It didn’t take long, but Week 3 marks the first visit to the tight end wasteland of the 2019 season. The options are not great, especially given Darren Waller’s ascension to “every week starter” status following his TE8 finish in Week 2.
For the second week in a row, Waller came to my rescue as the only one of my three suggestions to actually bear fantasy fruit. Jimmy Graham was targeted twice in the Packers win over the Vikings, reeling in none of them. Vernon Davis saw a whopping four targets for Washington, but he only delivered three receptions for 29 yards. Urgh.
My Week 3 TE streaming recommendations have managed to avoid the attention of the vast majority of fantasy owners. They were all mentioned as waiver wire targets by Tyler Loechner. But I’ll do my best to offer a bit more information about them. If you have a serious problem at TE this week, these guys may be able to help.
TYLER EIFERT (AVAILABLE IN 87.3% OF ESPN LEAGUES) vs. BUFFALO BILLS
Once, a long time ago, Tyler Eifert was something of a must-start in fantasy football. Back in 2015 he finished as the TE8 despite only catching 52 passes. This was in no small part thanks to his knack for finding the end zone. 13 of his 52 receptions resulted in touchdowns.
The years have not been kind to Eifert. He’s played just 16 games since 2015, although he has been fairly effective when he has actually played.
Through two weeks of the 2019 season, Eifert has commanded a 12% team target share and has a 100% catch-rate.
The matchup this week isn’t wonderful, I confess (But if you were expecting wonderful things, the title of this article would have been the first warning that you probably won’t find them here). The Bills have been fairly solid against TEs dating back to last season.
Evan Engram of the Giants scored 8.0 fantasy points against them last week. So they are not completely invulnerable at the position. Eifert is unlikely to see a heavy workload given the presence of John Ross (20 targets) and Tyler Boyd (21). Nonetheless, his long-standing red zone prowess keeps him in play for a TD in any given week.
JASON WITTEN (81.4%) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Just when you thought he was out, they pulled him back in. The Prince of the Dad Runners himself, Jason Witten finds himself back among the ranks of the streamers.
Witten has commanded a 13% target share in the new look “spread and shred” Cowboys offense. Witten’s target volume is just behind the arguably more dynamic Randall Cobb and well ahead of Ezekiel Elliott.
Witten and the Cowboys take on the struggling Miami Dolphins this week. The Dolphins have been a mixed bag against TEs so far this season. They allowed 37.5 PPR points to the position against the Ravens in Week 1, the most of any team. But they were far stouter in Week 2 against the Patriots, despite the shellacking they received. Patriots TEs managed a mere 5.3 PPR points against them, but to be fair, New England only targeted TEs twice.
The Dolphins are a defense that fantasy owners will be targeting in each and every possible way in the 2019 season. Witten is a low-cost way of getting a piece of that action. I mean, he is involved in the passing game and has scored a touchdown in each of the Cowboys opening two games. What do you say, for old times sake?
WILL DISSLY (97.8%) vs. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Injuries have restricted Will Dissly to just six games in his NFL career. To his credit, he has been reliable and efficient when called upon. Indeed, although it is a very small sample size, just look at Russell Wilson’s adjusted yards per attempt average when targeting Dissly.
Are you fired up?
Dissly has been the most efficient receiver in the hyper-concentrated Seahawks passing game this season — at least from a fantasy point of view.
The Seahawks take on the Saints this week. Over the last five regular-season games, the Saints have shown that they are not able to completely shut down the TE spot, which is good news for Dissly.
Again, it’s far from a perfect situation. But it’s better than nothing. Just make damn sure you make the optimal picks at wide receiver and running back this week.