Week 13 of the season is not the time to get cute with tight end selections. One could argue of course that you should never take chances when it comes to the most toxic position group in the whole of fantasy football. But even if you do subscribe to this view, now is definitely not the time.
Week 12’s selections were, on the whole, a case of “Oh nearly.” Jacob Hollister was missed in the end zone by Russell Wilson despite standing more open than a 24-hour petrol station. He finished with a measly 4.2 PPR points. In the same game, Dallas Goedert saw eight targets and secured seven of them, but managed only 32 yards and lost a fumble. This brought him down to 8.2 points. But the day was saved from total disaster by Ryan Griffin. Griffin posted TE7 numbers with his 10.3 points. So in keeping with our #DontGetCute mantra, there is a possibility Griffin is an option again this week.1
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 74.6% OF ESPN LEAGUES) vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS
No sense overthinking this, or even dragging it out. Griffin has become a reliable fantasy option in 2019, and his form has seen him rewarded. The Jets and Griffin agreed to a new contract last week. Let us all celebrate this new arrangement with the mixing of chocolate to milk, and also by plugging him into our lineups against the Bengals this week.
Griffin has double-digit PPR points in five of his last seven games and has found the end zone in back-to-back games. Since Week 6, he is the overall TE5.
The Bengals have allowed four touchdowns to TEs this season, with three coming in their last three games. Six TEs have amassed at least 53 yards against them, with Mark Andrews hanging a combined 12-152-2 against them in two games this season. The Jets are suddenly hot on offense and have scored exactly 34 points in three consecutive games. This has been achieved mostly thanks to Sam Darnold and the passing game. Griffin has become a key part of this, as Darnold’s AYA when targeting him can attest to.
JACK DOYLE (56.2%) vs. TENNESEE TITANS
The problem with trying to recommend streaming either of the Colts TEs this season has been the fear that whichever one you pick, the other will inevitably have the better week. But Eric Ebron has been sent to IR in need of surgery on both of his ankles.2 This should now open things up for Jack Doyle. I must stress straight away that this is neither an exciting nor sexy pick. But remember, #DontGetCute.
Doyle has four or more targets in five of his last six games. The only blemish came in Week 11 when he failed to draw a single look. He hasn’t eclipsed 61 yards in any game this year. But he has been duking it out for looks with Ebron. Doyle also scored in back-to-back games in Weeks 9 and 10.
The Titans have not exactly been victimized by TEs this season. Only three such players have taken more than 40 yards off them in a single game. But they have seen nine players amass 20 or more yards in addition to allowing five touchdowns. Nick O’Leary caught all four of his targets for 36 yards against them last week for Pete’s sake.
Back in Week 2 Ebron and Doyle combined for a 5-46-1 line against the Titans. That would probably go down nicely this week if Doyle were to repeat the dose all by himself.
KYLE RUDOLPH (61.2%) vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
It’s getting towards the time of year when a different Rudolph becomes the talk of the town. He won’t pull Santa’s sleigh tonight or anyone’s sleigh any night, but Kyle Rudolph is a player who could be a leading light at TE this week.
Rudolph endured a pitifully slow start to the season with just six receptions in the first five games. But since then, he has wormed his way into becoming a vital cog in the offense. He has been aided by an injury to Adam Thielen’s injury has helped him. But his numbers since Week 6 have been a stark improvement.
The Vikings lock horns with the Seahawks this week,3 and this iteration of the Seahawks have something of weakness towards the TE spot. Six TEs have caught at least five passes against them this season. Six also have at least 47 yards in a game. Last week Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert combined for 19 receptions and 129 yards against them.
The Vikings have more options at wide receiver than the hapless Eagles of course. But Rudolph’s eye for the end zone keeps him in play as a viable starter. He has five touchdowns in his last five games, with four coming in his last three.