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Game Level Similarity Projections: Tight End Week 8

Incredibly, the season is almost half finished. It only seems like yesterday that so many of us were drafting our teams and only a few hours since we first began to experience doubt regarding one or two or 12 of the selections we had made. But that’s in the past. I have returned once again to offer the GLSP numbers for tight ends ahead of the Week 8 slate, thanks to Dave Caban.

Dave has gone back seven, five and three weeks to collect his data for this week’s slate. It may seem that most of the best TE matchups — those with the highest projections — involve TEs owned in the majority of fantasy leagues. As a result, telling you how well Zach Ertz should do will be of no help at all, unless you happen to own him.1 So, after you take in the full majesty of the projections, we will look at some lesser-owned options — dart throws, if you will — that you should consider for your lineups this week. We’ll also look at three players you should avoid.

PlayerTeamOppLowMedHighAVG
Maxx WilliamsBALCAR14.76.75.3
AJ DerbyMIAHOU12.754
Mark AndrewsBALCAR1.74.796
Evan EngramNYGWAS1.73.765
Demetrius HarrisKCDEN1.73.765
Josh HillNOMIN246.75
Erik SwoopeINDOAK2.37107.7
Rhett EllisonNYGWAS2.35.386.3
Charles ClayBUFNE2.55.89.57.3
Jake ButtDENKC2.558.56.5
Jeff HeuermanDENKC2.55.586.3
Austin Seferian-JenkinsJAXPHI2.567.55.5
Ricky Seals-JonesARISF2.77.7128.3
Jesse JamesPITCLE2.7697.3
Vernon DavisWASNYG2.75.78.36.3
Cameron BrateTBCIN37.711.78.7
CJ UzomahCINTB3.37.710.78.7
Ryan GriffinHOUMIA3.36.39.87.8
Nick VannettSEADET3.37.7107.7
Dallas GoedertPHIJAX3.77.3108.3
Greg OlsenCARBAL410.71410
Jordan ReedWASNYG47.7119
Nick O'LearyMIAHOU4798
Kyle RudolphMINNO4.7911.79.7
Jack DoyleINDOAK5101511
Vance McDonaldPITCLE59.714.311
Benjamin WatsonNOMIN5.78.711.79.7
Chris Herndon IVNYJCHI610.313.711
Jared CookOAKIND61013.311
Travis KelceKCDEN6.313.71814.3
Rob GronkowskiNEBUF713.317.714.3
OJ HowardTBCIN7.311.715.713
George KittleSFARI7.71518.315
Michael RobertsDETSEA7.713.71814.3
Jimmy GrahamGBLAR8.313.716.314.7
Trey BurtonCHINYJ8.71619.316
Zach ErtzPHIJAX9.317.322.317.3
David NjokuCLEPIT9.71418.314.7
Eric EbronINDOAK1316.718.716.7

Looking Good

Player Team Opp Low Med High AVG
Vance McDonald PIT CLE 5 9.7 14.3 11

Vance McDonald projects as a low-end TE1 across the board this week, which is pretty much all we’re looking for at the TE spot. There is an ever-present risk that the fates will make this a Jesse James week, but I remain hopeful that superior talent will actually carry the day. McDonald is seeing more opportunities than James, after all. The Browns are not the pushovers they once were to TEs, but this is still not a terrible streaming option.

Player Team Opp Low Med High AVG
Chris Herndon IV NYJ CHI 6 10.3 13.7 11

This is something of a long shot, I know. But the fact remains that Chris Herndon has been productive given his limited opportunities over the last two weeks. He has six receptions for 98 yards, but crucially he has found the end zone twice. He has a TE1 low projection, and his median and high projections are not terribly exciting. But at this stage of the season, you could do worse.

Player Team Opp Low Med High AVG
Benjamin Watson NO MIN 5.7 8.7 11.7 9.7

Reliable old Ben Watson has chipped in this season, without ever looking he was going to see the Saints offense run through him. He has 10 receptions for 73 yards and a score in his last two games, but only 13 receptions in his other four games. The Vikings have been quite terrible against TEs this season, and Watson has an acceptable floor according to his GLSP.

 Looking Bad

Player Team Opp Low Med High AVG
Evan Engram NYG WAS 1.7 3.7 6 5

Evan Engram is still on the comeback trail, but his GLSP does not offer many hopes that he’ll be back with a bang this week. He has one of the lowest projections across the board, and leads only future Canton enshrinee A.J. Derby in terms of average projection. Might be a good idea to find help elsewhere this week.

Player Team Opp Low Med High AVG
Jeff Heuerman DEN KC 2.5 5.5 8 6.3

The process tells us that we can play TEs against the Chiefs, given the success they’ve had against them so far in 2018. The results will tell us that starting Jeff Heuerman was not a clever thing to do. Heuerman is, by default at least, the leading TE on the Broncos, but in terms of fantasy, he offers practically nothing. He has less than 57 yards in six of his seven games in 2018, although that high yard mark did come against the Chiefs. If you’re considering him, please turn over controls of your fantasy team to someone slightly less process driven.

Player Team Opp Low Med High AVG
Cameron Brate TB CIN 3 7.7 11.7 8.7

Much like the Chiefs, the Bengals are a defense that welcomes TE production. However, Cameron Brate’s fantasy output this season has been almost solely due to his three touchdowns. Outside of these scores, he has seven receptions in 2018. He may luck into a score, of course, but he is not offering enough outside of the end zone to make him a trustworthy option.

  1. Spoiler, his numbers look really good.  (back)

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