Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 13 Edition
The Week 12 tight end landscape was a virtual wasteland.
When perusing the top-12 tight end scorers for the week, you're certain to see some names that literally no one started for fantasy purposes, making it very frustrating for those who rolled out the likes of Coby Fleener and Larry Donnell.
Of my five recommendations from last week, none finished with more than 4.8 PPR points, that being the aforementioned Fleener. Streaming the tight end position is a tough assignment, but sometimes even strong matchups mixed with good opportunity just don’t equate into fantasy production.
But after all the streaming sadness brought on by this weekend, the sun still rose in the east on Tuesday morning, and with it comes another opportunity to find plus matchups for under-owned fantasy tight ends.
Here’s to better results in Week 13.
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
Owned - ESPN: 47%, Yahoo: 30% Week 13 numberFire Rank: 18th
If anyone is going to end up a career-long, perennial fixture on streaming tight end lists from here until eternity, it’s probably Jared Cook.
Sure, he only had 3 catches for 27 yards last week against the Chargers, but he was targeted 9 times. He is continuing to see over 50% of the Rams’ offensive snaps, though the competition coming from Lance Kendricks is a bit concerning. At any rate, Cook has been more efficient with his snaps, and hopefully the Rams’ coaching staff begins to recognize and reward that.
Cook ranks 12th best in terms of Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) among tight ends with at least 30 catches, which shouldn’t necessarily blow your hair back, but his Week 13 matchup should certainly aid Cook’s prospects. Oakland ranks 19th against opposing tight ends, allowing 8.7 PPR points per game this season.
The targets are there, the athleticism is still there, and the matchup is favorable. He’s worth a gamble.
Tim Wright, New England Patriots
Owned - ESPN: 8.2%, Yahoo: 17% Week 13 numberFire Rank: 33rd
Attempting to predict Bill Belichick’s player usage is about as futile as trying to understand how Nickelback is still making new music and why people are still buying it. I mean, really, who are these people?
I guess he world may never solve either mystery.
Getting back on track, Tim Wright had a huge Week 12, finishing as the second-best tight end in PPR formats. He hauled in 5 catches for 36 yards and 2 touchdowns. His usage has been extremely inconsistent thus far this season, but it looks like New England may be making way for a large role for their in-season acquisition.
Wright saw a season-high 76% snap-rate last week, and while he will never challenge Rob Gronkowski for top-dog status, he did find himself wide open several times with Gronk getting double and triple-teamed. Wright has also been extremely effective given his limited opportunity, ranking fifth in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with at least 25 targets.
The Vegas line for Sunday’s game against Green Bay currently sits at 58.5, making it a prime target for fantasy purposes. Don’t expect another two touchdowns, but don’t be surprised if he gets one.
Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers
Owned - ESPN: 6.6%, Yahoo: 5% Week 13 numberFire Rank: 36th
We all know Aaron Rodgers is a wizard. We also know that Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have been tremendous all season long. So to tout a tight end from this already potent offense may seem a bit illogical.
But if we take a closer look, Andrew Quarless has the makings of a nice streaming play this week against New England.
Quarless has found the field on over 60% of the Packers’ offensive snaps for three consecutive weeks, and has 10 targets over that span. While it would be nice if Quarless was more involved, and if he could keep Richard Rodgers on the sideline, he does rank 10th best in terms of Reception NEP per target among tight ends with at least 30 targets.
The strength of the Patriots’ pass defense is what they do to opposing wide receivers – third-stingiest in the league. But against opposing tight ends, New England is much more forgiving – 22nd in the league.
Quarless comes with a frighteningly low floor, but if the Packers attack New England at their weak spot through the air, he could easily find pay dirt.