This week 14 tight end analysis article will explore the difference between expert consensus rankings (ECR) and projected PPR stats (both as per www.fantasypros.com). I’ll also offer my insight on their weekly match-up, along with whether or not they can beat their weekly projection.
Tight Ends exceeding PPR Projections
Top 15 Rank#: 1. Travis Kelce (KC) vs OAK (24th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 15.40
With Gronk suspended for week 14, Kelce moves in as the top TE ranking. It’s well deserved, as he’s coming off a 4 catch/94 yard/2 TD performance against the Jets. While he did score his two touchdowns in the first half, he remained involved throughout the game, splitting his 8 targets evenly between halves. This week, he faces Oakland, who allow an average of 14.3 PPR points/game to TE. Furthermore, opposing TE have gone for at least 50 yards in the last 4 games against the Raiders. I like Kelce to remain red-hot as the Chiefs desperately try to end their four-game losing streak.
My Projected Points: 17.00 (5 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 2. Jimmy Graham (SEA) at JAC (15th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 11.00
Another week, another touchdown for Jimmy Graham. He hauled in 3-of-4 targets for 26 yards and a touchdown, giving him an impressive 9 touchdowns in the last 8 games. However, he hasn’t eclipsed 59 yards in either of those games, but as long as he’s a red zone threat, it doesn’t seem to matter. This week, he gets a very tough opponent in the Jaguars, who are only allowing 14.8 points per game total. Furthermore, they’ve only allowed 4 touchdowns to TE on the year. I’m sticking with Jimmy beating his production yet again, but only by a hair. He’s simply proved too valuable in the red zone, and opposing cornerbacks just can’t seem to cover him in man coverage in the red zone.
My Projected Points: 12.00 (3 receptions, 30 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 3. Evan Engram (NYG) vs DAL (17th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 12.50
Engram had a big week 13, catching 7-of-8 targets for 99 yards and a TD. The performance with Geno Smith was welcome, given that Engram had two dud weeks prior to that (total of 4 catches for 27 yards). Now, Eli Manning returns as the starting quarterback, who has shown flashes of chemistry with engram this year. In week 14, Engram plays Dallas, who allows an average of 11.9 PPR points/game to TE. However, they’ve only given up 4 touchdowns this year to TE, and the Giants offense isn’t a powerhouse. Engram may have a solid PPR day, but I’m not counting on the TD for him this week.
My Projected Points: 15.00 (7 receptions, 80 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 4. Delanie Walker (TEN) at ARI (17th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 11.40
Walker had his second straight game with 63 yards and a touchdown, catching 5-of-5 targets. He’s listed as day to day with an ankle injury, but it’s not expected to hold him out of the lineup for week 14. He has at least 4 receptions in his past 7 games, giving him a nice PPR floor. This week, he faces Arizona, who allow an average of 11.8 PPR points/game to TE. Prior to the last two weeks, Walker didn’t have a receiving TD. Given his safe PPR floor, I like Walker to beat his projection on the day, but the strong Arizona secondary may keep him out of the end zone.
My Projected Points: 11.50 (5 receptions, 65 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 6. Hunter Henry (LAC) vs WAS (28th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.70
Henry had a solid week 13 against Cleveland, catching 7-of-9 targets for 81 yards. The nine targets were a career high, and the seven catches were his most in a game since week 2. Still, the Chargers refuse to consistently use him and trot out Antonio Gates to run some routes. However, this week, Henry could continue his great play, as he draws the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have been awful against the TE all year, allowing an average of 15.5 PPR points/game. They’ve already given up 7 touchdowns this year to TE alone, so Henry has some TD upside as well. Roll with Henry this week and enjoy the soft match-up.
My Projected Points: 12.50 (5 reception, 75 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 8. Jason Witten (DAL) vs NYG (32nd ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.70
Witten caught 1-of-5 targets for 8 yards and a touchdown last week. He managed to salvage his fantasy day in a game when Dak Prescott only completed 11 passes, so he was very lucky. Witten had alternated between 7 receptions and 1 receptions for his past 5 games, so if you’re using that projection model, he’s due for 7 receptions this week. He may actually get this figure, as the Giants are easily the worst team against TE for the year. They allow an average of 17.6 PPR points/game to TE, along with 10 touchdowns to TE alone. I really don’t think Witten scores again this week, but can likely beat his projection with a high reception total and low yardage output.
My Projected Points: 11.00 (7 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 11. Cameron Brate (TB) vs DET (23rd ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.90
Brate caught 2-of-6 targets for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns against Green Bay, as he welcomed the return on Jameis Winston. Brate had been awful in his absence, totaling 4 catches for 37 yards in the previous four games. However, Brate can’t be relied upon for every week red zone presence. I like him as a streaming option this week, but I wouldn’t count on his involvement in the red zone. Look for him to have a better PPR day against a soft Lions TE defense, but will likely stay out of the end zone.
