Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 4 Edition
I swear it to you now: I will never, ever start Jared Cook again.
Actually, that’s probably not true. When the right matchup presents itself, I’m sure my sick, masochistic brain will probably tempt me once again.
But it’s important to remember that, just because Cook did not yield the results we had hoped for last week, does not mean that our reasoning for starting him was wrong. The Rams were at home in a game with a high over/under, playing against a Steelers team that had shown little to no interest in stopping opposing team's tight ends.
The process did work out for my other two streaming options, Jordan Reed and Charles Clay. Both finished as top-six fantasy scorers at the position last week, hopefully propelling a lot of you to victories in your re-draft leagues, and some extra dough in daily fantasy formats.
Let’s keep the good vibes going as we head into Week 4.
Owned – ESPN: 24.7%, Yahoo: 45%
numberFire Positional Rank: 18th
After torching the Raiders in Week 2, a lot of fantasy owners were probably counting on Crockett Gillmore last week. Much to their chagrin, after posting 3 catches for 30 yards in the first half against the Bengals, Gillmore did not see the field at all in the second half.
His availability for Thursday Night’s game against Pittsburgh still seems in doubt, making this a situation that needs to be monitored closely as we move through the week.
However his target share through three weeks, the juicy match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his terrific efficiency metrics -- he ranks third in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target among tight ends with at least 10 targets -- are too good to ignore entirely.
Gillmore is third on the team in targets (13), second in receiving yards (151), and tied with Steve Smith for first in touchdowns (2). The Steelers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. If Gillmore suits up and is not expected to be limited, it’s a rather simple streaming formula.
I wouldn’t stop anyone from streaming rookie Maxx Williams -- owned in just 1% of leagues -- as the likely fill in if Gillmore does end up missing this game.
Owned – ESPN: 14%, Yahoo: 18%
numberFire Positional Rank: 8th
Charles Clay found his way onto last week’s installment of this article, and he did not disappoint. The Bills absolutely pounded the Dolphins, and Clay was a big part of the dismantling of his former team.
His seven targets, second most on the team, were an encouraging sign hopefully pointing to Tyrod Taylor becoming comfortable with the connection. Following the game, the Bills’ coaches seemed excited about what Clay can do, another positive sign for Clay's potential fantasy production.
The Bills return home this week to face off against the New York Giants. The G-Men have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to the tight end position through three weeks, and appear to have a clearly defined deficiency when their linebackers are forced into pass coverage.
Vegas likes Buffalo’s chances of scoring points as well, pinning them with a 29-point implied total. Clay is an efficient tight end -- ranking fifth in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with at least 15 targets -- capable of making an impact regardless of matchup. He is in an excellent spot to produce fantasy goodness for the second week in a row.
Owned – ESPN: 45.1%, Yahoo: 39%
numberFire Positional Rank: 21st
Here’s another situation that we need to be mindful of as we move toward Week 4. Dwayne Allen has missed the last two games with an injured ankle, but head coach Chuck Pagano is hopeful he will be able to return to practice this week. If he can go on Sunday against Jacksonville, he should be placed firmly into the streaming discussion.
The Colts were extremely lucky to escape with a win against the Titans last week, and I’m not fully convinced Andrew Luck has it all back together. But the Colts did score 21 fourth-quarter points and now return home to face the Jaguars.
Jacksonville has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, making Allen’s matchup a winnable one. The Colts also boast a 32.5-point implied total according to Vegas, meaning we could see something similar to what New England did to the Jags last week.
If Allen is healthy, he’s an attainable piece of an offense in a great spot to score lots of points. If Allen misses, pivoting to Coby Fleener, who is available in most leagues, is also an decent option.