This week 6 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 PIT (7th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 12.10
Kelce was on pace for a monster week 5, as he totaled 8 catches on 11 targets for 98 yards in the first half alone. However, he was kept out of the second half due to concussion concerns. He will likely be cleared this week, but it’s definitely a situation worth monitoring. This week, he faces a tough Pittsburgh defense that has only allowed one touchdown to tight ends thus far. Keep updated on Kelce’s status throughout the week. If he plays, I like him to beat his projection as he is a focal point of this offense, but keep your expectations muted for the day.
My Projected Points: 14.00 (6 catches, 80 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #2. Zach Ertz (PHI) at CAR (9th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 13.40
Zach Ertz continued his streak of success in week 5, catching 8-of-12 targets for 61 yards and a touchdown. He has settled in as Wentz’s go-to receiver and has at least 5 catches in every game this season. While he draws the stiff Carolina defense this Thursday, they still allow a 70% completion rate. Given Ertz’s average of 9.6 targets per game, I like his chances of continuing his pace of at least 5 catches per game. Look for Ertz to once again be a focal point in the Eagles’ offense.
My Projected Points: 14.00 (7 catches, 70 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #5. Evan Engram (NYG) at DEN (25th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.60
Engram produced a goose egg in week 5, garnering 4 targets for no catches. This was surprising, given that the Giants lost 4 of their top 5 passing options to injuries during this game. Afterwards, we learned that both Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall needed season0ending surgeries, and the Giants receiving core is suddenly in disarray. However, this moves Engram to the top of the receiving options. He will likely become the focal point of this passing attack, which may result in more coverage. This week, he plays a very tough Denver defense. I expect Engram to beat his projections with target volume, but be held without a touchdown.
My Projected Points: 10.50 (5 catches 55 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #6. Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs NE (28th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.90
Seferian-Jenkins is starting to live up to the expectations people had of him in Tampa Bay, where he was highly touted as a tight end prospect. Last week, he caught 6-of-8 targets for 29 yards and a touchdown against the soft Cleveland Browns defense. However, this was the second week where ASJ led the Jets in targets, showing that he is indeed a focal part of their passing offense. In week 6, he plays the Patriots, who have allowed a league-leading 12 touchdowns to tight ends in 2017. I expect ASJ to once again find his way into the end zone, and continue his streak of production.
My Projected Points: 14.50 (5 catches, 30 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank: #9. Cameron Brate (TB) at ARI (21st ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.30
Brate caught 5-of-9 targets for 68 yards and a touchdown in last week’s loss to the Patriots. He had two drops, including one in the end zone, and could have even had a bigger production for the day. Brate has scored in the least three games and has had at least 4 catches over that span. This week, he plays the Cardinals, who have allowed at least 60 yards each week to tight ends this year. Given Brate’s target share and red zone targets, I expect him to continue to out-produce his projections this week.
My Projected Points: 13.50 (5 catches, 85 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #12. Ryan Griffin (HOU) vs CLE (31st ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 7.90
Griffin was trending up before his week 5 showing, where he only caught 2-of-4 targets against the Chiefs. This week, he draws a soft Cleveland Browns defense, who have allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends in 2017. I expect Griffin to have a low yardage game with a red zone opportunity.
My Projected Points: 8.20 (2 catches, 20 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank: #15. George Kittle (SF) at WASH (28th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 7.70
Kittle burst onto the tight end landscape in week 5, catching 7-of-9 targets for 83 yards and a score. I like his chances of producing streaming fantasy tight end numbers this week, as he faces a Washington defense that has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to tight ends in 2017.
