3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 6
Another week, another NFL game postponed due to COVID-19. And yet! We still have football. And with football comes increasingly hard decisions at our tight end spot.
But if you're here, you knew that already. It's time to give the people what they want, nay, crave -- tight end streamers. The good ones.
Throughout the season, this column should/will/must be your go-to resource for identifying tight ends to stream when you're in a pinch. Based on monitoring 12-team Yahoo! roster percentages, everyone listed will be rostered in fewer than 60% of Yahoo! leagues.
It was, incredibly, a clean week for tight end injuries. Yay! It was also a great week for this column. Our cover boy Austin Hooper put up 5 catches for 57 yards on a season-high (and team-high) 10 targets, good for the TE11 score on the week. He's still rostered in just 55% of leagues.
The process was right on Greg Olsen, who was vultured on a touchdown by Will Dissly. And if you scrolled to the bottom, hopefully you saw the Darren Fells recommendation with Jordan Akins out. Fells was this week's TE4, pending Tuesday Night Football results.
As bye weeks ramp up, identifying usable streamers will become even more valuable. The New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks are on bye this week, though of course we'll need to monitor any potential COVID-induced byes for other teams. With Hunter Henry, Darren Waller and Jared Cook on bye, we're already down two clear TE1s and another guy on the fringe.
It's still early, but the more we learn about target shares and how defenses defend tight ends this season, the stronger these predictions will become. It usually takes a good six weeks before positional points allowed data is somewhat reliable.
We're not exactly shooting fish in the barrel with tight end streamers, but we'll aim for more successful plays in Week 6.
Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns
Roster Percentage: 55%
Austin Hooper makes the list again almost by default as he's still below the roster threshold, and it's truly slim pickings this week at tight end. But Hooper also has a ton working in his favor, all of which point to him likely being the most sought after tight end on waivers for Week 6. If you're 2-3 or worse and have a tight end on bye, he's likely worth a claim, or 6-10% of your FAAB.
This Cleveland Browns offense is clicking, having scored 30-plus points in four straight games. No, that is not a typo. And as referenced above, Hooper is coming off a notable 10-target game, which set a season high for him and led the team.
In fact, Hooper's targets, catches and yards have trended upward for five consecutive weeks. It's possible that in a shortened offseason, he's finally starting to find his groove in his new offense. That upward trend has led to an elite 25.4% target share over the last two games. For reference, Travis Kelce sports a 23.8% target share this season.
All of this is to say -- Hooper clearly has TE1 usage in an Browns attack that ranks as the fifth-best offense, per our schedule-adjusted numbers. There's no reason he should be 17th among tight ends in roster percentage.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Chicago Bears
Roster Percentage: 40%
Jimmy Graham is coming off a tidy three-catch, 33-yard, one-score game in which he saw five targets, and, boy, was that touchdown an impressive one. Despite collecting dust at age 33, Graham has four touchdowns in five games. This is no fluke, either. Graham is tied for second in the league in targets inside the 10-yard line.
Graham's target share with Nick Foles under center is a solid 15%, up from 12.8% with Mitchell Trubisky. This is notable both because Tarik Cohen's targets are now removed from the offense, and Matt Nagy has dialed up more passing attempts with Foles under center.
Per Sharp Football Stats, in Weeks 1 and 2, Chicago passed the ball 32% and 43% of the time, respectively. In Foles' two starts, those numbers jumped to 50% and 71% (!) in Weeks 4 and 5.
It's also worth calling out that Graham has faced a brutal schedule to date. Four of his five matchups so far have been versus defenses that are among the 10 toughest in terms of fantasy points allowed to tight ends. This week's matchup isn't great on paper, either, as the Carolina Panthers haven't been forgiving to tight ends this year, holding Darren Waller and Hunter Henry to floor games.
Still, at the end of the day, we're chasing touchdowns and usage, and Graham has both. His target share is growing, he has a secure red-zone role, and the offense is starting to improve and throw more. He's at the very least worth stashing with plenty of appealing matchups coming up.
Trey Burton, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Roster Percentage: 1%
This might be too deep of a call for your taste. Then again, the GOAT Robert Tonyan was also just rostered in 1% of leagues when he appeared in this column two weeks ago. Tonyan's roster percentage is up above 70% now despite coming off a bye in Week 5.
Trey Burton has the best fantasy role among the Indianapolis Colts' tight ends. According to John Daigle, Burton leads Colts tight ends in routes and targets over the past two weeks, which were -- not coincidentally -- his first two games of the season. It hasn't translated to much in the box score, but his 17.7% target share is second on the team over that span.
So even in a three-way committee, he's second on the team in target share. That usage checks out. And now Burton gets a very beatable Cincinnati Bengals defense that just got washed by Mark Andrews. Due to the Tuesday Night game, pricing hasn't yet been released. But Burton will be in consideration as a tight end punt this week, and he'll likely be underpriced for his usage. He's a worthy desperation streamer, too.
Bonus: Darren Fells, TE, Houston Texans
Roster Percentage: 2%
As mentioned above, Darren Fells was a recommended streamer in this column last week under the assumption Jordan Akins wouldn't play. While Fells delivered and then some, it's notable that Akins actually cleared concussion protocol but was held out due to an ankle injury.
So this one is pretty straightforward. If Akins is out again, Fells is near the top of the streaming list again as a touchdown-or-bust option in a solid offense with a good matchup against the Tennessee Titans, which projects as a high-paced, high-scoring affair.