3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 8
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 8..
Darren Fells, Houston Texans
Yahoo Ownership: 29%
It's debatable if Darren Fells is even the best tight end on the Houston Texans. Second-year pro Jordan Akins isn't a slouch, either. Having said that, Fells is getting and making the most of the more valuable looks.
To that point, Akins has reeled in 1 of 3 targets in the red zone from Deshaun Watson for a 15-yard touchdown. Conversely, Fells has hauled in 4 of 5 targets in the red zone for 54 receiving yards and 3 touchdown receptions. His three touchdown receptions in the red zone this year are tied with DeAndre Hopkins' trio of red-zone scores for the team lead.
Fells is a massive target at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, according to the Texans' official website. Add in his basketball background, and it's easy to understand why he's a red-zone favorite of Watson's. His standing as a top red-zone option on the Texans is the primary motivating factor for streaming him against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are tied for the second-most touchdown receptions (four) allowed to tight ends this year, per Pro-Football-Reference.
The Raiders were just clowned by Aaron Rodgers in Week 7, yielding five touchdown passes to him. The Texans are 6.5-point favorites with an implied total of 29.0 points in Week 8, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Fells is a nifty piece of exposure to that juicy total at the still-thin position of tight end.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Yahoo Ownership: 28%
Dawson Knox turned in a second clunker in as many games in Week 7. He entered the Buffalo Bills' Week 6 bye coming off of a poor showing in which he caught 2 of 5 targets for 12 receiving yards, and he came out of the bye with 2 receptions on 5 targets for 22 receiving yards. That's not good. The box score also doesn't reveal an ugly drop in the red zone.
On the plus side, it was the second game in a row in which he was targeted five times, a total that's his single-game high in his rookie season. Five targets might not seem like much, but Josh Allen attempted only 26 passes against the Dolphins in Week 7. Knox has a clearly integral role in Buffalo's passing attack, putting him on the streamer radar at the weak position of tight end.
This week, he'll look to return to his Week 3 and Week 4 form -- he totaled 6 receptions on 7 targets for 125 receiving yards and 1 touchdown and added a run for 9 yards for good measure during that two-week stretch -- against a reeling Philadelphia Eagles squad. The Eagles were just blasted by the Cowboys in the Week 7 Sunday Night Football contest, losing 37 to 10. They were drilled 38 to 20 in a Week 6 loss in Minnesota against the Vikings. In all, that amounts to 75 points coughed up over the last two weeks combined.
Knox's role in the offense makes him more than simply a touchdown-dependent streaming option. Having said that, Buffalo's implied total of 23.0 points isn't too shabby to be attached to. If picking between Fells and Knox as a streamer, I'd rather have the former than the latter -- namely in standard-scoring leagues. The gap is narrower in full-point point-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Yahoo Ownership: 28%
Kyle Rudolph's value this week ranges from touchdown-dependent streamer to top streaming option depending on the playing status of Adam Thielen. Thielen hurt his hamstring on a jaw-dropping 25-yard touchdown grab last week in which he demonstrated superb footwork to get both feet down. The Minnesota Vikings have a short turnaround hosting Washington in this week's Thursday Night Football game, and in Monday's estimated practice participation report on the team's official website, Thielen was listed as not practicing.
The Vikings are commanding 16.0-point favorites, so they might opt to play things extra cautious with Thielen as opposed to rushing him back for a game they should win handily anyway. Thielen's second on the Vikings in targets (40), receptions (27), and receiving yards (391) while leading the way in touchdown receptions (6). His absence would leave a big hole in the passing attack, and it's possible Rudolph could see some extra looks to make up for his absence if Thielen's out.
Where Rudolph theoretically stands to gain the most is in the red zone. Thielen leads the Vikings in receptions (5), targets (6), and touchdowns (3) in the red zone, and Rudolph's second in receptions (3), targets (4), and tied with three others for second with 1 touchdown in the red zone. He could ascend to the top of the red-zone pecking order if Thielen's out. Regardless, he's a big part of the team's red-zone offense, and that's a great role to have for a team with a gaudy implied total of 29.0 points. If Thielen plays, Rudolph's my least favorite streaming option of the highlighted trio, and he's my favorite of the bunch if Thielen's out.