Week 9 got off to a great start for the tight end streaming community, as Daniel Fells continued his recent hot streak with a one-yard touchdown reception for the Texans against the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. Huzzah, there’s 7.1 PPR points already!
And then Fells went on to not see a single target for the rest of the game. Gee, thanks, Deshaun Watson. I really appreciate that.
As for the other streamers, Dallas Goedert didn’t do an awful lot after the Eagles decided it would be a Zach Ertz day against the Bears. Goedert finished with his fewest PPR points since Week 5. As for Jonnu Smith, he commanded a 14% target share for the Titans. But this worked out as five targets, three of which he caught for a whopping 18 yards. I fear the initial Ryan Tannehill shine may already be coming off for the Titans.
Six teams are on a bye this week, and that takes the likes of Ertz, Goedert, and Fells out of the equation for Week 10. Let’s look at some of the choices for the week ahead. As always, we’ll be focusing on players available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues at the time of writing.
MIKE GESICKI (AVAILABLE IN 97.7% OF ESPN LEAGUES) vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
So it’s come to this … streaming options from the suddenly feisty Miami Dolphins. Oh well, c’est la vie. It may look like point chasing, but given how many other viable TEs are sitting on their byes in Week 10, desperate times call for desperate measures.
To be fair to Mike Gesicki, he has started to look like something approaching a playmaker at this most toxic of positions. He’s gone over 41 receiving yards in three of his last four games and is fresh off a career game against the Jets in Week 9. Gesicki caught all six of his targets for 95 yards.
It would be lovely if, as the Dolphins offense continues to put up a fight, Gesicki could find his way into the end zone. His next NFL touchdown will be his first.
Much like myself, the Colts have something of a soft spot for TEs and do their best to enable players from the position to have productive fantasy weeks. Four TEs have accrued 50 or more yards against them this season. Austin Hooper of the Falcons also scored two touchdowns against them back in Week 3. Over the last five games, TEs against the Colts have averaged 8.4 targets, 5.8 receptions and 13.5 PPR points per game.
JACK DOYLE (64.5%) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Don’t like the TE on one side of the Dolphins vs. Colts matchup? Then why not take one from the other side! If this is your pleasure, I’d suggest Jack Doyle over Eric Ebron. Ebron offers much more than Doyle from an athletic point of view, but Doyle is playing on more snaps and is outperforming Ebron from a counting stats point of view (although Ebron has been more efficient).
The continued absence of T.Y. Hilton would be good for Doyle’s floor, as could the possibility of Brian Hoyer starting in place of Jacoby Brissett. Hoyer has sent 81.3 percent of his career pass attempts 15 yards or fewer down the field. This is where Doyle has seen 94.2 percent of his career targets.
The Dolphins defense looked like one that we could start TEs against with impunity after Week 1 when Mark Andrews of the Ravens took 108 yards and a touchdown off them on his way to the TE1 spot. They haven’t allowed a TE touchdown since then. But Ryan Griffin of the Jets did amass 50 yards on six catches against them last week. He also lost a touchdown on review.
And speaking of Griffin…
RYAN GRIFFIN (98.4%) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
Do you know those people who, in past seasons, picked up players like Josh Gordon or Percy Harvin and kept them on their benches while they waiting for them to finally take the field? Yeah, these people have probably been doing the same with Chris Herndon. As for many of the Jets, 2019 is beginning to look like a lost season for Herndon.
In his continued absence, Griffin has carved out something approaching a role for himself on the Jets offense. He has played at least 83% of the snaps in every single game this season. Over the last two weeks, Griffin has caught 10 of 12 targets for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He has a career-high three touchdown receptions in 2019. Griffin’s not having a terrible season, but it’s still far from a dominant one.
On paper at least, the New York Giants have not been too friendly towards TEs this season. O.J. Howard (remember him) had 66 yards against them in Week 3. Until Monday night he was the only TE with at least 50 yards against Big Blue.
Jason Witten then added 58 yards to his existing career tally of 1,583 yards against them. It’s worth pointing out too that Blake Jarwin has four receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns in two games against them this season. In his other games, he hasn’t done diddly.
Griffin is not without risks, given that he may have already just had his most fantasy productive spell of the season. But these are the times that test us.