Week 9 Tight End Analysis
This week 9 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. Zach Ertz (PHI) vs DEN (29th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 14.60
Ertz gets the top tight end spot this week, as fellow TE1 Rob Gronkowski is on his bye week. He did have a quieter week 8 by his standards, catching 4-of-6 targets for 34 yards and a touchdown. Ertz now has 6 touchdowns through 8 games and is a top redzone threat for Wentz. This week he draws the Broncos, who give up an average of 17.2 PPR points/game. The Broncos were just roasted by Travis Kelce (KC), and Ertz will likely see a similar workload. Ertz has a fairly safe PPR floor as well, as he’s averaged 5.3 receptions per game, and has a great chance at scoring for the 5th consecutive week.
My Projected Points: 14.00 (5 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 3. Evan Engram (NYG) vs LAR (6th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 12.20
Engram continues to thrive in his role as the focal point of the Giants. In week 8, he caught 6-of-12 targets for 60 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks. He’s now scored in two consecutive weeks and has compiled 19 targets over that span. This week, he draws a difficult assignment against the Rams. The Rams only allow an average of 9.5 PPR points/game and haven’t allowed more than 61 yards yet this season to a tight end. That being said, Engram is clearly the first read in this offense, and the return of Sterling Sheppard may help to open up some looks for Engram. I think Engram still beats his projections for the week, with a solid receptions floor and yardage.
My Projected Points: 12.50 (6 receptions, 65 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 4. Jimmy Graham (SEA) vs WAS (28th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 11.20
Graham had a fantastic week 8, catching 4-of-5 targets for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns. He now has 4 touchdowns in his past 3 games and has been a consistent part of the Seattle game plan. While the yardage may not always be there, he has shown the redzone presence that made him such a fantasy asset in New Orleans. This week, he faces the awful Washington tight end defense, who allow 16.6 PPR points/game to tight ends. Furthermore, the Redskins have allowed a tight end to eclipse 90 yards four times this season already, and give up an average of 81.1 yards/game. Given the easier match-up and Graham’s continued involvement, I think he beats his projections for the week.
My Projected Points: 13.00 (5 receptions, 80 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 5. Jack Doyle (IND) at HOU (24th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.70
Doyle has his best game of the year in week 8, catching 12-of-14 targets for 121 yards and a touchdown. Doyle has shown some consistency as well, having at least 7 targets in his past 4 games. Brissett seems to trust him immensely on short to intermediate throws, and consistently looks at Doyle as his first read. This week he draws the Houston defense, who allow an average of 14.9 PPR points/game to TE. They were just torched by Jimmy Graham for two scores last week, and have now given up 3 touchdowns to tight ends in the last 2 weeks. I expect Doyle to continue to produce with a solid PPR floor, and he will also have a great shot at a touchdown this week.
My Projected Points: 15.00 (5 catches, 40 yards, 1 TD)
Top 15 Rank#: 7. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) vs BUF (22nd ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.60
ASJ had a rough week 8, catching 5-of-5 targets for only 28 yards. He snapped his three-game touchdown streak, but still remained a focal point on short yardage throws. He also had a touchdown vulture by backup tight end Eric Tomlinson, so his week could have been better. In week 9, he plays the Bills on the Thursday night game, who have been beat by tight ends in recent weeks. Tight ends average 6 receptions/69.1 yards per game against the Bills. I think ASJ has a great shot of hitting his projections with his reception floor and can move the chains on short yardage throws.
My Projected Points: 11.00 (5 receptions, 60 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 10. Jared Cook (OAK) at MIA (23rd ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 9.50
Cook had a decent week 8, catching 4-of-5 targets for 57 yards. Over his last two games, he has caught 10-of-12 targets for 164 yards. He has been a solid contributor for the Raiders offense, often running wide receiver routes for long gains. This week, he plays the Miami Dolphins, who have allowed 45 receptions to TE so far this year (3rd most in the NFL). With Derek Carr’s health improving, I can see Cook contributing a solid PPR day against a weaker Miami TE defense.
My Projected Points: 10.00 (4 receptions, 60 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 11. Vernon Davis (WAS) at SEA (15th ranked TE defense). Projected Points: 8.60
Davis has been a surprise at TE this year, as Jordan Reed cannot stay healthy at all. He has had some big games in between some dud games, so it’s tough to predict his performance. Davis has had 58 yards in 4 of his last 5 games and faces a middling tight end defense in the Seahawks. I like Davis to get some targets this week, and he can be a nice surprise streamer this week.
