We have reached the business end of the fantasy season, with many leagues beginning their playoffs this week. Now is not the time to trust to some scrub at the tight end spot. Of course, it is getting increasingly difficult to find genuine assets among the ranks of the streamers. But despite this, these names are players that should genuinely be an asset to you this week. Two of the main names certainly were last week, while even the bonus options chipped in,
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.
JACK DOYLE (AVAILABLE IN 54.1% OF ESPN LEAGUES) vs. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Jack Doyle came through for us in a big spot in Week 13 and there is absolutely no reason why we should come off this particular bandwagon now. Doyle saw a season-high 11 targets last week against the Titans. He converted these looks into six receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. The receptions and yards were also 2019 highs. Doyle has now scored in three of the last four games in which he has drawn a target.
The Colts are taking on one of the leakiest defenses in the NFL when it comes to defending TEs in the entire NFL, namely the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Todd Bowles charges have allowed the third-most receiving yards to TEs this season at 795. Only the Cardinals (13) and Raiders (8) have allowed more TE touchdowns. In terms of fantasy points allowed per game, only the Cardinals have allowed more than the Buccaneers this season.
MIKE GESICKI (89.7%) vs. NEW YORK JETS
Mike Gesicki has seen his role within the Dolphins offense grow as the season draws to an end. He has commanded at least six targets in five straight games and has finally discovered a taste for the end zone. He has scored in back-to-back games, making him the first Dolphins TE to do so since Julius Thomas in 2017.
Gesicki’s volume makes him an attractive play this week more so than the matchup itself. The Jets have allowed only 48 receptions to TEs this season, the ninth fewest of any team. They are also tied with the Ravens and Bills with just two touchdowns allowed. But they have allowed a TE to amass at least 41 receiving yards or score a touchdown against them in each of their last five games.
RYAN GRIFFIN (75.1%) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS
On the other side in the same game is Ryan Griffin. Yes, like with Doyle, I’m finding it hard to quit a player who really hasn’t let us down in recent weeks. Griffin’s output was something of a let down last week, posting five receptions for 30 yards. But he still saw seven targets. This was the second most he had commanded all season. Griffin has also played at least 83% of the Jets offensive snaps in every game bar one this year. Griffin has been a TE2 or better in six of his last eight games.
He had scored in back-to-back games before last week too, and as we’ve mentioned in the past has an excellent and efficient rapport with Sam Darnold. The last time these two teams met Griffin had six receptions for 50 yards. The Dolphins have allowed the 10th most receptions to TEs so far this season as well as the sixth most receiving yards. Griffin can be trusted to bounce back this week.
If you can’t get any of the above, then there are other options who I don’t despise this week. Dallas Goedert has continued to be involved in the Eagles offense, with six or more targets in three straight games. The Eagles face off with the Giants this week, but teams are not really using their TEs to attack the G Men this year. TEs have only seen 60 targets against the Giants all season and have delivered a league-low 38 receptions.
For the truly desperate there is also Tyler Higbee of the Rams. His career game of 7-107-1 in Week 13 can be partially explained away as it was “only against the Cardinals”. But Higbee has six or more targets in back to back games and at least four in three of his last four. The Rams are playing the Seahawks in Week 14 and TEs have been racking up the receptions against them in 2019. Only the Cardinals and the Chiefs have allowed more receptions to TEs than the Seahawks. But Higbee would still be a long way down on my list this week.
We should also not count out Kyle Rudolph, who found the end zone once again on Monday night, against the Lions. His extreme touchdown dependence 1 does make him someone who is hard to trust implicitly, especially if Adam Thielen is healthy enough to play in Week 14. But the Lions have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to TEs this season, and Rudolph’s nose for the end zone could be useful 2