Week 12 TE Report
Matchup Risk/Against the Grain
Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
Travis Kelce (DK – $7,300/FD – $7,500): Kelce failed to score last week, which was the first time the Giants' defense didn't allow a TD to a TE in a game. Travis did finish with a nice game (8/109) while heavy winds did hurt further production. Over his last three games, he has 22 catches for 306 yards and two TDs on 33 targets. Kelce has three impact games (PHI – 8/103/1, WAS – 7/111/1, and 7/133/1) at home. The Bills held TEs to 15.10 Fantasy points or fewer in nine of ten games with their only failure coming in Week 7 against Tampa (12/158/2) with most of the damage coming from a second option at TE (O.J. Howard – 6/98/2). Really a WR1 in the Chiefs' offense while playing at the TE position. Hot player with 100+ yard upside and multiple TDs.
Rob Gronkowski (DK – $6,900/FD – $7,700): Gronk hasn't been able to carry Travis Kelce jock strap in most weeks. Rob has fewer than 75 receiving in four straight games (3/51, 5/57/1, 4/74, and 3/37) while averaging only 6.5 targets per game. His best success came earlier in the year over a four-game stretch (24/368/2 on 34 targets). Miami is 28th in the league vs. WRs (60/581/6 on 80 targets) with one player having an impact game (Jared Cook – 8/126). The last seven opponents have over 11 Fantasy points in PPR leagues against the Dolphins. Favorable matchup, but Gronkowski needs a bump in chances to offer an edge in this game while being priced higher than his opportunity.
Zach Ertz (DK – $6,600/FD – $7,600): After averaging 9.6 targets per game over the first five games, the Eagles have struggled to get Ertz involved over the last four games (5, 5, 6, and, 5 targets). This led to three short games in catches and yards (2/18, 4/34, and 2/8), but Zach did score four TDs over his last four games. On the year, Ertz averages 7.7 targets per game with no games with over 100 yards receiving. The Bears have the 3rd best defense in the NFL defending TEs with seven teams scoring fewer than 11 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. Much of their success defending TEs by Chicago is due to low value options at TE against them in most games (Hooper, Brate, James, Rudolph, Watson, Dickson, Fleener, Kendricks, and Ebron). Ertz is due for a much better game plus he has scoring ability. Against the grain play with elite target upside.
Jimmy Graham (DF – $5,800/FD – $7,000): After struggling in Week 1 (3/8) and Week 2 (1/1), Graham has been a competitive option at TE over his last eight games (42/409/7 on 64 targets). Jimmy only has one game with over 70 yards receiving while scoring seven TDs in his last six games. He has 20 targets over his last two games leading to 13 catches for 85 yards. His worst game of the year came against San Fran (one catch for one yard on two targets). The 49ers sit fifth in the league defending TEs (42/409/4 on 62 targets). Jason Witten has the best game (4/54/1) at TE vs. San Fran. Nice steady option with his success more driven by TDs.
Delanie Walker (DK – $5,000/FD – $5,900): Walker has five catches or more in each of his last four games while averaging 8.25 targets. He's still looking for his first receiving TD in 2017. Delanie is on pace for 78 catches for 880 yards while averaging 7.2 targets per game. In Week 6, Walker had four catches for 17 yards vs. the Colts. Indy is 23rd in the NFL against TEs (43/500/4 on 66 targets). George Kittle has the best game (7/83/1) against the Colts. Without a TD, Delanie can’t fill his salary bucket in the daily games. Coin flip while gaining momentum in chances.
Greg Olsen (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,400): Olsen is expected to be activated for this week's game after missing the last eight games with a foot injury. Greg will be a top two option in the Panthers' passing game. His resume points to him being a 5/65 player per game with a chance of scoring a TD once in every three games. The Jets are 26th in the league defending TEs (45/523/6 on 74 targets) with Rob Gronkowski having the best game (6/83/2). Tough to trust in his first game back, but I would play him in the season long games.
Jared Cook (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,500): Cook came up empty in Week 11 (2/36 on five targets) after trending forward over his previous three games (6/107, 4/57, and 8/126 on 21 targets). Jared scored his only TD in Week 3. In Week 4, he had three catches for 46 yards on eight targets against the Broncos. Denver allows the second Fantasy points to TEs (57/758/7 on 80 targets) with six teams scoring 19 Fantasy points or more. The Raiders will need to move the ball with their RBs and TEs with the Broncos having talent at CB. In my thoughts, but a TD is must to reach a high enough number to play.
