Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 5 Edition
In my tight end streaming article from last week, I mentioned a couple of options that were contingent on their injury statuses heading into their respective games. It turns out that Crockett Gillmore and Dwayne Allen didn't play.
Despite being accompanied by a decent amount of risk, I mentioned these two players because of their great matchups. One of the pivots I listed -- Coby Fleener -- ended up as the second-highest scoring fantasy tight end on the week, posting a 9-catch, 83-yard, 1-touchdown stat line on a gaudy 13 targets.
The Gillmore pivot, Maxx Williams, did not fare so well. He managed just 2 catches for 17 yards on only 4 targets. As a rookie tight end this isn’t entirely surprising, but the matchup against Pittsburgh made him intriguing at the very least.
Charles Clay was a streaming hit for the second straight week, finishing as the fantasy TE3 on the week. Even though the Bills struggled on offense against the Giants, Clay saw 13 targets and now has 20 in his last two games combined. Unfortunately, Clay has now moved outside of streaming territory as he is owned in the majority of ESPN and Yahoo leagues.
Let’s take a look ahead to Week 5.
Owned – ESPN: 44.7%, Yahoo: 55%
numberFire Positional Rank: 10th
This is the list of fantasy finishes by tight ends against the Oakland Raiders through the first four weeks: TE1, TE10, TE2, TE1. This has gone from an early-season trend worth monitoring to a weekly starting point for those who subscribe to the tight end streaming philosophy.
Owen Daniels has not been overly efficient with his targets thus far in 2015 -- ranking 29th in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target among the 35 tight ends with 10 or more targets. However, he has run the fourth-most pass routes of any tight end, meaning the opportunity for production should still be there.
There is some concern that the ultra-athletic Virgil Green could steal some of Daniels’s targets against the super-porous Raiders secondary, but the percentage of snaps played over the last three weeks should quell those worries. Daniels has played on 89 percent of snaps and Green on just 39 percent .
The Broncos currently have a 27-point implied team total according to Vegas, one of the highest on the week. Peyton Manning is an intelligent quarterback capable of attacking a defense's weakness. If we all know how bad Oakland has been defending the tight end position, I think he probably does too.
Owned – ESPN: 22.3%, Yahoo: 17%
numberFire Positional Rank: 19th
Slowly but surely, Richard Rodgers is becoming the third-best pass catching option on his team. And even though that might not sound very encouraging on other teams not residing in Green Bay, being attached to an Aaron Rodgers-led offense changes the perspective on these types of things.
Rodgers has 17 targets through 4 games, tied for 19th in the league among tight ends, but boasts a 76.5 percent catch rate, 9th among tight ends with 10 or more targets. He also played 90 percent of Green Bay’s offensive snaps last week. Randall Cobb and James Jones will still see the majority of the team’s targets, but with Andrew Quarless still sidelined, Rodgers is here to stay.
Green Bay’s Week 5 opponent, St. Louis, has allowed just 5.9 PPR points to opposing tight ends in 2015, good enough for 11th best in that category. Although the matchup isn’t great for Rodgers, the Packers do hold a 32.5-point implied team total, currently the second-highest on the week.
Of all the tight ends owned in fewer than 25 percent of fantasy leagues, Richard Rodgers represents one of the best bets to find the end zone in Week 5.
Owned – ESPN: 15.9%, Yahoo: 26%
numberFire Positional Rank: 24th
I know that Antonio Gates will be making his return from suspension this week and will likely regain his starting tight end spot immediately. This could result in a drastic decrease in both targets and snaps played for Green.
But there are factors pointing to Green still being a relevant fantasy option this week.
He has been very efficient so far in 2015, ranking third in Reception NEP per target among the 23 tight ends with 15 or more targets through Week 4. Steve Johnson, the Chargers’ second-leading receiver left last week’s game with a hamstring injury, making his availability for this week uncertain. If Johnson does miss Monday Night’s game against Pittsburgh, more targets open up.
The Steelers also give up the fourth-most PPR points to opposing tight ends, making this matchup an exploitable one for Green.
I can’t guarantee the Chargers will limit Gates’ snaps in his first game back, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the coaches eased the 35 year-old back into the game-plan, providing opportunity for Green.