3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 13
It's already Week 13? In this economy?? That joke didn't make sense, but neither does 2020.
Regardless, I will put on a brave face. It's time to give the people what they want, nay, crave -- tight end streamers. The good ones.
Throughout the season, this column should/will/must be your go-to resource for identifying tight ends to stream when you're in a pinch. Based on monitoring 12-team Yahoo! roster percentages, everyone listed will be rostered in fewer than 60% of Yahoo! leagues.
Outside of Mark Andrews going on the COVID-19 list, it was thankfully a clean slate for tight end injuries. There's a lot to shake out still, but Andrews has plenty of time to recover and test negative ahead of the Baltimore Ravens' next game, whenever that may be.
Based on the incredible reputation of this column (surely it's famous by now), Week 12 was a solid week. We bravely went back to the well on column staple Logan Thomas, who scored a touchdown and finished as the TE8 on the week. The process was solid on Jordan Reed, who didn't muster a good box score but still ran 25 routes and saw 6 targets despite a tough matchup. That's still usage worth chasing if you're streaming at tight end. It's also worth noting Nick Mullens missed Reed wide open on what should've been a big gain.
Finally, Jordan Akins put up a stinker, but only because he dropped a long touchdown and had another red zone target go off his fingertips. Tilting? Always.
It usually takes a good six weeks before positional points allowed data is somewhat reliable. Now that we're there, I'll lean a bit heavier on points allowed to the position in this process where applicable. In the end, though, we're chasing opportunity.
We're not exactly shooting fish in the barrel with tight end streamers, but we'll aim for more successful plays in Week 13.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Roster Percentage: 15%
The problem with publishing this article so early in the week is we don't have the benefit of late-week breaking news. With Irv Smith Jr. battling a groin issue and Adam Thielen on the COVID-19 list, Kyle Rudolph became an obvious streamer late in the week. Yours truly played him, and I was rewarded with the 11th-best tight end performance of the week.
Again, we have no idea how this week will shake out. But with DNPs on Thursday and Friday, it doesn't appear Irv was all that close to suiting up last week. Rudolph has now had a true TE1 role in games Smith has missed, running the second-most routes among all tight ends (37) on Sunday, per Rotoworld.
While we shouldn't expect the Jacksonville Jaguars to push the Minnesota Vikings into another back-and-forth game script, that's exactly what the Jags did against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Either way, Minnesota will carry a very high team total (30.25) in a great matchup. If Smith is out again, Rudolph's touchdown odds will be as good as any tight end not named Travis Kelce. 2020 strikes again.
Jordan Reed, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Roster Percentage: 25%
There is no logical reason that Jordan Reed is rostered in half as many Yahoo leagues as Tyler Higbee. As mentioned above, Reed ran 25 routes (on 35 Nick Mullens dropbacks), and secured himself a very solid 17.1% target share. He was targeted on 24% of his routes run.
Buffalo has been a top-10 fantasy matchup for tight ends this year despite facing the New York Jets twice, the New England Patriots, and the Arizona Cardinals. Mike Gesicki had his career best game against them, Darren Waller had 88 yards, Jonnu Smith and Travis Kelce each scored two touchdowns, and the Seattle Seahawks tight ends combined for 99 yards.
In a game we expect San Francisco to play from behind, Reed is a legit tight end streamer in a week bereft of great options. The floor is low, but Reed is one of the few tight ends with legitimate two-touchdown upside (like he put up in Week 2).
Trey Burton, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Roster Percentage: 19%
Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans
Roster Percentage: 4%
Okay, so I'm hedging a bit here. Sue me! The thinking is that we have some murky roles here but decent stabs at upside. It's early in the week, but this game has one of the highest totals at 52.0, it has a small spread of three points (it actually opened Colts -2.5), and it will be played in a dome. It has good chances of being a shootout.
Trey Burton is tough to stomach because Philip Rivers spreads the ball around, and he's in a three-way committee. But coming off a touchdown and six targets, Burton at least has a projectable role. Burton has seen five or more targets in five games this season, which is more than we can say for most streaming options. Fresh off allowing 89 yards to T.J. Hockenson, Houston is not an imposing matchup. Again, connecting your tight end to a high team total, good game environment, and competent (or better) quarterback play is good process.
As I discussed above, Jordan Akins would be a much more palatable play had he not dropped a touchdown and been slightly overthrown by Deshaun Watson on another red zone attempt. Akins checks all three boxes above, connected to elite QB play in a potential shootout.