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Tight End Rankings: Wild Card Weekend

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Season-long fantasy football leagues were completed a week ago, but the more adventurous among you are launching into playoff leagues or playing daily fantasy this weekend. For you degenerates we have Wodner’s wide receiver rankings and my ownership percentages from Week 17’s NFL DFS slate. And now we have tight end rankings.

Since there are scant few options this weekend, I have added some statistics to the table. After “opponent” you can find out about a player’s matchup (M/U), their total targets for the year, targets per game, targets over their last two meaningful games, total red-zone targets for the year, and total touchdowns for the year. For TGT/GM/2 I chose each player’s last two games that were “normal,” meaning Kelce’s Week 15 and Week 16, but not 17 (since he did not play).

Tight End Rankings: Wild Card Weekend

RANK NAME OPPONENT M/U TOTAL TGTs TGT/GMs TGT/GM/2 RZ TGTs TDs
RANK NAME OPPONENT M/U TOTAL TGTs TGT/GMs TGT/GM/2 RZ TGTs TDs
1 Travis Kelce vs. TEN 2nd 122 7.6 7.5 21 7
2 Greg Olsen @ NO 26th 38 2.4* 7.5 6 0
3 Charles Clay @ JAC 11th 74 4.6* 9 12 3
4 Delanie Walker @ KC 20th 111 6.9 5 13 2
5 Marcedes Lewis vs. BUF 15th 48 3 2 10 4
6 Demetrius Harris vs. TEN 2nd 35 2.2 4.5 9 1
7 Austin Hooper @ LAR 29th 65 4.1 3.5 9 2
8 Nick O'Leary @ JAC 11th 32 2 1.5 3 1

Greg Olsen’s 2.4 targets per game does not account for the nine games he missed. He would be at a more palatable 5.43 per game over the actual seven he played in, but even that is misleading with the single-target game that he exited from early. Over the last three weeks, Olsen is averaging 9 targets per tilt, which is more than Kelce averaged over 15 games this season (8.1). Olsen missed both matchups with the Saints this year, but you can bank on him being the primary focus of the Saints as Newton’s biggest playmaker. Still, with standout corner Marshon Lattimore devoted to Devin Funchess, the Panthers’ best chance at moving the chains through the air should be with Olsen against backup safety Vonn Bell. Olsen is my favorite tournament play of the week at tight end given Kelce’s guaranteed popularity and the public’s lack of trust in Cam Newton right now.

Charles Clay’s 4.6 targets per game does not impress, but he averaged 5.6 per game before missing three weeks due to a torn meniscus. After he returned from surgery he was eased back in with target counts of 3, 4, 4, 3, and 5 from Week 10 to Week 14. From Weeks 15 to 17, though, he saw target counts of 9, 10, and 8, which is elite volume. Clay and Olsen lead all tight ends in targets over the last three weeks with 27 apiece. Furthermore, the Jaguars defense is ridiculously stout on the boundaries, and LeSean McCoy (ankle) will be slowed after being carted off the field last week (if he plays at all). I do not favor Clay over Olsen on FanDuel, but I would consider him on a PPR site in an effort to differentiate myself...and I think it’s close between he and Olsen.

Delanie Walker is averaging a paltry five targets per game over the last two weeks, and the Titans continue to be a mess offensively. The matchup against the Chiefs is stiff compared to Clay’s, at least on paper. The Titans also have a few more ways to compete (Derrick Henry, Rishard Matthews, Mariota’s newfound legs) so I give the edge to Clay over Walker. I think the Bills will need to lean on Clay, whereas the Titans will not be featuring Walker.

If it were me, I wouldn’t stray below Marcedes Lewis if looking for a tight end this weekend. Lewis makes sense in a middling matchup. He will not see big volume, but he is always a threat to pull in a touchdown. That said, I would much prefer to spread out my shares between Olsen, Kelce, Clay, and Walker before dipping down to the Lewis-level.

Lastly, I suppose you could add Ed Dickson to this list, with Lattimore trailing after Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen drawing loads of defensive attention. The Panthers still haven’t proven they can feature Christian McCaffrey, and I just can’t buy into the Brenton Bersin hype. If I am looking for a value wide receiver I much prefer the services of Albert Wilson against Tennessee.

That’s it for me this morning. Vote below for your favorite tight end of the weekend!

Poll

Who is the top tight end on FanDuel this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Travis Kelce ($7,700) vs. TEN
    (1 vote)
  • 28%
    Greg Olsen ($6,500) @ NO
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Delanie Walker ($5,800) @ KC
    (0 votes)
  • 42%
    Charles Clay ($5,500) @ JAC
    (3 votes)
  • 14%
    Marcedes Lewis ($4,600) vs. BUF
    (1 vote)
7 votes total Vote Now