Can we please take a second to talk about how poor the fantasy tight end production was in Week 7? Using standard scoring, there were only three tight ends to score double digit fantasy points. There was a grand total of five tight ends receiving touchdowns. Don’t feel bad if you only got five points from your tight end this week. If you did, you got a top 10 effort.
Really, the production at the tight end position has been down all season. Through seven weeks the number 10 tight end is Coby Fleener with his 46 fantasy points. That is an average of 7.6 points per week.
Sure there have been some nice stories like Hunter Henry busting onto the scene and currently sitting in the top 5. Also, Jimmy Graham showing flashes of the old Jimmy is great to see. For the most part though, fantasy owners have been left wanting more at the tight end position.
Let’s get ready for Week 8.
Week 8: Workin’ the Wire
Tyrod Taylor caught some serious hype during draft season, but after a disastrous Week 1 and a Sammy Watkins injury it appeared that there were more questions than answers. However, after having two combined touchdowns in three straight games and zero interceptions it appears Taylor is shaping up as a solid option at the quarterback position. At the very least he is a solid matchup guy and with games against the Jaguars, Raiders, Browns, and Jets down the stretch he could be a key roster piece.
The Dolphins are playing some good football right now thanks in large part to strong offensive line play in both the run and pass game. I look for Ryan Tannehill to benefit from the back to back 200+ yard rushing performances from Jay Ajayi. Teams will be forced to bring an extra defender into the box which should create some down the field opportunities for Landry, Stills, and Parker.
When talking about tight ends last week, I threw out Jack Doyle’s name and hopefully you went and got him. His game in Week 7 was so nice he is worth mentioning twice. Although, if you didn’t secure him last week, he will be much more expensive this time around.
The Rams passing game is coming around and Lance Kendricks is one of the beneficiaries. He has caught 12 balls over his last two games. His yardage totals are low, but he could be worth a look in PPR.
Aaron Rodgers @ ATL
Is Rodgers still an “auto-start” fantasy quarterback? I don’t know that he is anymore, but he needs to be 100% started this week in a great matchup with the Falcons. Actually, until they figure out something with their running game he should continue to be started based on the sheer volume in which he will be throwing the ball. I don’t expect 56 attempts like their last game, but without a traditional running back in the backfield on a majority of the plays, 45-50 attempts could be the norm.
Jameis Winston vs. OAK
After a 1-2 start to the season that saw Winston chuck it 142 times, the Bucs have established a new offensive game plan in which they aren’t putting everything on the shoulders of Jameis. In their last three games they have gone 2-1 with Winston attempting only 95 passes. From a fantasy aspect, more is almost always better especially at the quarterback position. Even with his volume being cut down to 32 attempts per game over the last three, he has still posted solid numbers. The Raiders give up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Even if they stick to the run-heavy approach, Winston should still post some quality numbers.
Tyrod Taylor vs. NE
This is the Tyrod Taylor edition catching a mention in both sections. At first glance this doesn’t look like a great matchup. The Patriots have only allowed two quarterbacks to score more than 20 fantasy points against them.
The news gets better though…
If I were a Patriots fan, I wouldn’t be worried about much, but if I had to put my finger on one aspect it would be the lack of a pass rush they showed Sunday. Landry Jones dropped back 47 times and they were able to sack him exactly…zero times. I know that sacks aren’t everything, but there weren’t a ton of pressures either. With Taylor’s ability to extend plays combined with the dormant pass rush that he will be facing, his receivers will figuratively have all day to get open. With McCoy’s health status a question mark going into Week 8, the Bills might rely more on Taylor’s arm and legs to move the Bills offense.
Travis Kelce @ IND
Kelce has been a victim of game script the past two weeks. The Chiefs built an early lead and then leaned on the run-game in the second half to put the game away. His three targets in each of the past two games is a season low. In the four prior games he had at least seven targets. I expect this game to be close and possibly even a shootout. The Colts have struggled holding down opposing tight ends in the past two games. They have allowed 80+ yards and a touchdown to the main tight end target. Kelce’s season high is 89 yards. He should have a chance to set a new season high in this matchup. After having three consecutive games of less than 35 yards his value in DFS has likely slipped down the charts. Use him with confidence this week.
Coby Fleener vs. SEA
I have had a good read on Fleener so far this year and hope to continue that hot streak this week. The Seahawks have been strong against the tight end giving up the eighth fewest points to the position. Looking over their schedule, they haven’t exactly faced a murderers’ row at the position and Fleener will represent their toughest test to date.
Fleener has played three games each on the road and at home, but the stats would lead you to think otherwise.
Fleener is turning into a boom or bust player. With the success he has had at home, I am leaning towards boom this week.
Philip Rivers @ DEN
It is almost standard at this point to bench quarterbacks facing the Broncos defense. They have yet to allow multiple touchdown passes or allow more than 267 yards in any game. Rivers just faced them two weeks ago and started out hot posting 85 yards and a touchdown on the opening possession of the game. The Broncos showed their ability to make adjustments and over the final 3 1/2 quarters he manged just 93 yards. I think a ceiling performance in this matchup is 250/2. You can do better.
Blake Bortles @ TEN
I was willing to give Bortles one more chance in Week 7’s dream matchup against the Raiders. After only being able to muster 246/1/2, I think it is time for him to find a permanent spot on your bench, or better yet the waiver wire. I don’t know what changed from 2015 to 2016, (mechanics? decision making?) but he does not look like the same guy.
Greg Olsen vs. AZ
Okay, let me make this clear. I am not actually recommending that you sit Greg Olsen. I mean the dude is on pace for 1626 yards. You are starting him each and every week.
I would 100% recommend that you stay away from him in DFS, and tamper expectations in season long formats.
The Cardinals have been lights out against opposing tight ends. They have yet to allow a touchdown to the position, and Jimmy Graham’s 53 yards on Sunday was the biggest yardage output against them. I am expecting a 5/60 type of effort from Olsen, which won’t live up to his DFS price tag.
Zach Miller vs. MIN
Welcome back Cutler. While this is a good thing for Alshon Jeffery owners, I don’t feel the same way for Miller. In the four full games that Hoyer played, Miller saw 8+ targets in three of them. I don’t expect near that type of volume with Cutler slinging it. To make matters worse he is facing a Vikings defense that has yet to allow a touchdown or more than 6.4 fantasy points to an opposing tight end.
Stack Play: Brady to Gronk
I’ll just leave this here…
Good luck this week. Hit me on Twitter @barkballin with any questions.
(Click the RED link below to listen)
Major League Fantasy Football Show: Join Ej Garr, Corey D Roberts, and Coach Andy Macuga live Sunday October 30th, 2016 from 11am-12:30pm EST for episode #74 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. This is a live broadcast and we take callers at 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the hosts. We will be breaking down key matchups, discussing fantasy start/sit, some DFS, and handicapping as well.
Andy is the Head Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. in Southern California, a 4 year veteran of MLFS leagues, and frequent guest on our shows.
You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”
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@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.