3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 7
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 some breakout candidates, 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 Week 7.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
Yahoo Ownership: 24%
The sledding is typically tough for a rookie tight end, and Noah Fant hasn't proven to be an exception to the rule. The first-round pick of the Denver Broncos hasn't even reached the 40-yard plateau in a game this year, and his single-game high for receptions is only four. He's scored one touchdown, so he hasn't been a huge red-zone weapon, either.
He's been at his worst over the last two weeks totaling only 3 receptions on 4 targets for 22 receiving yards. Yuck. It's a short turnaround for the Broncos this week, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs in this week's Thursday Night Football game. On the plus side, this is a get-right matchup for Fant.
The Chiefs are tied for the most targets (64) and tied for the most receptions (46) allowed to tight ends this year, and they've coughed up the third-most yards (429) to them, per Pro-Football-Reference. Fant could have less competition for targets in this plus matchup, too. Emmanuel Sanders was limited to just 40 percent of Denver's offensive snaps before leaving early with a knee injury in Week 6. He was listed as a limited practice participant on Denver's estimated practice participation level, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk at NBC Sports. The Broncos have a respectable implied total of 22.75 points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, adding to the appeal of using Fant.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Yahoo Ownership: 8%
The Buffalo Bills were on bye in Week 6, and they'll return to action with a Charmin-soft matchup against the still winless Miami Dolphins. In a game many dubbed the Toilet Bowl between Miami and Washington in Miami, the Dolphins were unable to convert a two-point conversion late to steal a win. This is a lengthy way of reiterating the Dolphins are awful, and they entered Week 6 ranked as the second-worst pass defense in our rankings.
The Bills are massive 16-point favorites hosting the Dolphins this week, and they have a robust implied total of 27.75 points. Getting pieces of exposure to them makes sense for fantasy gamers, and that includes rookie tight end, Dawson Knox. When we last saw Knox, he was held to only 2 receptions for 12 receiving yards, but he set a new single-game high with 5 targets in Week 5 in Tennessee against the Titans.
Additionally, for the second time in as many weeks, Knox set a new best in the percentage of offensive snaps played. In Week 4, he played 67 percent of Buffalo's offensive snaps. He upped that to 72 percent in Week 5. The new highs in targets and playing time bode well for Knox's outlook going forward.
He has a delectable matchup for feasting and turning things back around this week after snapping a streak of back-to-back games besting 55 receiving yards in Week 3 and Week 4 with his clunker in Week 5. The Dolphins have faced the eighth-fewest targets (31) to tight ends, but they've served up 25 receptions and the ninth-most receiving yards (338) to the position. Knox's floor is low as a rookie who doesn't command a huge target share in an offense that is willing to use all of its personnel to take what the defense gives it or exploit matchups. Knox has played well enough this year and carved out a significant enough role in the offense to warrant streamer appeal against a speed-bump defense, though.
Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks
Yahoo Ownership: 0%
The Seattle Seahawks were dealt a blow in their Week 6 victory with Will Dissly suffering what's expected to be a season-ending injury for the second time in two professional seasons. The team had previously traded Nick Vannett to the Steelers, and Ed Dickson is on Injured Reserve and at least a couple of weeks away from returning. That leaves Jacob Hollister and Luke Willson.
Willson is in his second stint with the Seahawks after signing with the team not even a month ago. Expectations should be kept in check, obviously, but he's ahead of Hollister in the pass-catching pecking order among Seattle's healthy tight ends. Jared Smola of Draft Sharks points out Willson ran more routes than Hollister after Dissly's exit.
#Seahawks TE routes with Will Dissly exiting early in Week 6:
Luke Willson - 20
Jacob Hollister - 13
— Jared Smola (@SmolaDS) October 14, 2019
In three games played this year, Willson's hauled in 5 of 6 targets for 52 receiving yards. Those numbers hardly get the juices flowing, but he was also the second tight end behind DIssly. There's growth potential for Willson's role in the wake of Dissly's injury.
Dissly ranked third on the team in targets (27), second in receptions (23), third in receiving yards (262), and first in touchdown receptions (4). It would be foolish to expect Willson to simply duplicate Dissly's numbers, but the tight end has played an integral role, collectively, in the offense this year and last year, Brian Schottenheimer's first as Seattle's offensive coordinator. In 2018, DIssly, Vannett, and Dickson combined for 70 targets, 49 receptions, 568 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns.
The touchdown production is the standout number in the statistical profile from last year's tight end's room, and it helps support using Willson as a streamer against the Ravens his week. Russell Wilson has attempted 35 passes in the red zone this year, and he's completed 4 of 6 targets to Dissly for 39 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns while missing his lone target to Willson. When Willson was last with the Seahawks in 2017, Russ completed 3 of 4 targets for 24 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns to his veteran tight end. Willson also made his presence felt in the red zone in 2016 with 3 receptions on 3 targets for 28 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
There's previous success in the red zone between the quarterback and tight end to refer to, and Seattle's implied team total of 27.25 points suggests they'll likely score points in bunches. At the least, Willson's a viable touchdown-or-bust option. There might be a tick more upside than that, too.