My Projected Points: 8.50 (4 catches, 45 yards)
Tight ends below PPR projections
Top 15 Rank: #3. Rob Gronkowski (NE) at NYJ (10th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 14.30
Gronk was a surprise inactive last Thursday night, due to a thigh injury that flared up during practice. He was seen on the field for a portion of Tuesday’s practice, which bodes well for his chances of playing this week. Furthermore, Tom Brady has reportedly injured his non-throwing shoulder but still expects to play this week. New England plays the New York Jets this week, who have given up the 10th fewest fantasy point to tight ends in 2017. Gronk is a must-start each week, but the combination of injuries between Brady and Gronk are enough to make me think this is a run game for New England.
My Projected Points: 12.50 (4 catches, 85 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #4. Delanie Walker (TEN) vs IND (27th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 11.20
Walker finished with 3 catches on 5 targets for only 25 yards in the Titans 16-10 loss to the lowly Dolphins. Having Matt Cassel at quarterback really limited Walker’s value, and there are reports that Mariota will likely miss multiple weeks. However, he plays this Colts this week, who rank 30th in pass defense and give up the 5th most points to tight ends. Walker has a chance to produce more, but I think the offense will ultimately be too limited by Cassel.
My Projected Points: 10.50 (4 catches, 65 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #7. Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs GB (2nd ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.70
Rudolph is coming off his best game of the season, catching 6-of-9 targets for 45 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. He was the beneficiary of extra targets due to a groin injury to Stefon Diggs and managed to capitalize on the opportunity. Given that Diggs has had repeated trouble with groin issues stemming back to last year, and Dalvin Cook is out for the season, Rudolph figures to garner more targets as the year progresses. I expect Rudolph to continue gaining more of the target share, but if Diggs plays, it will directly cut into Rudolph’s production. With a match-up against a Green Bay defense that has held tight ends to under 30 yards to date, I expect a lower weekly output from Rudolph.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 catches, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #8. Hunter Henry (LAC) at OAK (19th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.60
Henry caught 3-of-8 targets for 42 yards and a touchdown last week and has now scored consecutive weeks in a row. However, he has had very uneven production throughout this year. Hunter was noticeably ahead of Gates in this match-up, and he plays the 19th TE defense in Oakland this week. The Raiders have allowed only an average of 4 catches per game to TE and have only given up 2 touchdowns this year to tight ends in 2017. Given Henry’s uneven red zone targets, he will likely still get his targets but will stay out of the end zone this week.
My Projected Points: 7.50 (3 catches, 45 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #10. Jordan Reed (WAS) vs SF (1st ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 11.80
Reed once again had a disappointing fantasy day, catching 3-of-5 targets for 21 yards against a tough Kansas City defense. He continues to be an afterthought in this offense. This week, he plays the San Francisco 49ers, who haven’t allowed a tight end to surpass more than 20 receiving yards in 2017. I don’t like Reed to beat his projections this week, once again.
My Projected Points: 7.50 (4 catches, 35 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #11. Martellus Bennett (GB) at MIN (24th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.20
Bennett just doesn’t seem to have the red zone presence many had hoped for in 2017, as he has yet to score a touchdown. In week 6, he faces a Minnesota defense that hasn’t allowed more than 40 yards to a tight end in 2017, and Bennett has averaged exactly 38.8 yards per game. Look for similar production to his previous outings.
My Projected Points: 8.50 (4 catches, 45 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #13. Ben Watson (BAL) vs CHI (18th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 8.10
Watson played through a calf injury last week, catching 2-of-4 targets for a measly 4 yards. He has cooled off since his week 3 output of 8 catches for 91 yards and hasn’t surpassed 50 yards in his last 3 weeks. Struggling in a weak offense, I don’t expect Watson to surpass expectations in Chicago.
My Projected Points: 6.50 (3 catches, 35 yards)
Top 15 Rank: #14. Jared Cook (OAK) vs LAC (4th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.20
Cook continues to garner targets, as he’s gotten at least 5 targets per game. However, with EJ Manuel under center, the entire Oakland offense is limited. If Manuel plays, I expect Cook to deliver below his fantasy projections.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 catches, 40 yards)
Season Projection Record: 46-29-0