Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 17 Edition
Week 17 is a dead week for the majority of fantasy football leagues, but just in case you play in a league with a championship to be decided this week, I’m here to drop some final streaming knowledge for the 2105 season.
Last week was a very low scoring week as far as fantasy tight ends were concerned with just six individual tight ends scoring touchdowns. Aside from Jordan Reed's monster two-score game and Zach Ertz's ridiculous 17-target, 13-catch performance, scoring at the position was relatively flat.
All three tight ends listed in last week’s article finished as top-12 fantasy options, hopefully playing a role in your league titles.
Zach Miller turned in yet another nice game, snagging 7 of his 8 targets for 69 yards, finishing as the TE7 on the week. Austin Seferian-Jenkins's TE6 finish was a bit misleading with his touchdown coming on a last-second Hail Mary throw from Jameis Winston, but it counts nonetheless.
And finally, Eric Ebron saw just 5 targets but converted 4 of them into 49 yards, finishing as the TE11.
Week 17 can be tricky with certain teams possibly resting starters in preparation for the playoffs. With that in mind, here are a few tight end options for those still fantasy owners playing this week.
Owned – ESPN: 41.6%, Yahoo: 37%
numberFire Positional Rank: 11th
It’s become clear that, with Martellus Bennett out of the picture, Zach Miller has become a reliable fantasy option. Remove Alshon Jeffery from the equation as well, and you have a top-end fantasy play.
It’s unclear at this point if the Bears will choose to shut Jeffrey down for the year with the season long gone, but either way, Miller should be on our radar this week.
Miller has seen 20 targets over the last three games combined, converting 18 into receptions. He has scored just two touchdowns over the last six games but remains a high-floor fantasy option, especially in PPR formats.
He continues to dominate playing time at the position, participating in at least 90 percent of the Bears’ offensive snaps in each game since Week 14.
Chicago possesses a 23-point implied team total against Detroit this week, a team that has given up 9.9 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season, fourth most in the league.
Miller’s ceiling is not incredibly high, but he has shown a reliable enough fantasy floor over the last four games for us to trust him for the season finale this week.
Owned – ESPN: 57%, Yahoo: 57%
numberFire Positional Rank: 13th
Hovering just above the normal 50% ownership cutoff level, I understand if Zach Ertz isn’t sitting on your local league waiver wire. But considering his recent target numbers, it would be malpractice for me not to mention him.
With 37 targets and 26 receptions over the last three games, Ertz has become the main pass-catcher in the Philadelphia offense. Even with fellow tight end Brent Celek healthy and active, Ertz has played 78 percent of his team’s offensive snaps over the last three games.
The matchup this week against the New York is a mouth-watering one, as the Giants have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season. The Eagles are road underdogs this week but still hold a healthy 24.5-point implied team total, according to Vegas.
Ertz has found the end zone just twice this season, making him a more viable play in PPR formats, but regardless, Ertz has seen massive volume over the last month, making him an excellent streaming play this week.
Owned – ESPN: 3.1%, Yahoo: 6%
numberFire Positional Rank: 21st
This is a much deeper play than the previous two options, but Vance McDonald is a very low owned tight end worth considering this week.
In the six games since Blaine Gabbert took over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, McDonald has been a hit-or-miss fantasy option, accumulating 81 percent of his receiving yardage and all of his touchdowns in just three of those games.
The 49ers/Rams game has the weeks’ lowest over/under (37.5) with the 49ers as 3.5-point underdogs. This means that with a lowly 17-point implied team total, San Francisco isn’t the most fertile fantasy field to pick from. But going "touchdown or bust" as we sometimes do at the tight end position, it's entirely possible that McDonald accounts for some of those 17 projected points.
If Ertz and Miller are your safe-floor options, McDonald represents a home-run swing -- with a bottomless fantasy floor, admittedly -- that fantasy owners looking for upside should be willing to consider.