It’s Week 16 people. While some teams may have to go through the formality of playing in Week 17, for the majority of folks This is it. This is why you lift all those weights. Why you make all those waiver claims. This is why you have to negotiate with fools in your league to pull off trades that in theory should benefit everyone. This is what you spend your FAAB to achieve. It’s Championship Week, and you need help at tight end to get you over the line. Let’s do this.
As always, these players are available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues at the time of writing.
DALLAS GOEDERT (AVAILABLE IN 57.1% OF ESPN LEAGUES) vs. DALLAS COWBOYS
Don’t believe there were too many people who, at the start of the 2019 season, predicted that the best wide receiver on the Eagles roster would be Greg Ward. Yet here we are. Ward has chipped in with 11 grabs for 95 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks, but when it comes to the crunch Carson Wentz is going to lean on his TEs. The Eagles lead the NFL with 134 TE receptions after all.
Zach Ertz will get his usual diet of targets, but there should still be plenty of work for Dallas Goedert. Goedert has commanded at least five targets in each of his last seven games and six or more in his last five. He’s finished as a top 12 TE four times in his last five outings.
He hasn’t topped 69 yards in a game yet in 2019, but he has topped 41 yards in each of the last three games. Plus those 69 yards did come against the Cowboys back in Week 7. The Cowboys have allowed the third-most receptions to TEs this season and in their last two games, they’ve seen J.P. Holtz (3-56) and Tyler Higbee (12-111) go off against them. For me, this is a clear case of finding a Dallas you can support this week.
TYLER HIGBEE (61%) vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Since 2010 only two TEs have delivered a run of three consecutive games with at least 100-yards receiving. Jimmy Graham, who had two runs of four such games in 2011 and 2013 and Tyler Higbee. Yes, Tyler Higbee.
Higbee has 1,218 receiving yards in his NFL career and 334 of them (27.4%) have come in the last three games. He’s been a damn near revelation. Selecting Higbee this week is banking on his seeing the same sort of volume that he’s had over the last few weeks. His 26 targets since Week 13 is the most among all TEs, after all.
But the 49ers defense is no friend to the TE. Only the Panthers and Ravens have allowed fewer receptions to the position than the 52 the 49ers have given up. No team has allowed fewer receiving yards, with the 49ers only surrendering 418.
JACOB HOLLISTER (55.3%) vs. ARIZONA CARDINALS
A TE streaming option … in fantasy championship week … playing the Arizona Cardinals. You could barely have written up a better script for Jacob Hollister heading into Week 16. Hollister has cooled somewhat after his bursting into our consciousness back in Week 10 with his big game against the hitherto stingy 49ers defense. That game marked the last time he put up more than 44 yards in a game and he hasn’t scored a touchdown since. But he has played at least 69% of the snaps in every game since and commanded four or more targets in three out of four of them. Even last week when he only saw three looks he caught all of them.
And lest we forget, the Seahawks are playing the Cardinals. They lead the league in receiving yards allowed to the TE spot (998) and touchdowns (15) while only four teams have allowed more receptions than the 82 the Cardinals have seen.
Twelve different TEs have found the end zone against them this season including Will Dissly back in Week 4. Hollister would do well to honor his fallen comrade by mirroring his achievement this week.