My Projected Points: 10.00 (4 receptions, 60 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 14. Ed Dickson (CAR) vs ATL (9th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.50
Dickson has been the preferred target underneath for Cam, and with the departure of Kelvin Benjamin, he may receive more targets this week. Atlanta plays tight ends well, allowing an average of 55.6 yards/game to tight ends. With the departure of Benjamin, I like Dickson to exceed his projection, but not with a lot of yardage.
My Projected Points: 9.00 (5 receptions, 40 yards)
Tight Ends below PPR Projections
Top 15 Rank#: 2. Travis Kelce (KC) at DAL (4th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 13.60
Kelce has his best game of the season in week 8, catching 7-of-10 targets for 133 yards and a touchdown. Denver is notoriously poor against tight ends, so the production from Kelce was somewhat expected. This week, he faces the Cowboys, who have played tight ends tough all year. The Cowboys allow only 9.9 PPR points/game to tight ends, and only one touchdown this year. Furthermore, tight ends only average 48.7 yards/game and 4.1 receptions/game against them. The Cowboys haven’t faced a tight end of Kelce’s caliber yet this year, but have done a good job containing other tight ends. I expect Kelce to still have a decent PPR floor and yardage, but I wouldn’t expect a touchdown.
My Projected Points: 12.50 (4 receptions, 85 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 6. Cameron Brate (TB) at NO (7th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 10.20
Brate had a decent week 8, catching 4-of-5 targets for 64 yards. He has now eclipsed 60 yards and at least 5 targets in 5 straight games. He seems to have a rapport with Winston, who has been struggling through a shoulder injury. Given his consistent role, I think Brate is a must-start each week, even with a tough opponent. New Orleans has put together a surprisingly strong defense this year, especially against tight ends. They’ve only allowed 1 TE touchdown, with an average of 3.1 receptions and 37.1 yards/game for tight ends. I will still recommend starting Brate, but you should keep this week’s expectations tempered.
My Projected Points: 9.00 (4 receptions, 50 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 8. Jason Witten (DAL) vs KC (16st ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.90
Witten caught 3-of-5 targets for 31 yards in week 8, against the Washington Redskins. In what was supposed to be an easy match-up, the Cowboys decided to ride Zeke to a victory. Now with Zeke suspended for the next 6 games, the Cowboys may have to rely on their passing game more, which could benefit Witten. This week, he faces the Chiefs, who allow 3.8 receptions/68.3 yards per game to tight ends. The Chiefs have a weaker pass defense, but without the threat of Zeke coming out of the backfield, they may be able to float another safety for coverage. I think Witten will have his targets and short receptions, but yardage will be hard to come by.
My Projected Points: 8.50 (4 receptions, 45 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 9. Delanie Walker (TEN) vs BAL (24th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 9.80
Walker is coming off Tennessee’s week 8 bye, which gave him time to rest his injured ankle. He didn’t practice as of Wednesday, but proclaimed himself as “day-to-day” and it’s possible he sits again in week 9. If he starts, he has a great match-up against the Ravens, who allow 13.2 PPR points/game to TE. Given the health of Walker, and the Titans having a capable bac-up in Jonnu Smith, I think the Titans funnel the game through to their run game and wideouts.
My Projected Points: 8.00 (4 receptions, 40 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 12. Tyler Kroft (CIN) at JAC (16th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.30
Kroft caught 5-of-6 targets for 46 yards against Indianapolis last week and has had at least 4 receptions in his last 4 games. He’s been establishing a nice PPR floor for himself in the absence of Tyler Eifert. However, this week, he faces the top secondary in the league, the Jaguars. I don’t think Eifert will have a lot of yardage or targets, but he is a risky stream that’s heavily TD dependent.
My Projected Points: 7.50 (4 receptions, 35 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 13. Benjamin Watson (BAL) at TEN (11th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 7.80
Watson was questionable to play in week 8, but he ended up with 2 catches on 4 targets for 6 yards and a touchdown. Watson hasn’t exceeded more than 43 yards in his last 6 games, and Tennessee allows only 531.1 yards/game to tight ends. He is heavily touchdown dependent and can’t be relied upon for yardage and receptions.
My Projected Points: 6.50 (3 receptions, 35 yards)
Top 15 Rank#: 15. Austin Hooper (ATL) at CAR (14th ranked TE defense). Projected PPR Points: 8.00
Hooper caught 4-of-6 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown in week 8, and he faces a middling Carolina defense this week. Hooper has had wildly inconsistent games thus far this year, and the touchdown in week 8 was his first TD since week 1. I think Atlanta tries to get him involved on short yardage throws, but his inconsistent role makes him too difficult to stream reliably.
My Projected Points: 7.00 (4 receptions, 30 yards)
Season Projection Record: 73-47-0 (60.8%)
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