C.J. Fiedorowicz has been a breakout candidate in 2016, surprising everyone with TE1 numbers in a shallow TE pool. While Brock Osweiler has been doing his best to hold the Texans back, they seem to be producing despite his efforts. Through week 13, Fiedorowicz has 59 targets, 39 receptions, 429 yards and 3 TDs. Since week 4, he hasn’t received less than 5 targets a game, showing he is a trusted part of the Texans game plan. While red zone opportunities have been hard to come by for all Texans, Fiedorowicz’s large frame allows for him to gain some red zone looks.
Consensus Ranking and Projected Stats
For week 13, Fiedorowicz is ranked as the 84th Flex PPR player overall, and the 12th tight end. His projections for the week:
Receiving: 3.7 catches, 39.3 yards, 0.3 TDs
Total Points: 9.6 PPR points
Current Week Match-up
This week, the Green Bay Packers host the Houston Texans. The total Vegas over/under is set at 46.5, which is a middling total on the week. In typical Green Bay fashion, it’s expected to be a snowy/rainy day. Expected temperatures for Dec 3rd are 41°F, with 8 mph winds. With an open-air stadium, Green Bay has seen its fair share of poor weather games. However, this may work in Fiedorowicz’ favor. Osweiler has already been struggling with accuracy issues, so the Texans have revised their game plan recently for more throws underneath. Fiedorowicz can get open on short slant routes using his frame to box out defenders. With the poor weather, Fiedorowicz may have a chance to produce underneath.
The Green Bay Packers have also had their secondary decimated over the past few weeks, even though they came to play against Philadelphia in week 12. Fiedorowicz lines up to be a stable part of the Texans game flow, and should receive plenty of looks this Sunday.
Comparable Flex Starters
I’ve analyzed some comparable flex starters, along with a brief description of why I like them more or less:
TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles. Projected PPR points – 10.1 points
Zach Ertz has been a wildly inconsistent fantasy producer for his entire career, but has been more involved in the Eagles game plan recently. He has had at least 6 targets in each of his last four games. However, the targets have not turned into stats. Ertz has only 38 receptions, 373 yards, and 1 TD on the year. Cincinnati has given up a few fantasy points to TE this year, but the inconsistency of Ertz makes it tough to trust him against the Bengals.
Conclusion: Start Fiedorowicz over Ertz
TE Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints. Projected PPR points – 7.5 points
Fleener is another TE who has been plagued by inconsistency his entire career. While he is part of the high-octane Saints offense, there is far too much variability there to judge who will be successful each week, outside of Drew Brees. Even the presumed WR1 in New Orleans, Brandin Cooks, went without a single target in a 49-21 blowout win over the Rams. The Saints will be hosting Detroit this week, which bodes well for the scoring potential. However, even against Detroit’s cupcake TE defense, I wouldn’t trust Fleener as an owner trying to make a playoff push. Brandin Cooks has recently been complaining about his role on the team. I have a feeling that the squeaky wheel gets the grease this week. Coupled with the fact that both Willie Snead and Michael Thomas are superior pass-catching options to Fleener, I think he’s the odd one out this week.
Conclusion: Start Fiedorowicz over Fleener
Record to Date:
Player Projections: 4 – 7, 1 N/A
Start/Sit Recommendations: 14 – 7, 3 N/A