3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 15
Ah, you're still here? Good. It's time to make it to the fantasy football championship. I hope this is you next week.
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.
Unfortunately, Mike Gesicki was having another big week and left in the fourth quarter with an arm/shoulder injury. Noah Fant entered the week questionable with a non-COVID illness, and he left early in the game. Considering the way their respective backups played, these are important situations to monitor this week. Austin Hooper also didn't play in the Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Based on the incredible reputation of this column (surely it's famous by now), Week 14 was frustrating. I write this on Monday nights, so Anthony Firkser became non-playable once it was clear Jonnu Smith would return. It was nearly impossible to sit Logan Thomas coming off his career-best game, but he still managed a fine stat line with 10.3 PPR points. The process feels right on Tyler Eifert. The Jags threw 54 times while in comeback mode, and his projection was always based on his red-zone role.
We are, thankfully, done with bye weeks. Of course, we'll need to monitor any potential COVID-induced byes or missed games. Otherwise, we are staring at a clean slate.
It usually takes a good six weeks before positional points allowed data is somewhat reliable. Now that we're well past that mark, I'll lean a bit heavier on points allowed to the position in this process where applicable. In the end, though, we're chasing opportunity.
We're not exactly shooting fish in the barrel with tight end streamers, but we'll aim for more successful plays in Week 15.
Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears
Roster Percentage: 6%
It's finally happening. Although Jimmy Graham found the end zone this past week, there has been a clear role change in Chicago for exciting rookie Cole Kmet. The first tight end selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, Kmet has been stuck behind Graham for much of the year.
Since the Bears' bye, however, he's seen a significant role change and is now clearly ahead of Graham in terms of snaps played and routes run. Ya know, the things that lead us closer to fantasy points. Per Adam Levitan, he's played 81% of Chicago's offensive snaps, is running routes from wide receiver spots, and has a solid 15% target share over that span. Kmet played 51 snaps to Graham's 29 on Sunday.
Kmet's matchup isn't intimidating against a Vikings defense that ranks middle of the pack against tight ends and has been thrown on all year long. Chicago, meanwhile, has shown some fight with Mitchell Trubisky under center, putting up 30.3 points per game since the quarterback was inserted back into the starting lineup. At a position starved for streaming options, Kmet's talent and emerging role make him playable.
Adam Shaheen, TE, Miami Dolphins
Roster Percentage: 0%
If we assume Gesicki misses time, Adam Shaheen becomes a mighty interesting streamer and DFS punt. It feels ages ago, but the 6'6" 26-year-old was a second-round pick in 2017.
Shaheen's measurables pair well with his size and draft capital, and it's possible that coming out of a small school, he just had a slow learning curve at a notoriously tough position. Given a fresh start with the Miami Dolphins, Shaheen already earned himself a two-year extension in late October.
Shaheen has already found the end zone thrice this year despite Gesicki's presence. On Sunday, he caught 2 of 3 targets for 26 yards on 37 snaps despite Gesicki playing most of the game. Nate Jahnke of Pro Football Focus projects Shaheen would fill-in as the primary pass-catching tight end in Gesicki's absence.
This is especially notable considering both DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant both left the game with injuries of their own, Preston Williams is still out, and Tua Tagovailoa just threw for 316 yards. We can play Shaheen if Gesicki is out this week.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
Roster Percentage: 57%
We might as well call this article "Logan Thomas and 2 More Tight End Streamers" because he makes an appearance here almost every week. Mercifully for our somewhat arbitrary cutoffs, Logan Thomas is still an option here.
The biggest question mark here is quarterback, as Alex Smith left the game with a calf injury and didn't return. But does it really matter? Sure, Thomas' best game of the season came with Smith under center. But his target share was a sterling 19.2% when Dwayne Haskins was starting earlier this year, and he just produced 10.3 PPR points in a tough matchup with the two splitting time.
To be blunt, if he's on your waiver wire, he shouldn't be.
Bonus: Potential Injury Replacements
I write this on Monday night, so it's hard to predict how all the injuries will shake out. Here's a brief look at other streaming options depending on how the week progresses.
Irv Smith Jr. has been efficient when given opportunities. It sounded like Kyle Rudolph was semi-close to playing, but he also had a streak of 93 consecutive games played he clearly wanted to protect. With that streak over, maybe the veteran doesn't try as hard to gut it out this week. If he sits, Irv is immediately a streaming option.
With Noah Fant leaving the game with a non-COVID illness, it feels unlikely he misses this week's game. If he does sit, however, Troy Fumagalli could be an interesting hail mary option. With Fant playing just 5 snaps, Fumagalli played 39 to Nick Vannett's 45 despite a mostly positive game script.
Fumagalli profiles as the better pass-catcher, though, tying for the team lead with five targets and finishing second on the Broncos with 53 receiving yards. Fumagalli may be a nobody to you, but I watched him at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he's always been a natural route-runner and pass-catcher.
With Austin Hooper missing the Monday night game with an undisclosed neck injury, Harrison Bryant is back on the streaming radar. Cleveland will be favored with a decent team total on the road against the New York Giants, a team that just gave up a touchdown to Dan Arnold. If you'll recall, Bryant posted 4 receptions for 56 yards and 2 scores as Hooper's fill-in back in Week 7.