3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 3
Man, Week 2 was awful. A lot of the DFS chalk didn't hit, and it felt like nearly half the league suffered a torn ACL.
Yet we must put on a brave face and set our lineups for Week 3. We are in this together.
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. After a cursory look at 12-team Yahoo! roster percentages, everyone listed will be rostered in fewer than 60% of Yahoo! leagues.
For now, we'll lean more heavily on last year's data, of course, baking in early season data points, plus offseason news and changes. The more we learn about target shares and how defenses defend tight ends this season, the stronger these predictions will become.
Logan Thomas dudded despite seeing nine (!) targets. That's the exact volume we want to chase. With his other best playmakers hurt, Adam Gase inexplicably had Chris Herndon pass block even more. The lesson there, of course, is never trust Adam Gase. O.J. Howard weirdly saw just three targets, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did score 31 points and controlled the game like we predicted.
Hopefully you read to the end of last week's piece, where I threw in Jordan Reed as a bonus streamer if George Kittle (knee) sat. Reed put forth a vintage performance, hanging the fifth-best tight end score of the week on the hapless New York Jets. We're not exactly shooting fish in the barrel with tight end streamers, but we'll aim for another Reed projection here in Week 3.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Roster Percentage: 10%
This is not an attempt to chase Tyler Eifert's touchdown catch from Week 2 (although end zone usage is what we want). It's more so wanting attachment to a potentially high-scoring game and a very mustached quarterback.
This game has a solid 47.5-point total and has shootout potential with both defenses struggling early in the season. While we haven't yet seen any tight ends light up the Miami Dolphins in 2020, they've faced only Ryan Izzo and Dawson Knox.
Eifert saw a healthy 13.3% target share on Sunday. Even more important, his quarterback is slinging the rock right now. Eifert can definitely still play. He leads the team in end zone targets (courtesy of Ian Hartitz) and is attached to an offense that is all of the sudden kind of exciting. He's arguably a top-15 option this week.
Drew Sample, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Roster Percentage: 1%
You want deep cuts? We got deep cuts.
Drew Sample came into the league as more of a blocker than receiver, but we're chasing opportunity here.
With C.J. Uzomah out for the year (Achilles), Sample is staring at ample opportunity in another ascending offense. Even though Joe Burrow doesn't have a mustache, he's already shown plenty of flashes. Just as importantly, Burrow just threw 61 pass attempts in negative game script last week. The Cincinnati Bengals enter as 6.5-point underdogs to the Philadelphia Eagles and may again face similar script.
Sample drew an impressive nine targets last week, six of which came after Uzomah's injury. If you combined their receiving line, Sample and Uzomah compiled 11 catches, 87 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 15 targets.
Meanwhile, we just saw Tyler Higbee light up the Eagles for 54 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Logan Thomas scored a touchdown against them in Week 1. It won't feel comfortable, but Sample is a legit streamer and decent pickup this week. He's also definitely in play as a cash or tournament DFS punt, checking in at just $4,800 on FanDuel.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
Roster Percentage: 32%
Look, we're chasing opportunity above all in this article (and really in fantasy football as a whole). Logan Thomas is running routes at the fifth-highest rate of his quarterback's dropbacks, per Scott Barrett. He has an elite tight end target share, according to numberFire's own JJ Zachariason.
So, yes, back to the well.
Thomas is athletic and is dominating opportunity. He now faces the Cleveland Browns. In Week 1 they got absolutely torched by Mark Andrews for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns, and they then allowed the aforementioned huge line to... Drew Sample and C.J. Uzomah. This is after surrendering the second-most points to the position in 2019.
Thomas is an elite streaming option this week. And he's an enticing DFS play, especially knowing that he flopped at a heavy roster percentage in Week 2. He's still just $4,900 on FanDuel. He'll be in my cash consideration set once again, especially with Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce off the main slate.
Bonus: Jordan Reed, Mo Alie-Cox, and Dalton Schultz
Three bonus tight end streamers?! Yes, I'm too kind. But these guys are all recommended pickups and need to be on DFS radars for this week.
Jordan Reed (Roster Percentage: 7%) is an easy one. As I laid out last week, he's worth adding in case George Kittle sits again. This team is desperate for pass-catchers, and the rash of defensive injuries for the San Francisco 49ers could mean more throwing than they'd like.
Did you know Mo Alie-Cox (1%) used to play basketball? Perhaps you haven't heard. He's pretty darn athletic and just poured in 111 yards against a Minnesota Vikings defense notorious for defending tight ends well. With Jack Doyle (ankle) potentially out again and Parris Campbell (knee) out indefinitely, Alie-Cox is possibly staring at another high-volume day. He faces the Jets. Wheels up.
Finally, there's Dalton Schultz (2%), who simply must be picked up after leading the Dallas Cowboys with 10 targets on Sunday. Like Sample, Schultz entered the league as a blocker. But we want opportunity, and Schultz is not just seeing elite volume, but he's doing so in a good offense. Dallas heads to Seattle for another potential shootout.