George Kittle’s foot fracture is just another reminder that 2020 is here to steal your joy. Kittle is out at least three weeks due to being put on IR, and the estimation is that he’ll miss eight weeks. It’s just another reason 2020 is disgusting.
As for tonight’s matchup, keep an eye on Jordan Reed news. He saw 13 targets in two games earlier in the season when Kittle was out, and he’d be the superior play over Ross Dwelley if he was active.
1 Travis Kelce vs. CAR
2 Darren Waller at LAC
I think this ends the top tier. These two lead all tight ends in targets, Kelce with 69 and Waller with 61. Kelce ranks first in red zone looks (14) and Waller ranks third (11). There isn’t much to complain about if you own either of these two.
3 Rob Gronkowski vs. NO
4 Mark Andrews at IND
5 Noah Fant at ATL
And this ends the second tier. Two premium scoring assets, plus a freak athlete in the best matchup around, in Fant at the Falcons.
6 Hunter Henry vs. LV
7 T.J. Hockenson at MIN
Probably the end of a tier. Hockenson saw 11 targets in a bit of a surprise last week. The only downside this week is the absence of Matthew Stafford—otherwise I’d probably rank him above Henry.
8 Evan Engram at WAS
9 Jared Cook at TB
10 Hayden Hurst vs. DEN
End of a tier. I’m still trusting Engram’s volume, especially against a Washington defense that is now without safety Landon Collins. He’s due for a touchdown, too. He’s received five red zone looks in each the last two weeks (2 and 3). It’s going to happen.
11 Jonnu Smith vs. CHI
12 Eric Ebron @ DAL
End of another group for me. After this you’re rolling the dice. Well, let’s be fair, you probably started rolling the dice after the top five.
13 Trey Burton vs. BAL
14 Logan Thomas vs. NYG
15 Robert Tonyan @ SF
16 Mike Gesicki @ ARI
17 Jimmy Graham at TEN
I don’t love Tonyan’s matchup, but the shortage at running back in Green Bay opens up about seven to 10 targets—and Tonyan already saw seven targets in a Week 8 renaissance, catching five for 79 yards. He’s not an upside play in this matchup, but there’s a decent floor here as a TE2 option.
18 Jordan Akins @ JAC
19 Ross Dwelley vs. GB
If Jordan Reed goes tonight, I’d fire him up as my No. 13 tight end—aka a premium streaming candidate. However, in the absence of that news I’m ranking Dwelley as the starter.
20 Tyler Kroft vs. SEA
21 Irv Smith Jr. vs. DET
22 Will Dissly @ BUF
23 Anthony Firkser vs. CHI
24 Albert Okwuegbunam @ ATL
Sure, I’ll take a dart on Albert O. against the Falcons, even though he’s the clear No. 2 tight end in Denver.
If you’re going past this point I think it’s either Dalton Schultz (vs. PIT) or Greg Olsen (@ BUF). The Seahawks tight end thing is rough right now, and both are pretty much dart throws. The only reason we are interested in figuring it out this week is because of the soft matchup against the Bills. I prefer the younger guy in Dissly who also saw more snaps a week ago (43 to 37). But Olsen is plenty involved with running routes. While neither is getting the lion’s share, they’re both just long-shots.
Who are you laboring over starting this week?