Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 14 Edition
Last week, Jared Cook, Tim Wright, and Eric Ebron saw just six targets...combined. All three took part in games that saw a fair amount of points - St. Louis scored 52 against Oakland alone - and yet, the top finisher among the group, Ebron, mustered just 5.3 PPR points.
If you plugged in Dion Sims following the Charles Clay injury news, he was adequate, finishing with 4 catches for 58 yards. Andrew Quarless caught both his targets for 17 yards, but it was the other Green Bay tight end, Richard Rodgers, who scored the touchdown.
The last two weeks of streaming picks have proven to be a strong shot of humility for me, and a reminder that this game that we all love so dearly can turn on a dime in an instant. But dwelling on the past does nothing to help us navigate the future.
Week 14 means first-round playoff matchups for some, while for others, it represents one last chance to punch your ticket. Let’s get it.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Owned - ESPN: 18.2%, Yahoo: 54% Week 14 numberFire Rank: 18th
After missing a majority of the 2014 season due to injury, Kyle Rudolph caught his first touchdown since Week 1 last week against Carolina, and is being worked back into the Vikings’ offense.
The targets aren't necessarily overwhelming - just eight in his last two games - but Rudolph has played 88% and 92% of his teams’ snaps in the last two weeks, respectively. The recent emergence of Charles Johnson is certainly encouraging, but without any consistent threat in the passing game (I’m looking at you, Cordarrelle Patterson), it’s easy to see Rudolph being utilized more as the Vikings near the home stretch.
Rudolph ranks sixth in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target among all tight ends with 20-30 targets this season. It’s clear that he's still ramping up to full-speed, but his Week 14 matchup could be what puts him over the top.
The Jets have allowed the second-most PPR points to opposing tight ends (11.03 per game), and rank 21st against the pass according to our metrics. If Teddy Bridgewater looks Rudolph’s way on Sunday, he could be in for big-time afternoon.
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
Owned - ESPN: 36.9%, Yahoo: 54% Week 14 numberFire Rank: 14th
Going back to the preseason, it would have been nearly inconceivable to imagine Jordan Cameron as “streaming” option at this point in the season. However, the lingering effects of a concussion have kept the freak athlete out of the lineup since Week 8.
And while fantasy owners who took Cameron in the fourth or fifth round this summer may have bailed on him by now, this signals our opportunity to pick up the pieces of their shattered dreams.
Cameron ranks 13th in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with 20-40 targets and has caught just 41.9% of the throws aimed his way. It’s also hard to know for certain how much Cameron will see the field if he plays. There’s also the fact that, as of Tuesday, the Browns haven’t announced a starting quarterback.
All these things must be highly considered, but the physical ability is certainly there, and the matchup Cameron potentially faces is golden.
Indianapolis ranks 30th against opposing tight ends, allowing 10.9 PPR points per game. They've also given up nine touchdowns to tight ends this season. If Cameron is available and active on Sunday, get him in your lineup.
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
Owned - ESPN: 10%, Yahoo: 8% Week 14 numberFire Rank: 19th
This pick is about as unsexy as it gets.
Jermaine Gresham really does nothing in any semblance of a spectacular fashion, and if it weren't for a very unfortunate and nauseating elbow injury suffered by Tyler Eifert back in Week 1, he might not even be seeing snaps.
But just as necessity has called Gresham into the Bengals’ lineup all season, we should look his direction this week for streaming purposes.
Gresham has not been very efficient this season, ranking just 19th in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with at least 50 targets, but he ranks 3rd on the team in targets. If Andy Dalton can somehow rediscover his mediocre quarterbacking skills, those become valuable targets.
But what really makes Gresham an attractive, lower-tier option this week is the plus matchup.
Don’t let Jimmy Graham’s Week 13 goose-egg fool you; Pittsburgh is not good at stopping the tight end, or anything in general. They allow 9.47 PPR points per game to tight ends and rank 24th against the pass according to our numberFire.