Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 8 Edition

With Antonio Gates missing last week's game, our faith in Ladarius Green paid off handsomely. Now looking ahead to Week 8, which tight end options are in good spots to produce?

Facing the Oakland Raiders in Week 7, both Chargers’ tight ends -- Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green -- were firmly in play for fantasy football purposes. 

After news broke regarding Gates’ lingering injury sustained in Week 6, fantasy owners waited with bated breath on Sunday morning for more definitive news. Once Gates was ruled out, Green instantly became a top-option at the position and did not disappoint, finishing with 4 catches, 44 yards, and a touchdown, making him the TE4 on the week.

And while Kyle Rudolph caught just two passes on two targets, one went for a score, salvaging his fantasy outing for those who streamed him. Coby Fleener caught 3 passes for 47 yards, finishing as the TE16.

Although Jordan Reed doesn’t qualify for the purposes of this article due to his ownership percentages, if he is available -- only 41 percent owned in ESPN leagues -- pick him up immediately. He is a target monster, especially with DeSean Jackson still sidelined.

On to Week 8 with some lower-owned options in good spots to produce fantasy points:

Eric Ebron

Owned – ESPN: 27.3%, Yahoo: 23%
numberFire Positional Rank: 10th

After a disappointing rookie season in 2014, Eric Ebron has played inspired football in 2015, exceeding his receiving yardage and touchdown totals from last season in just five games. He’s posted at least 4 catches and 40 yards receiving in all but one game this season and has averaged nearly six targets per game.

He currently ranks 10th in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target among 30 tight ends with at least 20 targets, and with Brandon Pettigrew still banged up, Ebron should see all the offensive snaps he can handle.

His matchup this week against Kansas City is a tough one, as the Chiefs have given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Lions also have just a 16.75 implied team total, currently.

Despite the difficult opponent and low projected total, it’s difficult to find another lower-owned tight end option this week that should see around five targets, with the athleticism to make the most of them. 

Benjamin Watson

Owned – ESPN: 45.1%, Yahoo: 41%
numberFire Positional Rank: 9th

Benjamin Watson is closing in on his 35th birthday and will never be confused with a game-breaking tight end talent. But what he lacks in youthfulness, he has been making up for with consistency.

Watson has seen at least 5 targets in each game over the last three weeks, including 17 over the last two games combined. He has been playing a large majority of the Saints’ offensive snaps over that time period -- more than 85 percent each week -- and appears to have the confidence and trust of his quarterback, Drew Brees. He’s also been an efficient option, ranking sixth in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with 20 or more targets.

The Saints are at home this week and are going up against the New York Giants, who have surrendered more than 11 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season, fifth most in the league. New Orleans has a 27.5-point implied team total, meaning they should be in scoring position multiple times on Sunday.

Watson is far from a flashy option but one that those looking for a streaming option in Week 8 would be wise not to ignore. 

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Owned – ESPN: 9.7%, Yahoo: 26%
numberFire Positional Rank: 18th

This is a recommendation that hinges upon practice reports and news that we get throughout the week leading up to kickoff on Sunday.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins has missed the last four games with a shoulder injury, including last week's matchup against Washington which the team was targeting for his return. It’s clear that the shoulder injury was a rather serious one, making it difficult to trust Seferian-Jenkins unless we hear positive reports this week.

The matchup is tremendous for Seferian-Jenkins if he is indeed active, as the Atlanta Falcons have allowed 9.5 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends, seventh most in the league. In a very limited sample size -- just 10 targets -- Seferian-Jenkins leads all tight ends with an eye-popping 1.85 Reception NEP per target mark.

As seven-point underdogs this week, Tampa Bay is likely to have a high volume of passing attempts, meaning more opportunities for ASJ should he suit up. 

If Seferian-Jenkins is again ruled out, Heath Miller is a decent pivot assuming Ben Roethlisberger returns this week.