One more time unto the breach! Yes, the NFL season is not long for this world, but we do get one more chance to win money. For the tight end position, the Championship Round is an interesting one. We get the best TE in the league, two good TE on the same team, a couple of guys who are hot and a lot of backups, second-stringers, and generally, players you have never heard of — Jack Doyle I am looking at you. Enough about the player pool in general, here is what I think of the tight ends you should be considering this week:
The Elite TE
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $7,800 – Gronkowski broke a mini-slump last week; he had gone two games without going over 20 fantasy-points! On the bright side, it was Gronkowski’s 15th consecutive game in double-digit fantasy-points. No doubt, Gronkowski is the stud at tight end, which is reflected in his price. He costs $3,500 more than the next highest priced tight end. There is no reason at all not to expect a good game from Gronkowski in the AFC Championship game. Indianapolis ranked 26th against tight ends this season, and Gronkowski had 17.1 fantasy-points in his first matchup against the Colts. The drawback with using Gronkowski as your tight end is the price. That is a lot to pay for a tight end, and it will be tough for him to return even triple value for his owners
The Indianapolis TE
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $4,300 – New England has issues against tight ends. They ranked 25th against the position during the season, and Owen Daniels gave them fits last week. Fleener had 24.4 fantasy-points the first time he faced New England so we know there is upside with him. Before you get too excited, realize that Dwayne Allen only played 13 snaps in that first game against the Patriots. That said, I like Fleener more than Allen this week – unlike last week. I think he matches up better against New England’s secondary than Allen does. Fleener is not a sure thing, but if you cannot afford Gronkowski, and want a tight end with upside, Fleener is the way to go.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis, $3,800 – Allen had the better game of the Indianapolis tight ends last week – though mostly because he scored a touchdown. That is what you would be hoping for from Allen this week: a touchdown. Allen is not going to catch eight passes or anything, but he will catch three or four passes most games with a decent chance at finding the end zone. Fleener gets the edge over Allen this week because the Colts will not be able to run against the Patriots; Allen being more of the blocking tight end, will see fewer snaps than Fleener will. Allen is not a bad pick or anything, but I think his upside is about what he scored against Denver, 13 fantasy-points.
The Hot-Lately TE
Luke Wilson, Seattle, $4,000 – Wilson has games of 16.8 and 31.9 fantasy-points in two of his last three games. He also has games of 5.2 and 0.0 fantasy-points in two of his last four games. To say that Wilson has been a little sporadic in his production would be appropriate. Green Bay has been solid against opposing tight ends this season so it is not like Wilson has a favorable matchup. It is possible that Wilson has another one of his good games this week, but I am not willing to risk money on that. I do not like Wilson against Green Bay.
Andrew Quarless, Green Bay, $2,600 – Looking at Quarless’ game log, putting him in this section was a mistake. 13.1 fantasy-points – what he put up against Dallas – is not huge, and it was his first game of over 9.1 fantasy-points since week three. That said, I sort of, kind of, like Quarless this week. Aaron Rodgers is not healthy, and is unwilling, or unable to run. That should once again mean more targets for Quarless. Not that you should expect a huge game, but Quarless could have another 12+ fantasy-point game; that would be a very good return on a $2,600 investment.
So, You Only Have $2,000 to Spend for a TE?
Tim Wright, New England, $2,000 – You have to go back to week 11 to find a game in which Wright caught more than one pass. Wright has caught three passes total in New England’s last six games. Would I be shocked if he ended up with a big game this week? Not at all, it is the Patriots, but it is not something I am betting on.
Michael Hoomanawanui, New England, $2,000 – I really think one of New England’s other tight ends will have a nice game this week. Hoomanawanui did just put up 8.3 fantasy-points against the Ravens which would be a solid game from a guy who costs only $2,000.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis, $2,000 – Really, with any of these $2,000 tight ends, you are hoping for a touchdown. Doyle had one in week 17 and has averaged 6.1 fantasy-points per game in his last four games. I suppose he is the “safe” $2,000 option.
Richard Rodgers, Green Bay, $2,000 – The last four games of the regular season, Rodgers was targeted more than Andrew Quarless was. While he only had one reception against Dallas, it was for a touchdown, and we know that Aaron Rodgers will not be running very much, so Richard Rodgers having a solid game is possible.
Cooper Helfet, Seattle, $2,000 – Cooper is included here just so I can say I covered all the tight ends likely to play. Helfet played against Carolina, and did a good job blocking. That is great for Seattle, not so good for fantasy owners, who like their players to actually touch the ball. In case you cannot tell, I am not a fan of Helfet this week.
Thanks for reading all season, good luck with your teams this week. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.