3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 4
The tight end position in 2019 features distinct tiers. It's headlined by the elite trio of Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz. Behind them is a young trio of promising options who many gamers drafted expecting them to take a leap forward this year in the form of O.J. Howard. Evan Engram, and Hunter Henry.
Things haven't gone according to plan with Howard and Henry, but Darren Waller and Mark Andrews have helped add some talent to the position. Still, tight end continues to leave something to be desired. Whether you entered the year planning to stream or have been disappointed by the option you drafted, I've got you covered.
Below, there are three widely available options for streamers for the fourth week of the 2019 NFL season.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Yahoo Ownership: 19%
The Indianapolis Colts have a pair of solid tight ends in Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle. The former's the flashier option and coming off of a massive 2018 campaign, but the latter's a reliable pass-catching weapon, too. Last week, the two were nearly identically productive. Ebron reeled in 3 of 4 targets for 47 receiving yards, and Doyle secured all 4 of his targets for 46 receiving yards.
One area of advantage for Doyle in Week 3 was in playing time. Ebron played 51 percent of the offensive snaps while Doyle played 69 percent of them, per Pro-Football-Reference. While I mentioned the playing time being an advantage for Doyle in just Week 3, that's a bit misleading, Doyle's played a higher percentage of offensive snaps than Ebron in all three games, hovering right in the 70 percent range.
Doyle isn't simply out there blocking, either. Through the first two weeks of the season, PlayerProfiler credited him with lining up in the slot 29.2 percent of the time and participating in a route 56.4 percent of the time. Additionally, there's plenty of playing time available to both in multi-tight end sets.
Unfortunately, as is the case with the PlayerProfiler numbers, Sharp Football Stats hasn't updated their season stats at the time of writing. So, with that in mind, through the first two weeks, Sharp Football Stats had the Colts tied for ninth in 12-personnel (one running back, two tight ends, and two wide receivers) usage at 19 percent. They also credited the Colts with 13 dropbacks on their 24 plays run in 12-personnel. Furthermore, the Colts ran 14 plays (11 percent of their plays) in 13-personnel, which is one back, three tight ends, and one receiver. In that beefy formation, the Colts had two drop backs.
The Colts face the Oakland Raiders in Week 4, and the visiting Raiders have been no great shakes defending tight ends this year. Oakland's yielded the seventh most receiving yards (207) to the position at a whopping 15.92 yards per reception. Also, Doyle -- despite having only one target in the red zone on Jacoby Brissett's 17 passes in that area of the field this season -- gets a lift from the Colts' implied team total of 25.5 points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. As an added bonus, Doyle has staying power with another plus matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Yahoo Ownership: 13%
Like Doyle, Tyler Eifert has additional streaming appeal this week because the Cincinnati Bengals have a soft matchup -- the softest, in fact -- against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5. First things first, however, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a promising matchup for this week. In Week 2, Pittsburgh coughed up 1 reception on 1 target for 13 receiving yards to Nick Vannett and 5 receptions on 5 targets for 50 receiving yards and 2 touchdown receptions to Will Dissly. In Week 3, George Kittle hauled in 6 receptions on 8 targets for 57 receiving yards.
As for Eifert's bona fides, his work this season has been mostly uninspiring. He's yet to eclipse 30 receiving yards, but he does have one game with five receptions, and he's reached the end zone once. Also, his two targets in the red zone are tops on the Bengals. At the least, he's a reasonable touchdown-or-bust speculative play. If he's needed some time to shake the rust off after playing in only four games last year and six over the previous two years combined, this could make for a get-right matchup with some potential to be more than a touchdown-dependent streamer.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Yahoo Ownership: 1%
Rookie Dawson Knox is coming off of by far his most productive game as a pro. Last week, he rushed 1 time for 9 rushing yards, and he had 3 receptions on 4 targets for a team-high 67 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. The rookie's touchdown came on a one-yard reception.
It was a major improvement after dropping two of his six targets through the first two games of the year, according to Sports Info Solutions. Knox isn't the only one at fault for his lackluster production prior to last week's eye-catching performance, though. As Joe Buscaglia, Buffalo Bills beat reporter for The Athletic Buffalo, pointed out in a tweet during the first game of the year, Josh Allen threw a poor pass that cost Knox a long reception.
Dawson Knox ran a great route and that's a horrible ball by Allen. Knox had so much room to run after the catch. Would have been a 25+ yard gain. #Bills
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) September 8, 2019
Knox's production last week alone would make him at least a defensible streamer this week, but he also makes for a theoretically savvy play, as well. The Bills would be wise to avoid the all-world cornerback duo of Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty, opening the door for Knox to be an integral part of the passing attack for the second week in a row. Being a key cog through the air for the Bills could be especially fruitful this week, too, since they're 7.0-point underdogs against the visiting New England Patriots and could be playing catch-up quickly if the Pats' high-powered offense gets the scoring started early.