Steaming Pile of Streaming Tight Ends
Finding a fill-in at the tight-end position is important in Week 9 with Top 10 fixtures George Kittle, Evan Engram, and Sam LaPorta all enjoying a bye week, so we’re here to help find a few streaming options that offer some upside. The position is constantly being churned in most leagues, so keep an eye out for who has been dropped to upgrade your lineup.
Out with the old and in with the new! A few young gun tight ends have come into this season firing away. After watching Zach Ertz dominate the Arizona Cardinals’ target share over the first few weeks, he now resides on Injured Reserve, so Trey McBride, the Cardinals’ 2022 Round 2 pick, has shown out when his number was called. He pulled 10 of 14 targets for 95 yards and a touchdown last week. Given how the position has fared on this team, McBride is in for some great weeks this season.
Elsewhere, Kittle had his typical inconsistent blowup games and finished with 149 yards on the day. Taysom Hill continues to be a top fantasy finisher, whether passing, rushing, or receiving. Another surprisingly productive young tight end has been Detroit Lions rookie LaPorta, who came away with another top-five finish at the position. There have only been two weeks in which has he not finished as a Top 10 tight end so far, so his fantasy managers are eager to replace that production in their lineups this week.
Many of the streamers from past weeks have increased their roster percentages over the last few weeks, so options are thinning out. However, there are a few guys who may still be floating around out there. Bills rookie Dalton Kincaid is now off the wire in most leagues and has stampeded his way to a couple of great finishes since their bye week. Losing fellow tight end Dawson Knox has helped, and Kincaid should see plenty of work in a high-scoring battle against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that struggles against the position.
Logan Thomas has made his way into more lineups in recent weeks, and he should be a Commander of more targets this week. Sam Howell will have to duck the New England Patriots pass rush, which should push him to get rid of the ball sooner and rely more on receivers running short and intermediate routes, where his tight end is often found for easy catches and yards. Luke Musgrave continues to be an integral part of the Green Bay Packers offense, and while he may not see a huge piece of the Packers’ receptions pie, he runs routes at one of the highest rates on the team, which is especially significant for a tight end. We’ll need to see more from Jordan Love before we can endorse Musgrave with full confidence as a starter outside of deep leagues.
The Dallas Cowboys came out swinging in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams in a game that saw the Cowboys put up 43 points. The team put second-year tight end Jake Ferguson in a position to come away with a score. Now, we can’t rely on him for touchdown production every week; he has only scored twice this season but may have the opportunity to do so again in a divisional matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have been notoriously bad at covering tight ends in recent years. The Philly defense is number one against the run, so between that and the high-scoring affair that this game should be, we should see plenty of opportunities for Ferguson to rack up catches, yards, and possibly a score.
If you choose to read on about this player once you see the name instead of skipping this blurb altogether, you likely understand the allure of Kyle Pitts, the reality of his production to date, and the reason why he’s a streaming target instead of a player that’s nearly 100 percent rostered. The idea behind this play in Week 9 is purely one of opportunity, as the Atlanta Falcons continue to target the tight end position at one of the highest rates in the NFL. Keep that in mind as we realize that their top receiver, Drake London, will miss the Week 9 matchup against the Vikings, leaving several incremental targets on the table.
The Minnesota Vikings defense has matured in recent weeks under the guidance of Brian Flores; it has been much more formidable in recent weeks. The injury to Kirk Cousins should keep the Vikings out of game scripts in which they’re able to move the ball at will, and that should give the Falcons’ new starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke more chances to work and attack downfield. Pitts leads the tight end position in air yards, so there’s hope that Heinicke can let plays develop and push the ball downfield to his uber-talented tight end and take advantage of his game-breaking ability.
Gerald Everett & Donald Parham
What’s worse than gambling on a volatile tight end? How about two from the same team in a game in which the Los Angeles Chargers face off against a tough New York Jets defense? Hear me out: throughout the season, the Jets have a tough matchup for opposing wide receivers, a veritable no-fly zone. Because of this, Keenan Allen may struggle, especially without Mike Williams (and likely Joshua Palmer) to draw attention away from him. Therefore, the tight ends stand a good chance of being productive in this one. Gerald Everett and Donald Parham have both been in and out of the lineup due to injury, yet Chargers tight ends have managed to pull in six touchdowns this season, regardless. If Everett gets the start in this game, I feel good about rolling him out due to his expected target volume. If not, Parham becomes a target in deeper leagues due to his target frequency in the red zone. Understand, however, with a low over-under total for this game, your fantasy team is riding the lightning here in terms of risk, one that’s fair to take on at a relatively thin position.
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)