3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 4
The story of the tight end position is a tale similar to every sports offseason. There's annual optimism in advance of the season. Yet, optimism turns into reality without fail, and every team isn't playing for a championship. Or, in the case of tight ends, the many mid and late-round breakout candidates fail to materialize into weekly contributors.
Some fantasy players understand this reality and pounce on an early-round stud. Others recognize it and intend on streaming out of the chute. Still, many arrive in the streaming group unwittingly after their middle-tier or late-round dart throw flops.
Regardless of how you got here, this is your weekly home for tight-end streaming options. Below you'll find three widely available options for Week 1.
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 50%
Jared Cook is jostling for the third option in the Los Angeles Chargers' passing attack. For the year, he has one more target than Austin Ekeler, with 16 compared to 15. However, Ekeler's emerged the last two weeks after sporting a bagel in the targets category in Week 1.
Nonetheless, Cook can clear the low bar set among fringe starting options at tight end in 12-team leagues or larger. To that point, according to Stathead, among tight ends in 2021, he ranks tied for 10th in targets (16), tied for 13th in receptions (10), and 13th in receiving yards (111). Additionally, according to Pro Football Focus, he's tied for the seventh-most routes (92) at the position, and the Chargers move him around the formation, aligning him wide 20 times and in the slot 49 times on passing snaps.
Also, the offense is capable of supporting three or four pass-catchers. According to Pro Football Reference, the Chargers have attempted the fifth-most passes (126). The Las Vegas Raiders are this week's opponent, and they've ceded the eighth-most receptions (17) to tight ends this year. They were stung by Mike Gesicki for 10 receptions and 86 receiving yards on a dozen targets in Week 3. As a result, I lean toward this being a favorable matchup, and I view Cook as a top-12 tight end in Week 4.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 10%
Calling this a year-three breakout for Dawson Knox might slightly be overstating his play thus far this year. However, he's caught a touchdown in two of three games and cleared 40 receiving yards twice. Further, he's playing a ton and used as a pass-catching weapon in the Buffalo Bills' pass-happy offense.
Knox has run the ninth-most routes (90) among tight ends, aligning wide 16 times and in the slot 33 times. The Bills have kept him in to block only four times. A few more intriguing stats on his profile include securing 4 contested catches on 5 contested throws after reeling in only 9 of 22 his first two years. Also, he's sporting a career-low 9.1 percent drop rate after tallying a 23.7 percent drop rate as a rookie and a 10.5 percent drop rate last year.
Revisiting Buffalo's offensive tendencies, they've attempted the fourth-most passes (128), and that is despite hammering the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 and destroying the Washington Football Team in Week 3. They never take their foot off the accelerator.
In addition, the matchup with the Houston Texans provides hope for a fantasy-friendly showing this week. They're tied for the second-most receptions (21) allowed and have yielded the fifth-most receiving yards (230) to tight ends this year. Further, they haven't faced an imposing collection of tight ends yet, so those numbers aren't inflated by facing stud tight ends. Therefore, Knox is my favorite tight-end streamer this week with the potential to stick on rosters.
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 4%
Tyler Conklin logged exactly four targets in each of the Minnesota Vikings' first two games, and he matched his eight targets through two weeks in Week 3 alone. He secured 7 of them for 70 yards and a touchdown. He's in the weekly mix to be Minnesota's third option in the passing game behind the studly duo of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, jockeying with K.J. Osborn and whoever is healthy at running back, either Dalvin Cook or Alexander Mattison, for that distinction.
Surprisingly, the Vikings are tied for the seventh-most pass attempts (120) this year. However, that number is slightly inflated by playing overtime in Week 1, so I'm skeptical of them continuing to maintain a top-10 volume of pass attempts. Thus, if they slip to the middle of the pack or lower, Conklin's floor would slide with the slippage. Regardless, we can only work with what we've seen, and Conklin's early usage is promising.
He ranks fourth on the Vikings in routes (79), running one on 76.7 percent of his passing snaps. And, if the Vikings maintain their uncharacteristically pass-happy approach, there are enough targets to go around and support someone beyond Jefferson and Thielen. If you're rummaging around deep in the bargain bin for tight-end help, Conklin's a viable consideration.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.