Week 16 TE Rankings & Projections (PPR): Consistency

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2019 TE Fantasy Turnout

Tight end production this year started off slow. As the season has gone on and conditions have gotten colder, certain tight ends play a huge role in their offense. Given the likes of several wide receiver injuries, many tight ends for certain teams are getting more targets. Below is the top 25 TEs through 15 weeks of the season. 

Rank Team G Rec Yard TD Opponent Projection
1. Travis Kelce KC 14 86 1,131 4 Chicago Bears 14.92
2. Zach Ertz PHI 14 84 888 6 Dallas Cowboys 15.8
3. Mark Andrews BAL 14 58 759 8 Cleveland Browns 10.72
4. Darren Waller OAK 14 80 1,001 3 Los Angeles Chargers 11.92
5. George Kittle SF 12 73 888 4 Los Angeles Rams 15.2
6. Austin Hooper ATL 11 61 660 6 Jacksonville Jaguars 13.06
7. Jared Cook NO 12 38 577 6 Tennessee Titans 11.78
8. Hunter Henry LAC 10 45 565 4 Oakland Raiders 10.84
9. Darren Fells HOU 14 31 314 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers  7.11
10. Kyle Rudolph MIN 14 38 360 6 Green Bay Packers 9.48
11. Jason Witten DAL 14 57 491 4 Philadelphia Eagles 8.06
12. Noah Fant DEN 14 37 548 3 Detroit Lions 9.31
13. Greg Olsen CAR 12 48 552 2 Indianapolis Colts 0
14. Tyler Higbee LAR 12 52 546 2 San Francisco 49ers 11.28
15. Jack Doyle IND 13 40 425 4 Carolina Panthers 9.86
16. Evan Engram NYG 8 44 467 3 Washington Redskins 0
17. Dallas Goedert PHI 13 45 451 4 Dallas Cowboys 9.45
18. Ryan Griffin NYJ 13 34 320 5 Pittsburgh Steelers 0.56
19. Jonnu Smith TEN 13 32 376 2 New Orleans Saints 8.81
20. Jimmy Graham GB 14 33 382 3 Minnesota Vikings 6.13
21. Eric Ebron IND 11 31 375 3 Carolina Panthers 0
22. Mike Gesicki MIA 13 41 454 2 Cincinnati Bengals 9.16
23. Blake Jarwin DAL 13 30 351 3 Philadelphia Eagles 5.43
24. Gerald Everett LAR 11 37 408 2 San Francisco 49ers 0
25. Will Dissly SEA 6 23 262 4 Arizona Cardinals 0

Good Matchups

For one single spot in the fantasy lineup, consistency for tight ends are key. While the Chiefs are facing a usually stiff defense of the Chicago Bears, there is no reason to believe Kelce won’t reach or surpass his projections for this week. The Bears are 15th against tight ends for fantasy production. Given that Kelce hasn’t received a TD pass since Week 11, look for Mahomes to take shots at him in the red zone. The Bears’ defense also ranks 6th against wide receivers, so that may make him even more of a target and emphasis. Regardless, he will still get his targets and continue to add to his position leading 1,131 yards this season.

A big game with playoff stakes on the line between the Eagles and Cowboys makes Zach Ertz a great option this week. With numerous wide receiver and running back injuries, Ertz will certainly be a focal point of the offense. He is also looking to bounce back after a 2 rec 38 yds performance in Week 7 against Dallas. The Eagles will also be at home, and 5 out of 6 TDs for Ertz this year have been at home. The Cowboys are far from great against tight ends and this is a nice matchup for him. 

Some other great matchups for tight ends this week include George Kittle, Austin Hooper, and Hunter Henry. Kittle had 1 of his 3 hundred yard games this season against the Rams in the 1st matchup. Look for him and the 49ers to get back on track with a win, and that starts with Kittle being involved. Austin Hooper will have a favorable matchup against the Jaguars. Coming back from injury slow after 2 games, he will be in a much better rhythm this week. Hunter Henry is also looking to bounce back after 6 total catches and 78 total yards the past 3 weeks. He will face the 2nd worst team in the NFL for fantasy production versus tight ends in the Raiders defense. 

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Bad Matchups

Some tight ends with bad matchups include Jason Witten, Tyler Higbee, and Jack Doyle. The Eagles are 4th for defense against TE fantasy production this year. Given that the Cowboys will be playing at Philadelphia, look for them to establish the run game early and Amari Cooper involved. Tyler Higbee’s matchup against the 49ers defense will be tough strictly off the versatility of the 49er defense.

Without stellar play from Jared Goff, he may be a non-factor this game. Finally, Jack Doyle will be going against the 7th ranked Carolina Panther defense against TEs. Given the terrible run defense of the Panthers, look for the Colts to pound with Mack early and often. If they are able to get in the red zone consistently, Doyle’s value rises. Yet and still, do not expect a big day from him by any means.

Week 16 Fantasy Football Strategy

Week to week production has been consistent for most tight ends. While Kelce has only had 4 TDs this season, he has found a way to still lead tight ends for production and is the most reliable. Mark Andrews is such a threat given how prolific the Ravens offense is. They continuously find themselves in the red zone, but also utilize three different tight ends at times. 

If recency bias should ever be utilized, tight end is a great position for that. Tight end is the one position where the role does not change as much from week to week. In the past 6 games, Ertz has had a total of 464 yds and 5 total TDs. This is the very same reason to be nervous about a tight end like Hunter Henry given his slump.Yet and still, he has home run ability and could explode against a terrible Raiders defense.

Matchup is huge, but also how prolific the run game may be against the opponent. If the offense is clicking and often in the red zone, start that tight end over someone whose offense is trending down. At this time of the year, several teams are also banged up. With teams dealing with several receiver injuries such as the Eagles and Buccaneers, do not miss out on TEs that may have big games. Given this is fantasy playoff time, go all in for the home run or for the TEs who are trending up.

I am an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University studying economics and business. I serve as a member for the Sports Analytics Club at CMU. My interests include data analysis, fantasy, player projections, and performance evaluation.

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