highly touted prospect coming out of college; he fell slightly but landed in Las Vegas in the second round. Coming out of the first month, the Raiders have only found a tight end on 10 percent of their targets, the second lowest in the NFL. Over the last two weeks, though, Mayer is in the Top 12. The target share in the previous two weeks has been over 23%. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppollo has been ruled out for Week 7, and luckily, the Raiders have drawn the Bears, and they are a bottom-eight team against the tight end position, putting any doubt in backup Bryan Hoyer. The Vegas rookie will definitely be a gamble, but his 112 yards over the last give a sense of confidence in the start.
Everett’s Electrical Surge
Did I copy and paste this from last week? No, but the deja vu you feel must be like a lightning bolt. Gerald Everett saved his day with the touchdown at the end of the game after finishing with an abysmal 16 yards on three catches. Even so, he still managed to finish as the TE7 for Week 6. It points to how gross the position is more than anything else. I am willing to go back and try to ride the lightning again; he remains an integral part of this passing attack, especially with Mike Williams out for the season. They are set to meet the Chiefs in a Divisional matchup with an implied total of just over 21 points for the Chargers. With that, Everett stands an excellent chance to find his way back in the endzone, especially if they find themselves behind early and are in a pass-happy game script. He’ll be linked with many risks this week, but during this Byepocalypse, he has the potential to give a top TE1 performance.
Let me know what you think about these players! Any questions? Please find me on Twitter/X @TooMuch_Brian.
Photos by Rene Böhmer/Unsplash and Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)