Jack Doyle (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,700): Doyle had his worst game (2/9 on five targets) of the year in Week 10 vs. the Steelers. Over his previous four games, Jack has 33 catches for 278 yards and two TDs on 41 targets. He played well in Week 6 against the Titans (7/50/1). On the year, Doyle averages 7.7 targets per game. Tennessee is 13th in the league defending TEs (47/467/2 on 80 targets) with Seattle having the most success (10/125). Number two option in the Colts' passing game, but he tends to catch most of his balls close to the lineup scrimmage (8.7 yards per catch). Fair price for his targets while still needing a TD.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,600): With a half season of data on Seferian-Jenkins, we can see a player that is one pace for 78 catches for 576 yards and three TDs on 100 targets. Austin averages 6.25 targets per game with his best game coming in Week 6 (8/46/1). The Panthers are league average defending TEs (34/372/5 on 52 targets). Only two teams have over 45 yards receiving against Carolina (NE – 4/80 and TB – 6/80). Below par matchup pointing to failure risk even with a short salary.
Charles Clay (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,300): Clay has been quiet in his two games (2/13 and 3/27) while being back in the starting lineup for the Bills. He's been on the field for 64 of 113 plays over the last two games with seven combined targets. Over his first four games, Clay had 18 catches form 227 yards and two TDs on 25 targets. The Chiefs are 14th in the league against TEs (34/573 on 62 targets). No team has a TD from the TE position against Buffalo. Tough dance.
Tyler Kroft (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,700): Defenses seem to have caught up with Kroft over the last three games (5/95/1 on 11 targets). This came after trending forward in his previous four games (19/175/3 on 22 targets). Over his last eight games, Tyler averages 4.6 targets per game. Cleveland allows the second most Fantasy points to TEs (66/635/8 on 87 targets). Kroft has his best game of the season vs. the Browns (6/68/2), which will make him draw more attention from Cleveland’s defense. In play at this level.
Austin Hooper (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,200): Hooper had no answer for Seattle's defense in Week 11. He caught both of his targets for -1 yard. This season Austin only has four games with six targets or more (averages 4.3 targets per game) with his best success coming in Week 1 (2/128/1) and Week 10 (6/47/1). Tampa is 8th vs. TEs (38/418/3 on 53 targets). Low volume player with some upside, but this isn't a great matchup. Can't dismiss due to his low salary, but he wouldn't be one of my top choices at this level.
Cameron Brate (DK – $3,400/FD – $5,200): Brate has been tumbling down the TE rankings over his last three games (1/9, 1/10, and 1/12) while receiving only ten targets. The change at QB has been a big factor. Cameron was out snapped by O.J. Howard in the last two games (50 to 33 and 46 to 41) while also losing the season long battle in playing time (431 to 378). Brate popped up on the injury report this week with an ankle issue, which is another negative to avoid him. The Falcons are 9th in the NFL defending TEs (51/516/2 on 79 targets). Can't trust Cameron at all at this point of the year even with a dirt-cheap salary.
Julius Thomas (DK – $2,700/FD – $5,100): Over the last three games, Thomas has 12 catches for 122 yards and two TDs on 17 targets. Over his first seven games, he had three catches or less in each game with no TDs. On the year, Julius averages only 4.5 targets per game with one game of value (6/84/1). New England struggled vs. the TE earlier in the year (36/376/5 on 51 targets), but TEs only have ten catches for 88 yards on 16 targets over the last four games. Weak opportunity vs. a defense that is improving…avoid.
O.J. Howard (DK – $2,600/FD – $5,100): Despite being the number two TE option in Tampa's passing game, Howard has been on the field for more plays than Cameron Brate over the last two games (96 to 74) and for the whole year (431 to 378). After ten games, O.J. is the 20th highest scoring TE with almost of his production coming in three games (2/63/1, 6/98/2, and 3/52/1). In his best three games, Howard only had 14 combined targets. If Brate can't suit up this week, I would be drinking his juice at this level even with a below par matchup. High upside player that only needs opportunity to become a top TE option over the last six weeks of the year.
Adam Shaheen (DK – $2,600/FD – $5,200): Shaheen helped me in a couple of leagues in the season long contest in Week 11 when he caught all four of his targets for 41 yards and a TD. Over the last two games, Adam has been on the field for 77 of 123 plays run by the Bears. Last week he had 77 percent of the TE playing time in Chicago. Shaheen went to a small school in college, but he has three-down ability after getting selected in the second-round last season. The Eagles did a face plant vs. the TE in Week 7 (WAS – 13/163/2), but TEs have short results in eight of their other nine games (5/36, 5/45, 5/34/1, 2/16, 4/36, 4/56, 1/11, and 1/7). Bad matchup and his opportunity can't be trusted on a road vs. a team with a strong pass rush.