This is a list of the top Tight End targets for NFL games based on potential production and price. The players are split into three tiers based on likelihood of success. Remember that these rankings take potential production and price into account, so some guys may be higher up on the list despite having a lower projected score for the week if the price point is favorable. Here are some TE options to consider.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
CREAM OF THE CROP
Greg Olsen ($6400) – I normally prefer to save at tight end, but it’s tough to pass up on Olsen this week. He faces the Saints defense who has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Even more than the Giants and Raiders who are two teams we always hear people targeting tight ends against. Olsen is a very solid option who has consistently produced fantasy points. He is tied with Gronk for the most overall targets on the year at the position. He is tied with Gronk for second in average targets as well. He has scored at least 12 fantasy points in five straight weeks. He is also one of the top red zone targets on his team and at the position, so he has the upside of being a probable touchdown scorer on Sunday.
Julius Thomas ($4000) – Julius Thomas is finally healthy and showing why they gave him that big contract. He faces a Titans defense that has allowed the seventh most points to fantasy tight ends this season. He has the second most targets at the position over the last two weeks. His targets and catches are both trending to the upside. Jaguars wideout Allen Hurns left the last game and may not play in this one. If Hurns is out, that only adds to the appeal of a low cost Thomas. He has a TD in each of the last two games and is a red zone threat. His team should also be trailing, which means garbage time points are definitely likely to be in his future.
Jacob Tamme ($3700) – Tamme is too cheap and has quietly been a stud lately. With Hankerson out, he has seen his targets and catches take a big leap. He is averaging 6 catches and 60 yards over his last 7 games which is 12 points as an average game. At $3700, we really only need about 13-14 points out of him for value. He has over 5.5 catches per game in his last four and that production is too good and too consistent for a price tag of only $3700. The running game is not putting up the same type of production with Freeman on concussion protocol. If he remains out, that only makes me like Tamme more. They also may be trailing here, so garbage time points could be forthcoming.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Delanie Walker ($5700) – Jacksonville allows the eleventh most points to fantasy tight ends this year. Walker has become a major part of that Titans offense. That means he is in a solid spot here for fantasy production. Walker is very consistent. He has 12+ fantasy points in 8 of his last ten games. He is also efficient as he has an 81% (45/55) catch/target ratio over his last 6 games, which is huge. Walker tends to see about 7-10 targets on his way to an average of 7.5 catches per game over his last 6 as well. That level of production and participation gives him a safe floor. The solid matchup gives him a higher ceiling, and the price puts him in a spot where the ownership should be low. All of those things make him a very solid tournament play this weekend.
Kyle Rudolph ($3700) – Without looking, name the tight end with the most targets in the NFL over the last two games. Unless you were smart enough to realize there was a reason I asked this question with Kyle Rudolph you probably did not get the answer right. He has 19 targets in his last two games, which puts him one ahead of Julius Thomas for the lead. Anyone who is that cheap and sees that many looks needs to be considered. Rudolph had a string of about six straight games with two or fewer catches, so this is more of a GPP play for me. Rudolph is also a big red zone target if and when the Vikings decide not to give it to Peterson down there. When looking for a cheap TE, volume is a big thing I want to see. Rudolph seems to be a bigger part of the passing game lately, so I am comfortable that he will continue to see a good deal of targets in this one.
REST OF THE FIELD
Antonio Gates ($4900) – The bottom part of the list here consists of really good players in really tough spots. Gates had a monster game last week. It was only 4 catches for 53 yards, but the 2 touchdowns were the icing on top. He was under $5K and put up over 20 fantasy points. That is exactly what we needed from him last week. He faces a very tough Broncos defense here, so he will not have an easy time getting open. He is still one of Rivers’ top pass catchers and they will need him if they expect to have a chance this weekend.
Jordan Reed ($5300) – Reed has been racking up the targets, which has led to him also racking up the catches. He has at reached double digit fantasy points in all but two games so far this season. His matchup is the thing that is a little scary here. Dallas had reverted to the slow efficient ball control offense they were running earlier in the season. With Tony Romo injured, they may not be able to continue to play keep away, but the chances of a slow pace make Reed a little bit riskier. Washington may try to keep the ball on the ground as well, which could mean less pass attempts and therefore less action for Reed. He is one of the top targeted Redskins on the roster, so if they pass, he will see some work. The price is steadily rising on him as well, so it is no longer a slam dunk that he reaches value. I think he does offer some safety with a decent floor, but the upside is limited on him here today.
Gary Barnidge ($5300) – If Josh McCown is good to go, I love Barnidge again this week. We mentioned how the two have chemistry and Barnidge rewarded our faith with a solid 18 fantasy point performance last week. the problem is we love Barnidge with McCown who looks to his tight end often. With McCown likely out and Johnny Football on the naughty list, that leaves us with Austin Davis at the helm. Davis is not a horrendous option back there, but we also do not know who his favorite target will be. Barnidge is no longer cheap, so he will need a solid performance in order to return value. He has reached the mid teens or higher in eight of his last nine games, so while there is uncertainty, we also know he has upside.