Tight End Streaming: Week 4 Edition
A. characters from the 1990s sitcom Friends.
B. members of the band Hanson.
C. the third- and fourth-highest scoring tight ends from Week 3.
If you answered "A," there's a good chance your cable provider does not carry TBS. Congrats to those of you who answered "C." You are what Patriot fans might call wicked smart.
As top-4 tight ends last week, Chandler and Miller scored 13 and 12 points respectively in ESPN standard scoring leagues. The list of top-12 Week 3 tight ends also includes the highly coveted Gavin Escobar, Dion Sims, Levine Toilolo, Joseph Fauria, and Luke Willson, who, as far as I know, is not Owen Wilson's brother.
These guys are poster children for tight end streaming. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of tight ends yearning to breathe free. Seven of the top-12 and 15 of the top-24 tight ends in week three came off the proverbial scrap heap. Meanwhile, Tony Gonzalez, Owen Daniels, and Martellus Bennett finished outside the top 28. So, streamers, it's all about finding that piece of coal that becomes a week-four diamond. With our first bye week upon us, it's time for even more owners to sail the tight end stream.
Week 4 Streamers
Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins (owned in 11.9% of ESPN Leagues)
It took a preseason injury to Dustin Keller to teach us that Charles Clay can play. Clay has 203 yards on 14 receptions and a rushing touchdown over the first 3 games of 2013. His net expected points per target of .67, which gives us an idea of how many real points a player contributes to his offense, is better than that of Greg Olsen and Jared Cook. We project that Clay has a better chance to score a touchdown during Week 4 than every other tight end except Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, and Antonio Gates.
Miami's second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill is off to a solid start and has improved his production through the first three games of 2013, and he's not shy about using his tight ends. Clay was targeted six times and caught four balls for 40 yards in Week 3, and Dion Sims cashed in on his only target with a one-yard touchdown. Look for Tannehill to continue feeding the tight end position again New Orleans on Monday night as the Dolphins try to keep up with the high-octane Saints.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (owned in 7.6% of ESPN Leagues)
He's back, baby! Miller returned to the Steelers in week three after recovering from a torn ACL. Remember, Miller had a career season in 2012, going for 816 yards and 8 touchdowns over 15 games. He also put up an impressive receiving NEP per target .81 last season, far better than the .67 receiving NEP per target earned by top tight end Jimmy Graham.
Limited to 39 of 66 snaps last week, Miller finished his first game back with 35 yards on three catches. He looks to see the field more this Sunday, possibly without any restrictions. With Antonio Brown exploding for almost 200 yards in Week 3, look for the Vikings to key on Brown. This could lead to more room for Miller, who, if healthy, could regain his status as a weekly fantasy starter. The Vikings have also allowed six tight end touchdowns in three games this season.
Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks (owned in 7.6% of ESPN Leagues)
Two catches. Two touchdowns. Not too shabby. One of my week three deeper sleepers, Zach Miller had only five yards in on Sunday, but just two short catches landed him at number four in fantasy points scored amongst all standard scoring tight ends last weekend. Although he's caught only seven passes in three games, Miller has an impressive .84 receiving NEP per target, telling us that he's done a lot with a little. We project an increase in yardage in week four, and we think Miller has a better chance to touchdown dance than Brandon Myers and Kyle Rudolph. Miller is a week-four streaming option.