Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 16 Edition
Last week was up-and-down when it came to my streaming recommendations. Jared Cook let us down despite the matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, a team he has routinely crushed throughout his career, finishing with just 5.2 PPR fantasy points.
Mychal Rivera saw a mad amount of target volume (12) but managed only 10.9 fantasy points on 7 catches. And Charles Clay was adequate, hauling in 6 of his 7 targets for 59 yards, providing decent output for streaming owners.
I’m hoping that if you’re reading this, it means you have avoided all the pitfalls and landmines that go along with every fantasy football campaign, and that you now stand at the precipice of greatness -- or at the very least, a fantasy football championship.
I hope these streaming calls are enough to get you to the promised land.
Go get ’em.
Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens
Owned - ESPN: 17.6%, Yahoo: 40% Week 16 numberFire Rank: 14th
Prior to last week, Daniels caught 8 passes for 84 yards, with no touchdowns on 14 targets from Weeks 10 to 14. But his 4/62/1 line on 9 targets in last Sunday’s win over Jacksonville perhaps gives us hope that, as the Ravens fight for a playoff spot, they will use Daniels more often.
Daniels ranks 10th in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per Target among all tight ends with at least 50 targets (0.66) -- slightly above Jimmy Graham (0.65). And while Graham is having a sub-par year by his standards, it’s clear Daniels has been no slouch himself.
After seeing 90% or more of the offensive snaps in each of his last three games, Daniels now faces Houston, who ranks sixth in points allowed to tight ends (5.6 per game), so the matchup isn’t fantastic. But we are looking for likelihood of targets when streaming tight ends, and among the available options, Daniels should be close to the top of the list.
Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders
Owned - ESPN: 18.5%, Yahoo: 26% Week 16 numberFire Rank: 22nd
Another streaming option with a difficult matchup that still provides a decent upside is Mychal Rivera.
Even though his yardage output last week was disappointing -- 39 yards on 7 catches -- the fact that he was targeted 12 times should be what we take away from last week’s box score. Rivera has now seen at least seven targets in six of his last eight games, catching five or more passes in five of those same eight games.
As was stated above, the matchup this week is rough, as Buffalo is allowing 4.5 points per game to opposing tight ends, first in the league. The Bills also rank first against the pass according to our metrics, but it should give us some hope that Rivera has been one of the most consistently targeted tight ends over the last half of the season.
In non-PPR leagues, he can be tough to trust due to his inconsistent yardage and touchdown totals, but if you play in a PPR league, Rivera presents a good amount of theoretical safety at an extremely volatile position due to his usage over the last few weeks.
Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
Owned - ESPN: 0.7%, Yahoo: 3% Week 16 numberFire Rank: 18th
All offseason, Zach Ertz was touted as the Eagles’ tight end to own for fantasy purposes. But now as we are nearing the end of the 2014 regular season, Brent Celek has quietly become the tight end to own in the City of Brotherly Love.
Having both Ertz and Celek around has cannibalized each players’ production to some extent, but Celek has averaged four targets per game over the last four and has finished with at least 48 yards twice during that span.
Celek has seen 70% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps over the last three games, out-snapping Ertz in each game, and while he hasn’t been overly efficient according to our metrics -- 21st in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with 50 or more targets -- the matchup he faces this week is absolute gold.
Washington ranks dead last against the pass according to numberFire metrics and is giving up 10.2 points per game to opposing tight ends.
Celek is no sure thing, but Vegas projects the Eagles to score 32.75 points, so expecting some fantasy production from Celek isn’t a crazy idea.