My Projected Points: 10.00 (5 receptions, 50 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 15. Stephen Anderson (HOU) vs SF (13th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 6.70
Anderson is an intriguing streamer play with fellow TE CJ Fiedorowicz heading back to the I.R. with a concussion. He put up an impressive line in week 13, catching 5-of-12 targets for 79 yards and a TD. A catch-first TE with athleticism, he knows vaults into the starting role. With Bruce Ellington on the I.R as well, the Texans are short on pass catchers, and Anderson may help to fill that void. Even against a tough SF tight end defense, I like Anderson to beat his projections this week, after a 12 target performance.
My Projected Points: 10.00 (4 receptions, 60 yards)
Tight Ends below PPR Projections
Top 15 Rank#: 5. Zach Ertz (PHI) at LAR (8th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.50
For the second time in 3 weeks, Ertz had a dude-game, catching 2-of-4 targets for 24 yards. Furthermore, he’s battling the concussion protocol, after leaving late in the third. Ertz had hit his head hard on the turf and did not return to the game afterward. Owners have to carefully monitor his practice participation throughout the week, but it’s likely he clears concussion protocol. However, his opponent this week is the LA Rams, who allow an average of 10 PPR points/game to TE. Given Ertz’s injury concern and his tough opponent for the week, I’m hesitant to be bullish on his production. I expect him to be involved, but maybe not to the extent that fantasy owners wish.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 7. Jack Doyle (IND) at BUF (16th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 11.30
Doyle caught 3-of-5 targets for just 16 yards in week 13 against the Jaguars, who stymied the Colts offense all day long. The Colts offense seems to disappear entirely against tough secondaries and strong defensive lines. This week, they face a similarly difficult challenge, as they play the Buffalo Bills. The Bills allow an average of 12.9 PPR points/game to TE but have only given up 2 scores on the year. They were recently shredded by both Kelce and Gronk, but those are two high caliber tight ends. Given the Colts offensive line woes, I think Brissett will be under pressure constantly from the Bills, leading to Doyle blocking more/getting less receiving routes.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 9. Kyle Rudolph (MIN) at CAR (4th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.30
Rudolph continued his production in week 13, catching 4-of-5 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown. He now has at least 4 receptions in eight straight games, firmly establishing his PPR floor. He also has continued involvement in the red zone, scoring 3 touchdowns in the last 2 weeks. However, his opponent this week is the Panthers, who have allowed a TE to eclipse 36 yards just twice this season. They allow an average of 9.1 PPR points/game to the position and have played TE’s extremely well all year. I think Rudolph will continue his involvement with the offense but will be hard-pressed to find production against the Panthers.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 10. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) at DEN (31st ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.90
ASJ caught 2-of-3 targets for just 7 yards in week 13, but it was against a very tough Kansas City TE defense. The Jets seemed content to air the ball out between Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, leaving ASJ as the forgotten man. He hasn’t scored in 5 straight games and is losing the red zone appeal that made him a decent TE streamer. Denver could be a “get right” situation for him, however. They allow 16.1 PPR points/game to TE, along with 8 touchdowns on the year. I’m not sure that ASJ gets back into the red zone this week, and he definitely won’t rack up yardage, but owners can hope that he salvages his day with a few catches. I still don’t think it’s enough to beat his projection, just because he’s fallen off the Jets game plan.
My Projected Points: 8.50 (4 receptions, 45 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 12. Jared Cook (OAK) at KC (7th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.20
Cook has been abysmal over the past two weeks, catching 2-of-10 targets for 11 yards. In a game where he should have dominated targets with Crabtree and Cooper missing, he instead fell aside, ceding way to Marshawn Lynch and the rushing attack. He did leave briefly with an injury in the first half, but quickly re-entered and produced nothing. This week, he faces Kansas City, who have been stout all ear against TE. They allow an average of only 9.5 PPR points/game to TE and have only given up one touchdown all year to TE. With Crabtree returning and Cooper healing up, I doubt Cook can be relied on this week again.
My Projected Points: 6.00 (3 receptions, 30 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 13. Charles Clay (BUF) vs IND (22nd ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.70
Clay caught 3-of-3 targets for 20 yards in a game where starting quarterback Tyrod got hurt, so it looks like he’ll receive about 3-4 targets each week. Going forward, it’s hard to trust his involvement with Nathan Peterman, who is simply isn’t ready for the NFL yet. Even though Indy is one of the easier match-ups in the league, they’ll make it tough on the rookie, and Buffalo will likely try to rely on LeSean McCoy to limit exposure to Peterman. I don’t think Clay will have a great week.
My Projected Points: 5.50 (3 receptions, 25 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 14. Vernon Davis (WAS) at LAC (5th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 9.60
After being a significant part of the Redskins offense for the first half of the season, Davis has fallen off the radar completely. He’s caught just 2 passes for 15 yards over the last two weeks combined, with a total of 3 targets. Now, with a tough match-up against a Chargers defense that yields 10.2 PPR points/game to TE, I don’t like his chances of being involved again. Furthermore, the Chargers have only yielded 2 touchdowns to TE this year.
My Projected Points: 5.00 (3 receptions, 20 yards)
Season Projection Record: 110-70-0 (61.1%)