3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 9
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 9.
Chris Herndon, New York Jets
Yahoo Ownership: 28%
Chris Herndon had a doubtful injury designation in Week 8 before the New York Jets ultimately made him inactive and kept him out. His injury status will require monitoring, but he's presumably heading in the right direction. It's possible -- if not probable -- he'll be eased into action when returning, but even capped playing time could be enough to deliver value against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins entered last week as our second-worst ranked overall defense and second-worst ranked pass defense. They've been no great shakes against tight ends, either. Entering Week 8, Pro-Football-Reference credited them with allowing 28 receptions for 369 receiving yards on 37 targets. They managed to sit in the middle of the pack in points allowed to the position as a result of yielding only one receiving touchdown to the position. Most likely, this is a good matchup based on the Dolphins having a bad defense.
As for Herndon, he played well down the stretch after Sam Darnold returned from injury last season. Among tight ends from Week 14 through Week 17 last year, Herndon ranked 16th in targets (16), tied for 15th in receptions (11), and 12th in receiving yards (157), per Pro-Football-Reference's Play Index tool. Those aren't eye-popping numbers, but they were fringe starting tight end numbers. That's good enough at a bad position to suggest streaming Herndon if he's healthy enough to play this week.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
Yahoo Ownership: 20%
The Philadelphia Eagles have an embarrassment of riches at tight end with both Zach Ertz and second-year pro, Dallas Goedert. While Goedert is the backup to Ertz, Philadelphia's usage of two-tight end personnel groupings has allowed him to reach at least 69 percent of the team's offensive snaps in four of the Eagles' last five games. He's coming off of a season-high in offensive snaps, and Adam Levitan of Establish the Run pointed out on Twitter that he played out of the slot or wide more than a handful of times.
Dallas Goedert set season-highs in snaps (55-of-73) and snap rate (75%) yesterday. Slot or wide 7 times.
Zach Ertz 66-of-73 snaps, 16 slot or wide.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 28, 2019
Being on the field is a good start for providing fantasy production, obviously, but being detached from the line and used as a pass-catching weapon is a big deal for Goedert's value this week as a streamer and going forward for the rest of the season. In fact, as Ian Hartitz of RotoWorld tweeted out, Goedert has ever so slightly outscored Ertz over the last five weeks.
Last five weeks ...
Dallas Goedert: 23 targets, 15-166-3, 47.6 PPR (TE9)
Zach Ertz: 33 targets, 20-234-1, 47.4 PPR (TE10) pic.twitter.com/FU0DaZeWe7
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 28, 2019
Goedert has managed to squeak by his teammate in scoring during that stretch despite lower volume due to reaching pay dirt more often. The second-year tight end has scored a touchdown in back-to-back games and three times in the last five weeks. The following is his touchdown against the Bills last week.
Go celebrate Dallas Goedert, today is your day! #NationalTightEndsDay #PHIvsBUF@Eagles | @goedert33 | #FlyEaglesFly
NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/a16R5wPShJ pic.twitter.com/4nBDHwW5Fz
— NFL (@NFL) October 27, 2019
Goedert has really shined in the red zone this year and been much better than Ertz in scoring territory. In the red zone this season, Ertz has parlayed 9 targets into 3 receptions, 1 touchdown, and -0.46 Target Net Expected Points (NEP) per Target. Comparatively, Goedert has hauled in 3 of 4 targets for 2 touchdowns and 0.83 Target NEP per Target in the red zone. Goedert's fantasy value is largely tied to his ability to score touchdowns, and he's been an asset for the Eagles in the red zone and should continue to get looks in scoring territory. Additionally, he's caught three or more passes in three straight games and bested 45 yards receiving in two of his last three games, making him slightly better than a touchdown-or-bust streaming option.
Darren Fells, Houston Texans
Yahoo Ownership: 19%
Darren Fells was touted as a streaming option at tight end in this space last week, and he delivered the goods. The big tight end in the Houston Texans' offense thumped the Raiders for 6 receptions for 58 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 targets. He also clearly separated himself from fellow tight end, Jordan Akins. Fells played 90 percent of the team's offensive snaps compared to Akins' 52 percent of offensive snaps played, per Pro-Football-Reference.
Fells is a red-zone weapon standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 270 pounds, according to the team's official website, and having a pro basketball background. Quarterback Deshaun Watson praised Fells in this piece by Drew Dougherty for NFL.com. Supporting Watson's praise of Fells is his usage of his big tight end in the red zone. Last week, Watson attempted 6 passes in the red zone and completed all 3 of his targets to Fells for 21 yards and a pair of touchdowns. For the season, Watson has attempted 38 passes in the red zone and chucked a co-team high 8 targets Fells' way for a team-high 5 touchdown receptions and a team-leading 1.9 Target NEP per Target.
Fells has already set new single-season highs in his age-33 season in receptions (23) and touchdowns (five). He entered this year with 10 touchdown receptions in 70 games played. His breakout has come out of nowhere, but his steady diet of work in the red zone bodes well for him avoiding the clock striking midnight. He's my favorite streaming option at the position, and he's playing his way into weekly starter status in 12-team leagues.
This week, the Texans have an implied team total of 24.75 points in London against the Jaguars, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The Jaguars are tied for the fourth-most touchdown receptions (four) allowed to tight ends this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. Expect Fells to be a key cog in Houston's offense when they're in the red zone this week, and the Jaguars don't appear to provide him much resistance.