3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 16
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 10.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yahoo Ownership: 41%
The wide receivers are dropping like flies for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mike Evans suffered an injury in Week 14 and is out for the rest of the year, and Chris Godwin is now likely joining him. Additionally, receiver Scotty Miller is banged up and tight end/"fifth receiver" Tanner Hudson is in the concussion protocol. The opportunity is there for O.J. Howard to be a target hog in a decent matchup.
Howard's on a modest roll as it stands. He's totaled 19 targets, 13 receptions, and 180 receiving yards in his last three games combined. Last week, he was targeted a season-high eight times. He's bested 45 receiving yards in three straight, and he's caught at least four passes in each of those games. Double-digit targets is within the range of outcomes against the Houston Texans.
As I teased, it's a solid matchup. Houston's tied for the 14th-most receptions (67) yielded to tight ends, and they've coughed up the 11th-most receiving yards (787) to the position, according to Pro-Football-Reference. A little back-of-the-napkin math reveals the Texans have ceded a somewhat juicy 11.75 yards per reception to tight ends. Furthermore, we ranked them as the seventh-worst pass defense in our power rankings entering Week 15.
The Buccaneers are three-point underdogs in their Saturday matchup against the Texans, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The game's over/under total is a fantasy-friendly 50 points, and Tampa Bay's implied total of 23.5 points is rock solid, too. Howard's the highest-owned tight end touted in this piece, and he's my favorite option out of the trio in this space.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
Yahoo Ownership: 31%
Noah Fant is dealing with some bumps and bruises. Last week, he was limited in practice due to hip and foot injuries. He proceeded to slam his shoulder into the ground when he was tackled on a long reception against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the result was that he exited for a bit before putting a brace on and resuming playing. Kyle Newman of the Denver Post reports the results of an x-ray on his shoulder was negative, but he had an MRI for further evaluation Monday.
Vic Fangio said they think Noah Fant's shoulder "will be fine." Came out briefly after injuring it on his 43-yard catch.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 16, 2019
As the tweet from Nicki Jhabvala indicates, Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio believes Fant's shoulder, "will be fine." Regardless, Fant's status for this week should be monitored entering the weekend. Assuming he is healthy enough to play, Fant's a strong streamer in a plus matchup after back-to-back good games with rookie Drew Lock running the offense.
In Week 14, Fant hauled in all 4 of his targets for 113 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Last week, he reeled in 2 of 3 targets for 56 receiving yards in snowy conditions. He's surpassed 55 receiving yards in four of his last six games, and the Detroit Lions appear ill-equipped to slow him down.
Entering last week, we ranked them as the 10th-worst pass defense, and they were promptly carved up by Jameis Winston for 458 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes. The Broncos are 6.5-point favorites at home this week, and their implied total is 22.25 points. Fant's not a safe play given his modest volume (he's been targeted just 10 times in Lock's three starts), but his big-play and catch-and-run abilities in a fantasy-friendly matchup make him a worthy dice roll at a bad fantasy position in fantasy championship week.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans
Yahoo Ownership: 13%
Prior to Week 15, Jonnu Smith was in the midst of a five-game streak of 30 receiving yards or fewer with only one touchdown grab in that stretch. In two of those games, he finished with bagels. His floor is literally zero fantasy points.
His only bright spot during that streak, though, was in Week 14 when he secured 3 catches on 4 targets for 29 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Last week, he hauled in all 5 of his targets for 60 receiving yards and added a 57-yard rush.
Jonnu Smith is a tight end.
And he’s as fast as any RB out there. @Easymoney_81 #Titans #HOUvsTEN
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Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/ALWDCpltog pic.twitter.com/3uFZFmhY4Q
— NFL (@NFL) December 15, 2019
As you can see in the video above, the 57-yard run was an actual designed running play. Smith flashed his speed -- putting aside the NFL Twitter account's hyperbole -- and ability with the ball in his hands. He's a yards-after-catch monster. Entering last week, his 6.9 yards-after-catch per reception was identical to George Kittle's mark, and it was tied for the third-highest mark among qualified tight ends. Also, in addition to last week's big game, he also caught 3 of 3 targets for 64 receiving yards in Ryan Tannehill's first start back in Week 7, and he was even better in Week 8 with 6 receptions for 78 receiving yards and 1 touchdown on 7 targets.
The Tennessee Titans are 1.5-point underdogs at home against the visiting New Orleans Saints, and the game has a robust over/under total of 51 points. The betting info suggests this has a good chance at being a shootout. Gamers could do worse than filling a weak position with a young tight end coming off of a strong game who's popped a couple other times this season playing with Tannehill.