3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 16
If you're still here, there's no time for fluffy intros. We have fantasy championships to win.
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 thankfully almost a clean sheet in terms of tight end injuries. Eric Ebron took a big hit on Monday night and did not return, but he's reportedly not dealing with organ damage and is on track to play this week. The biggest situation to monitor is Mike Gesicki, who practiced on a limited basis throughout last week before sitting out Sunday. Austin Hooper and Noah Fant both came back and produced right away.
Based on the incredible reputation of this column (surely it's famous by now), Week 15 was up and down.
The process was right on Cole Kmet, who played every single offensive snap on Sunday in a game the Chicago Bears scored 33 points. Logan Thomas, this column's hero, put up the TE4 performance despite not scoring a touchdown. He continues to not be rostered in enough leagues, although he's just above the roster percentage threshold to fit into this column's guidelines. Finally, the process was strong on Adam Shaheen... except that his teammate Durham Smythe finished with the streamable performance.
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 Fantasy Championship Week.
Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears
Roster Percentage: 12%
As mentioned above, Cole Kmet played 64 snaps on Sunday. That number ranked fifth among tight ends, behind just Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Logan Thomas, and Dallas Goedert. Maybe you've heard of them? Kmet is an every-down player in an offense that's playing well down the stretch.
That usage alone is enough to keep him on the streaming radar. And the matchup makes him a legitimate top-15 option this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars are fresh off allowing a top-five tight end performance to Mark Andrews, fitting for a defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this year.
Chicago, incredibly, is implied for 27.50 points, the seventh-highest implied team total of all teams this week. I'm just here to share the data. Kmet is again a streaming option this week and is still firmly in play in DFS cash lineups.
Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns
Roster Percentage: 48%
We meet again, old friend. Austin Hooper, oft a staple of this column this year, was at one point rostered in close to 80% of Yahoo! leagues. After a few injuries and weather-fueled down performances, he's rostered in just under half of Yahoo! leagues, but I imagine we'll see that number tick back up.
After missing the epic Monday Night showdown against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago due to a neck injury, Hooper put any injury doubts to shame, scoring a first-quarter touchdown en route to Week 15's TE9 performance. Notably, Hooper's six targets represented a really strong 18.8% target share.
Earlier in the year, I noted how Hooper had finally hit his stride in this offense in Week 4, which made sense in a funky offseason with less team practice. Sure enough, since Week 4 (in the eight games he has started), Hooper has an 18.1% target share.
Now he gets the New York Jets, a team this is... dare I say playing reasonably well? Whether they should be trying to win is a separate discussion. But since (the admittedly arbitrary cutoff of) Week 9, the Jets have scored 23 or more points in four of six games. That gives us a sliver of hope that they can keep this game within reason.
That's the hope in terms of an elevated target projection for Hooper. Regardless, Baker Mayfield is on fire and both can live off efficiency against a Jets defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. With Cleveland sporting a strong 28-point team total, Hooper's odds of hitting paydirt are as good as nearly any tight end's this week.
Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans
Roster Percentage: 4%
Look, I don't like this and neither do you. Jordan Akins has dropped at least two touchdowns over the past four games, which hurts his box score but doesn't make him any more palatable as a play.
But... there are several data points working in Akins' favor this week. Houston has an implied team total of 26.5, one of the higher totals on the week. His quarterback is still Deshaun Watson. Notably, Akins has six targets in back-to-back weeks, representing a solid 16.9% target share over that span. Finally, he gets the Cincinnati Bengals, who allow the seventh-most fantasy points per game to tight ends despite Eric Ebron leaving Monday Night's game with an injury.
I get this is an uncomfortable play. At the very least, Akins is a deserving tight end GPP punt when nobody is going to want to play him. I am merely the tight end messenger.
Best of luck to everybody. Let's eat a W!