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Nothing impacted week 13’s fantasy output for tight ends more than injuries. On one hand, injuries to players like Gerald Everett and Eric Ebron opened up a plethora of opportunities for Tyler Higbee and Jack Doyle. On the other hand, injuries limited fantasy production for Zach Ertz, Greg Olsen, and T.J. Hockenson. As the season winds to an end, tight ends such as Jared Cook and Kyle Rudolph have asserted themselves as solid TE2 options. Unfortunately, tight ends like Jimmy Graham continue to struggle their way off fantasy rosters.
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With Gerald Everett out due to a knee injury, Tyler Higbee had seven catches, 107 yards, and one TD catch. He finished the weekend as the league’s most productive fantasy TE with 23.7 fantasy points and marked Higbee’s first outing with 10+ fantasy points this year. If Everett is unable to play in week 14, Higbee could become a great streaming option against a Seahawks defense that is surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points and third-most receptions to tight ends (Heavy Sports).
Jack Doyle excelled in his first game without Eric Ebron. In week 13, Doyle finished with six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Doyle has scored 10+ fantasy points in four of his last six contests, which means that he’s a fairly reliable TE option. He doesn’t have a high ceiling like Zach Ertz or Evan Engram, but Doyle is a modest TE2 option.
After being held without a touchdown through his first ten games, Mike Gesicki has hauled in a TD for two consecutive weeks. In week 13, Gesicki went off for five catches, 79 yards, and a TD for 18.9 fantasy points. The former Nittany Lion made the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense look horrendous due to his route running and large catch radius. Gesicki’s ceiling isn’t that high, but he is a quality streamer and a decent TE2 option for desperate fantasy owners.
Thanksgiving Day marked Jason Witten’s first 10+ fantasy point outing since week 10. The savvy veteran finished with six catches, 42 yards, one TD, and 18.2 fantasy points. For the most part, Witten is one of the most unpredictable fantasy tight ends in the league, who is neither matchup dependent, nor consistent. As a result of Witten’s inconsistency, he should only be used by desperate fantasy owners who are dealing with a tight end injury.
Darren Waller rounds out the tight end fantasy stud list due to his stellar game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite losing the game, Waller hauled in seven catches for 100 yards, thus concluding the day with 17 fantasy points. While Waller is firmly a TE2 option, fantasy owners should take note of the fact that Waller has been held without a TD reception for five weeks in a row. Nevertheless, he is averaging 8+ targets in his last three games indicating that the opportunities are there for Waller to always have a monster game.
After having three straight games with 18+ fantasy points, Ertz came back down to Earth with what he labeled one of the worst games of his NFL career. Ertz was limited to three catches, 24 yards, and six targets. Uncharacteristically, Ertz dropped two would-be touchdown passes that would’ve made him a fantasy stud and helped the Eagles avoid a gut-wrenching loss to the Dolphins. It’s important to note that Ertz was dealing with a hamstring injury for the majority of week 13, and might continue to limit him in week 14 against the Giants.
Against the Baltimore Ravens, George Kittle was predominantly a run-blocker, rather than a receiving option. The former Iowa Hawkeye finished with two catches for 17 yards in a game where his QB, Jimmy Garoppolo only had 165 passing yards. Due to weather conditions, the Niners were forced to run the ball even more than usual. If the Niners get into a shootout in 14 against the Saints, Kittle should be an integral component of the Niners receiving corps.
For only the second time this year, Hunter Henry was restricted to less than ten fantasy points. The former Arkansas Razorback was limited to only two catches for ten yards because the Chargers opted to target Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler instead. Hunter Henry’s fantasy owners shouldn’t panic because his week 13 game was most likely a fluke performance rather than an alarming sign. Even with Henry’s three-point dud, he is averaging 14.4 fantasy points since week six, meaning that Henry is still a quality TE1 with a high and consistent ceiling.
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Kyle Rudolph has officially cemented himself as a reliable TE2 option and might be heading to TE1 territory soon. On Monday, Rudolph finished with four catches for 50 yards and one TD to complete his fourth straight outing with 10+ fantasy points. Over his last four games, Rudolph is averaging 15.9 fantasy points due to his phenomenal success in the red zone. In fact, red-zone Rudolph is a monster who is averaging one full TD reception over his last six contests. At this point of the season, Kyle is the most reliable TE2 option and has a big possibility to go off against a shoddy Lions defense that has already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Over his last six outings, Jared Cook has generated 10+ fantasy points in every game. Despite being injured for two games this season, Cook is currently ranked second in terms of target share for Saints pass catchers. During the month of November, Cook averaged 72.8 receiving yards and 4.3 catches. Even though Cook is a reliable TE2 option, he is only averaging 6.5 targets over his last four games, which means that his ceiling is far from the highest in the league.
After suffering a concussion midway through the third quarter against the Redskins, Olsen was placed in concussion protocol. When Olsen was officially pulled from Sunday’s game, he finished with three catches for 22 catches. Before Olsen can get back onto the field, he will need to pass evaluations and official injury reports which won’t be updated until tomorrow. In my opinion, it’s highly unlikely that Olsen will return in week 14, so his backup Ian Thomas might be a good streaming candidate to add.
With Hockenson placed on injured reserve, his season is effectively over. Even if Hockenson had been healthy, he would be a streamer tight end who hasn’t scored 10+ fantasy points since week four. Similar to most rookie tight ends, Hockenson’s 2019 fantasy season was a big disappointment. Hopefully, Hockenson will have a bounce-back sophomore season, similar to George Kittle’s in 2018.
Jimmy Graham’s cold streak continued into week 13. Graham is currently ranked 21st in terms of fantasy points for a tight end and hasn’t scored more than ten points since week seven. The opportunities aren’t presenting themselves for Graham, who has been held under six targets in every game since week four (which was his only instance of 6+ targets). Over the past two weeks, Graham is averaging less than 2.2 fantasy points per game, and can’t seem to build chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. Graham has some good matchups in the future, so he might be in store for one or two impressive outings before the season ends. However, he is a streamer TE with a low ceiling and an even lower floor.
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