It’s Week 6, folks, but as the season gets older the lineup decisions for fantasy owners don’t get any easier. I’m back once again with tight end GLSP data for the week ahead, courtesy of the great Dave Caban. This data is also available in the Weekly Stat Explorer. Who will rise? Let’s take a look!
For this week’s projections, our projection guru Dave Caban ran back 5, 4, and 3 weeks. This way, we now only have data points using 2018 average stat lines, and using the average of three helps to smooth out the outliers you might run into when only using one average line. We still need to be mindful of guys who have only played in a few games, and done well in them. However, as there are only a handful of TEs that have actually done well at any stage of the season, this list is not a long one.
It’s a worrying state of affairs when one of the few TEs you can rely on so far in a season is Eric Ebron. The current TE3 has, on paper, a far from easy matchup against the Jets. However, Ebron figures in the top three in the low, median and high range of projections.
Jordan Reed has enjoyed a steady, if not spectacular, opening fweeks of the season before his goose egg on Monday Night Football against the Saints. He’d had at least 50 yards or a touchdown in his opening three games. Like Ebron, Reed features at the very top of all projections for the week ahead. The Panthers allowed 15 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns to TEs in Weeks 2 and 3, while only allowing 5/35 in Weeks 1 and 5. The reasons for this are that in Week 1 the Cowboys didn’t have a TE of consequence to throw to, and in Week 5 the Giants didn’t have a TE of consequence to throw to.
In a bad year even by TE standards, the low-level production of Austin Hooper is seen as the consistency that many fantasy owners crave. He had nine receptions for 77 yards a week ago in a match that never quite developed into the shootout many expected. The horrific Buccaneers defense makes any breathing TE an option against them. Hooper’s projections offer a fairly steady floor, as he has managed to exceed his low number in four out of five games this season.
The Jaguars offense continues to be one that offers fantasy owners many opportunities to scratch their heads, look dumbfounded and declare “I have no idea.” With Austin Seferian-Jenkins now on IR, we could see an increased role for Niles Paul this week. As the GLSP for both players would suggest, this is unlikely to be a fact that we should celebrate.
Antonio Gates is doing his very best to answer the question “Is it better to burn out or fade away?” with his play in 2018, with the evidence suggesting that he should really have burned out. The Browns, for so long under Gregg “Seven Jobs” Williams a defense that TEs feasted upon, have been a tougher prospect in recent times. The numbers project very little upside for Gates, with a floor so ugly that it could be a modern art masterpiece.
Despite seeing 24 of the 27 TE targets on the Cardinals, Ricky Seals-Jones’ breakout is looking increasingly unlikely to take place in 2018. After seven receptions in Weeks 1 and 2, RSJ has three in his last three . . . including zero last week. Seals-Jones’ best projection is his median, but even that arouses in me about as much enthusiasm as a ticket for a stand-up show starring James Corden.