Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 7 Edition

With recent tight end phenom Gary Barnidge now too highly owned to be considered a streamer, here are a few worthwhile options for Week 7.

Whether we’re witnessing the emergence of a new NFL star or just a shiny flash in the pan that will be gone before we know it, what Gary Barnidge is doing to opposing defenses right now is damn fun to watch.

Despite having a difficult matchup last week against the Denver Broncos, Barnidge still found pay dirt twice, finishing as the TE5 on the week. Now with ownership levels that take him out of the streaming qualifications, we must find another tight end streamer to fill out our fantasy rosters.

The other two picks from last week’s article -- Richard Rodgers and Larry Donnell -- finished as the TE27 and TE26, respectively. Rodgers hauled in just 2 catches on 5 targets, totaling 5.4 PPR points while Donnell had a poor outing highlighted by a potential catch wrestled away by an Eagles defender resulting in a turnover. 

If you picked up Barnidge at some point this season, you have what appears to be an every-week starter at the position. For those that missed the boat, don’t despair. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, starting with Week 7.

Ladarius Green

Owned – ESPN: 15.5%, Yahoo: 27%
numberFire Positional Rank: 23rd

In the two games since Antonio Gates returned from suspension, Ladarius Green has seen his targets drop each week (5 in Week 5 and 4 in Week 6) but has still finished as a top-15 fantasy option in both weeks.

Green has been extremely efficient given his workload, ranking third in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target among 23 tight ends with 20 or more targets through Week 6. He’s still seeing the field a good bit even with Gates back in the fold, playing 67 percent of the Chargers’ offensive snaps over the last two weeks.

Green gets the chance to face the Oakland Raiders this week, a team that has surrendered nearly 15 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends. Other than the Owen Daniels debacle in Week 5, tight ends facing Oakland have finished as the weekly TE2, TE1, TE2, and TE1.

With both Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson still questionable to play this week, it’s possible that both Gates and Green could be targeted heavily against Oakland. If one or both of Allen and Johnson are out, we should feel even more comfortable about rolling out Green in a game where San Diego has the sixth-highest implied team total (27.5 points) based on Vegas odds. 

Coby Fleener

Owned – ESPN: 16.8%, Yahoo: 18%
numberFire Positional Rank: 11th

Watching Coby Fleener play football can be an extremely painful experience. For every positive play, there seems to be two or three moments of absolute incompetence. So far in 2015, Fleener ranks 21st in Reception NEP per target among 27 tight ends with 20 or more targets. He also shares playing time with Dwayne Allen, a serviceable player in his own right.

But there are reasons to like his prospects as a streaming option this week.

First, the Indianapolis offense currently has an implied team total of 31 points, third-highest on the week. When searching for streaming options, it’s always wise to start with teams expected to score multiple touchdowns.

Second, the Colts’ opponent this week, New Orleans, has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends on the season. And finally, Fleener has played 69 percent of the Colts offensive snaps over the last three weeks, meaning he should still have opportunities to produce on Sunday.

The inefficiencies and inconsistencies in Fleener’s game relegate him to no more than streamer or bye-week fill-in status, but should you need either of those things in Week 7 however, he’s certainly worth a look.  

Kyle Rudolph

Owned - ESPN: 31.5%, Yahoo: 50%
numberFire Positional Rank: 20th

Through the first six weeks of the 2015 season, the Minnesota Vikings’ offense can be described in one word: anemic. Averaging just 19.2 points and 305.6 total yards of offense per game, it’s difficult to trust any piece of this offense fully right now.

With that said, Kyle Rudolph presents an interesting opportunity for those looking for a streaming option this week.

The bad news is he’s secured just two catches in each of his last three games, twice failing to reach double-digit yardage totals. The good news is Rudolph has been targeted at least five times in all but one game so far this season, and the Vikings also have a 25.25 point implied team total this week against Detroit. The Lions have also given up the eighth-most PPR points to opposing tight ends this season.

Rudolph has also played 88 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season and continues to have very little completion for playing time at his position.

As with almost all streaming tight end options, we’re hoping for a touchdown. Rudolph’s floor is admittedly low due to his lack of run-after-catch ability, but he does represent a big-bodied option for Teddy Bridgewater should the Vikings make multiple red zone trips against Detroit.