Week five was not the best one for tight ends. Jimmy Graham got hurt after only two receptions for 36 yards. Martellus Bennett stayed healthy, but managed only three receptions for 17 yards on his five targets. Fast rising tight end star Larry Donnell was targeted only once and had no receptions. In short, 60% of the five highest priced tight ends were busts in week five. Let’s hope things turn out better for our tight ends this week!
The Elite TE
|Julius Thomas||Denver||$6,700||@ New York Jets||23rd||21.9||24.6|
|Antonio Gates||San Diego||$6,100||@ Oakland||14th||15.7||22.0|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||$5,800||@ Buffalo||15th||14.1||25.0|
|Martellus Bennett||Chicago||$5,500||@ Atlanta||2nd||18.0||4.7|
Julius Thomas, Denver, $6,700 – Another week, another productive game for Thomas. Thomas has caught at least one touchdown in every game this season, has topped ten fantasy points in every game and topped 20 fantasy points in two of his four games. He is averaging 21.9 fantasy points per game this season and facing a Jets defense that has been below average against tight ends this season. Thomas is once again a good play this week.
Antonio Gates, San Diego, $6,100 – While Thomas has been consistently good all season, Gates has had two monster games, one good game and two bad fantasy games this season. Gates would seem to be set for one of the monster games facing a bad Oakland defense. We thought that week four when he faced a bad Jacksonville D, a game in which he managed only six fantasy points. In the realm of interesting, but probably meaningless stats, Gates is averaging only eight fantasy points on the road this season. Honestly, I do not know what to expect from Gates this week which is why I am avoiding him at that price.
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $5,800 – Like Gates, Gronkowski has not been as good on the road as he has been at home – he is averaging 10.8 fantasy points per game on the road, 19.2 fantasy points per game at home. Unlike Gates, we can explain away Gronkowski’s struggles in away games somewhat. His first two games this season were on the road and he was still not close to 100%. He might not be 100% yet, but is looking better every week. I have no issues using Gronkowski as my tight end this week.
Greg Olsen, Carolina, $5,700 – Perhaps Olsen was a little extra motivated to show up his former team last week? Olsen did manage his best game of the season against his old team, then again, this is not the “old” Bears with a good defense. Regardless, Olsen has had one bad game all season, has two games where he has topped 20 fantasy points, is averaging 16.7 fantasy points per game and facing a team that has struggled against tight ends – and has suffered a lot of defensive injuries already this season. Olsen is a very nice play this week.
Martellus Bennett, Chicago, $5,500 – Bennett failed to return value last week; he managed only 4.7 fantasy points against the Carolina defense. He once again draws a tough matchup facing an Atlanta defense that has been very tough against opposing tight ends — they have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. The Falcons D has also been pretty bad against every other position, yet very tough against tight ends. With both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery at or close to 100%, Bennett is likely to see fewer targets. I would much rather spend the extra $200 for Olsen than start Bennett this week.
Five Mid-Priced TE
|Delaine Walker||Tennessee||$5,300||vs Jacksonville||30th||16.7||8.7|
|Niles Paul||Washington||$4,800||@ Arizona||28th||11.8||1.6|
|Dwayne Allen||Indianapolis||$4,400||@ Houston||12th||11.9||15.9|
|Owen Daniels||Baltimore||$4,300||@ Tampa Bay||29th||9.9||12.0|
|Heath Miller||Pittsburgh||$3,900||@ Cleveland||25th||10.7||7.6|
Delaine Walker, Tennessee, $5,300 – Perhaps you considered Walker a disappointment in week five? Initially I did too, then I realized that he did provide better than double value last week – 8.7 fantasy points for a $4,300 salary. It was not a monster game to be sure, but it was a solid one despite being Walker’s worst game of the season. This week he draws the weak Jacksonville defense – they rank 30th against tight ends this season; I have no qualms about using Walker in this matchup.
Niles Paul, Washington, $4,800 – Arizona has not been as bad against tight ends this season as they were last season – when they allowed tight ends to catch 17 touchdowns. But, they are still bad as Julius Thomas showed last week. Paul is not Thomas, but he is a solid tight end facing a team that struggles against the position. Paul is a solid option if you are looking for a mid-priced tight end this week.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis, $4,400 – If you listened to the announcer for the Baltimore/Indianapolis game, you would have heard that Allen is destined to be the next elite tight end. That might well be true eventually, but he is not one yet. He is good no doubt, the issue is the targets. Allen has not seen more than six targets in a game this season and is averaging only four targets a game. He is capable of a monster game despite the low number of targets, but as long as Coby Fleener is healthy, Allen is not someone you should be counting on.
Owen Daniels, Baltimore, $4,300 – Tampa Bay allowed Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson to catch five passes for 86 yards last week. Daniels might not be as good as he used to be, but he is still better than Hill and Watson. If you are looking for a guy who will give you double or triple value, and also is likely to – worst case – return value, Daniels is the tight end for you this week.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh, $3,900 – Add Miller to the ranks of tight ends who have been much better at home than on the road. Miller is averaging 7.7 fantasy points per game on the road versus 15.1 fantasy points per game at home this season. While Miller is on the road this week, he is also facing Cleveland which ranks 25th against tight ends this season. Miller is another guy unlikely to have a monster game, but is a solid start in a point per reception format as he ranks sixth among tight ends in targets this season.
Five Bargain TE
|Jason Witten||Dallas||$3,600||@ Seattle||27th||8.1||9.9|
|Jordan Cameron||Cleveland||$3,600||vs Pittsburgh||21st||5.4||6.3|
|Larry Donnell||New York Giants||$3,500||@ Philadelphia||10th||14.3||0.0|
|Clay Harbor||Jacksonville||$3,200||vs Tennessee||23rd||10.1||5.2|
|Tim Wright||New England||$3,000||@ Buffalo||15th||5.4||19.5|
Jason Witten, Dallas, $3,600 – Yes, it happened again, I have fallen into the “it is Jason Witten and he is only $3,600” trap. Before you criticize me too much, realize Witten is averaging 8.1 fantasy points per game this season and Seattle has struggled against tight ends in 2014 – they currently rank 27th against tight ends. What can I say, I see a lot of low risk/medium reward tight ends this week: Witten is one of them.
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland, $3,600 – So, I liked Cameron last week and he rewarded my faith with a whole 6.3 fantasy points. Perhaps I am thick headed or stubborn – or both — but I like him again this week. He did have seven targets in week five and the Steelers have had issues against opposing tight ends this season.
Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $3,500 – We finally have a reverse home/road split for a tight end! Donnell is averaging 8.2 fantasy points per game at home versus 23.5 fantasy points on the road this season. Guess what? His game is on the road this week. Seriously though, Donnell is cheap because he literally did nothing last week, but the Eagles D is not very good. Donnell is a nice cheap tight end in week six.
Clay Harbor, Jacksonville, $3,200 – What can I say, the super-cheap tight end options are not all that good this week for some reason. You will not find Harbor’s picture in the dictionary under “exciting tight end options”. Yet, he is the starter on a team that will be throwing a lot. Again, the upside is limited, but Harbor is a solid point per reception tight end with a cheap price tag.
Tim Wright, New England, $3,000 – I suspected it would take a few weeks for Wright to get implemented into the New England offense and I was correct. Wright had over six times as many fantasy points against Cincinnati as he had all season. Wright probably will not have another 19.5 fantasy point game this week – though he might – but, he now has his place in the New England offense and is a great buy this week.
That is a look at the tight end position for week six. Good luck with your team this week; you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.