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.
This is week 17, so not every team is actually out there trying to win the games they play. We need to pay attention to those situations before we discuss the options to consider. Two guys stand out as being in situations we can call less than ideal for fantasy purposes. The first one is easy. The Redskins are locked into the #4 seed in the playoffs win, lose, or draw. That means we will likely see them sit some of the starters for part or all of their game. At the tight end spot, that means we are taking Jordan Reed out of play. The other situation is a little more of an unknown. The Titans can clinch the #1 pick with a loss. I’m not saying they are going to tank, but they do have a compelling reason not to push too hard. The Reed situation is definitely one I would not touch, but the Walker one could go either way. I’m not including either guy on the list and I know the questions will be coming about why, so I figured I would start by explaining this and then move on to the actual picks.
MORE NFL POSITIONAL TARGETS FOR WEEK 17
CREAM OF THE CROP
Zach Ertz ($3600) – Ertz and his Philly team have nothing but pride to play for this weekend, but that does not mean Ertz is not a viable option. He faces a Giants team we have targeted tight ends against all season. The linebackers are bad and this is one of the best matchups we have. Ertz has seen an insane 37 targets in the last 3 weeks. He has 5, 8, and 13 catches in those games. He has 298 yards over that time which gives him an average of 8.5 catches and 99 yards per game. Both the Eagles and Giants play fast. The total is 52 points and the game is likely to be pass heavy. Ertz is still dirt cheap at $3600 and that seems way too cheap for the volume of targets he has seen lately.
Gary Barnidge ($4700) – Since week 3, Barnidge has double digit fantasy points in every game he has played but one. The Steelers give up the 10th most fantasy points to tight ends and are favored on the road against Cleveland. The Browns should be trailing late with a chance to play spoiler, so I can see them slinging it around quite a bit. Barnidge is a huge red zone target and a big part of that offense. Since week 3, he has seen more than 7 targets a game. He needs 23 yards to reach 1000 on the season and I have no doubt that he gets there in this game.
Travis Kelce ($4700) – Kelce and his Kansas City team are looking for a win this week as well and he has a great matchup against the Oakland Raiders who have allowed the third most fantasy points. Kelce still is not targeted anywhere near as much as we all wish he was, but he is seeing about 7 of them a game since week 3 consistently. Kelce does not have tournament upside, but he has reached double digit fantasy points in 50% of his games. In a must win game like this, I think we will see Kelce involved in the outcome.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Will Tye ($4000) – Will Tye is still pretty cheap. He plays in a pass happy offense that runs a lot of plays and operates at a high pace. Since week 9 when he became a viable option. He has at least 6 targets per game. He has scored double digit points in 5 of his last 6 games. The only one he failed to do it in was last week when the Giants offense played without Beckham and everyone struggled. This game has a total of 51 and should feature a ton of passing. Tye should be a part of the Giants attack in this one and while I do not expect huge upside, he is a viable cash game play who should see double digit points for a 6th of the last 7 weeks.
Owen Daniels ($2500) – Daniels and his Broncos team have something to play for this weekend. They need to win to solidify their playoff standings. They effectively control their own destiny. Daniels has become a bigger part of the offense in recent weeks, mostly because Osweiler is scared to make mistakes. We have seen more passes go to the TE and RB than to his two stud WRs. I do not see that changing here with a playoff birth on the line. Denver will lean on the run, lean on their defense, and limit what they ask Osweiler to do. He saw seven targets last week and I would expect that to continue here against a team that has allowed the 9th most points to fantasy TEs.
Zach Miller ($4600) – I like Miller this week in a meaningless game against the Lions. Detroit has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends and the Bears are likely without Alshon Jeffery and Marquiss Wilson who are both hurt. Miller is probably the best pass catching option that is not a running back left on the roster. He has averaged 6 catches over the last 3 weeks and that is pure PPR gold consistency. His price has come up and that is not one of the higher totals on the week. Still Miller is playing a ton of snaps on a team that desperately needs pass catchers.
REST OF THE FIELD
Rob Gronkowski ($7400) – Gronk is very expensive, which makes him not much of a viable option here for tournaments. If you need a solid score though, you know he will see some targets and make some plays. New England does need to win this game, it does have a big total, and Gronk will be involved in the offense. My biggest fear is that New England is a double digit favorite and once the game is in hand, they will likely sit the main guys in order to ensure they are healthy for the playoffs. Gronk will score some fantasy points, but is riskier this week than any other week ever.
Jacob Tamme ($3300) – Tamme is an interesting play this week. He has not been as good as he was earlier in the season, so a lot of people are off of him now. He has a very good matchup against a Saints team that has been beaten through the air all season long. This game is meaningless for both teams, but the total is high and we could see a ton of scoring. Tamme has not seen a ton of targets lately, but I am willing to give him another look here in a high total game against the team allowing the most fantasy points to the position. His price is cheap enough where he does not need to do a ton in order to pay it off.