The Week 11 streamers started off looking like something of a disappointment, with Vance McDonald managing only 6.3 PPR points on Thursday Night Football and O.J. Howard somehow turning his only target of the day into an interception. But Old Faithful Kyle Rudolph answered the call with a valiant 17.7 PPR points, making him the TE4 on the week. There was also success for the ultimate Process Play in Ross Dwelley, who only posted 14 yards on his four receptions. But two of them went for touchdowns, giving him 17.4 PPR points and a TE6 finish on the week.
Let’s look at some of the best 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.
RYAN GRIFFIN (AVAILABLE IN 98.9% OF ESPN LEAGUES) vs. OAKLAND RAIDERS
Herndon SZN never actually happened in 2019. But Ryan Griffin has done his best to fill the void left by his absent teammate this year.
Since Week 6, Griffin is the TE4 behind only Hunter Henry, Travis Kelce and Travis Kelce. He’s seen at least 10% of the Jets targets in four of those six games.
The Jets are taking on the Oakland Raiders in Week 12. The Raiders are not among the leagues most friendly in terms of receptions allowed to TEs, with 13 teams having allowed more than the 48 they’ve given up. But they have begun to be more welcoming in recent weeks, with teams consistently targeting their TEs against the Raiders.
Plus one area in which the Raiders excel is in allowing TEs to find the end zone. Only the Cardinals have allowed more touchdowns to TEs than the Raiders seven.
Griffin may not get peppered with targets, but he and Sam Darnold have definitely developed some serious chemistry.
JACOB HOLLISTER (85%) vs. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Many felt that the loss of Will Dissly would make the Seattle Seahawks a team to ignore when it came to finding TE talent. Many were wrong, as evidenced by the emergence of Jacob Hollister. After two quiet weeks, Hollister exploded in the two games immediately before the Seahawks bye.
Hollister has commanded at least 10% of the Seahawks targets in each of the last four games. It is the prospect of volume that makes him attractive this week, as it isn’t a great matchup on paper. The Eagles haven’t exactly torn apart by TEs in 2019, and especially not in the last five games.
The Eagles have allowed 10.7 yards per reception to TEs over this span, however, including 17.3 to the aging Ben Watson a week ago.1 Hollister has averaged 8.1 yards per reception over the last four games.
Hollister would become an even more attractive option if Tyler Lockett is unable to play. Lockett suffered a scary sounding injury against the 49ers immediately before their bye, leading to a short stay in a Bay Area hospital. The ever-optimistic Pete Carroll believed at the time that the injury wouldn’t cost Lockett any games. But even if he plays, Lockett might be some way off his best. This would be good news for Hollister.
DALLAS GOEDERT (71.7%) vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
The Eagles wide receiver corps has been about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike in 2019. The Ravens are the only team with fewer total WR receptions than the 93 grabs from the Eagles. Only the Ravens WR corps have produced fewer fantasy points too. This lack of production has been good news for Zach Ertz, who has seen double-digit targets in back to back games. But it has also led to more opportunities for Dallas Goedert. Since returning from injury in Week 4, Goedert has seen the 14th most targets among TEs. He’s the TE11 in PPR formats.
Goedert really started to emerge in Week 6, as you can see from the above image. Since then, he has seen at least 13% of the Eagles targets in every game. He’s also scored a touchdown in three of his last four games.
The Seahawks have, on paper at least, hardened their hearts to TEs in their last two games. But some degree of context is required to paint the full picture here. In Week 9, the Buccaneers were leaning on Preseason darling Tanner Hudson to lead their TE attack. While Week 10 saw the 49ers send seven targets towards their TEs, four of them went the way of Dwelley and not George Kittle. In the three weeks prior to this, TEs were averaging nine targets a game against the Seahawks. These looks were leading to 73 yards per game.
This game has a 48 point over/under, with both defenses solid in places but welcoming in others. Carson Wentz will need to lean on his best pass catchers if he is to consistently move the ball. That means Ertz, and that means Goedert.
I’m not a fan of the matchup, given the fact that the Bills have surrendered the fewest receptions to TEs in the NFL this season. But Noah Fant (85.7%) of the Broncos has emerged as a focal point of his offense since Emmanuel Sanders left.
Fant has seen 23 targets in this time, good for a 27% share of the Broncos total targets. This opportunity share slightly outweighs the less than favorable matchup. But I’d still take the first three options over him. He’s not an awful option, though.
Image Credit: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Ryan Griffin.
- I always feel guilty whenever I make a derogatory remark regarding Watson’s age. He is only one day older than me. But still… (back)