No matter how much mental preparation we do for the NFL season, it surprises us every time. We tell ourselves that there will be injuries but we are still shocked when Javonte Williams and Brece Hall to come down. We know there will be weeks off but we’ll freak out when cooper blowSteffon Diggs, Justin Jefferson, and AJ Brown all have the same week off. And we know trades can happen, but it amazes us when Christian McCaffrey and james robinson get exchanged. How do we prepare for the unknown?
Despite that, we’re going to do our best to plan for a chaotic landscape by ranking tight ends by their remaining value of the season. Then on Thursday I will Tweet my specific week 7 rankings. We will do our best to navigate this turbulent landscape filled with injuries, waivers and trades.
As a reminder, here is the complete writing on how the strategy works. To sum it up, if you don’t have an elite tight end, you should field two: the safest possible play (Yin) to start each week and the highest bench reserve (Yang) to see if we can catch lightning. in a bottle. The rankings themselves are based on years of research we have done on the position, all of which are compiled in this article on What makes an elite tight end.
*Orange players potentially have injury issues
- Travis Kelce – The only thing that separates Andrews and Kelce the rest of the season is the fact that Andrews is bumped. Kelce is goodbye this week, so you need a replacement.
- Mark Andrews – Mark Andrews was not seen in training today which is not good news at all considering they are playing on Thursday. If he came out, Probable Isaiah is a viable filler. He probably has a very similar usage to Andrews – he runs 86.5% of his routes from a WR spot and rarely passes boulders, so he would play an important role in Andrews’ absence. If Andrews misses this Halloween weekend, things could get even scarier after that, as they have their week 10 goodbye, so they might be tempted to sit it in week 9 as well.
- George Kittle – We’ve featured it in this article every week so the production isn’t a surprise – George KittleThe use of is pretty much the same as when he was a high-end tight end. The game’s storyline was to blame but it has shown in the past two weeks what it is capable of. Now with Trent Williams back, he no longer has any reason to block as usual. Deploy it every week you have it.
- Dallas Goedert – He’s not on his team’s top two targets and he’s running low aDot routes. Those are the two knocks on him. But he’s been pretty consistent at an inconsistent post and he’s already had his week off. It is safe, although boring.
- David Njoku – You really can’t have nice things, can you? David Njoku was one of the only bright spots from week 3 when Jack Conklin came back and he moved away from the blockage. Now he has an injured ankle and is expected to miss 2-5 weeks. If you have an infrared spot, hide it. If you have shallow benches you might have to drop it, but it would be a shame not to have it for the playoffs when Deshaun Watson come back.
- Tyler Higbee – Tyler Higbee was in a similar boat to Goedert – weak aDot but consistent goals. When he was healthy, he was playing 90-95% of the snaps and going a ton of routes, which made him go up in this section. The injury worries for him right now are two-fold in that he has an injured ankle himself and injuries to the offensive line could force him to hang on and block more. Hopefully he’s regained his health beyond the bye, but if he blocks six passes again like he did in Week 6, he’ll go down in the Yin section.
Safe games (YIN)
- TJ Hockenson, Zach Ertzand Gerald Everett – These guys continue to benefit from the injuries of other pass catchers. The Lions miss DJ Chark, jameson williams, and André Swift. Meanwhile, Ertz and Everett got lucky, as did DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen revenue, Marquise Brown and mike williams hurt himself. They all remain viable options as long as the guys are short on time.
- Pat Freiermuth – Freiermuth is sort of in a category of its own here and the Chase Claypool commercial rumors make me want to make it evolve. From now on, Diontae Johnson is the team’s first target while Claypool (44), Freiermuth (41) and George Pickens (40) battle for the second. Technically you could call Muth the 2nd dog since he missed a game there. But Pickens is stepping up every day. So the reality is that Muth probably fits in where he’s a safe option but not quite a go-to option.
- Dalton Schultz – I know it’s not his fault, especially this week when he was clumsily tackled. But there’s nothing more frustrating in fantasy football than when a guy who’s injured gets dressed and then leaves the game because he’s injured. Which Schultz did twice in a row. You can start it, but just know the downside. It will be lower in the weekly ranking than it is in ROS.
- Robert Tonyan – We were hoping he would continue to ramp up, but his snaps actually slipped back a bit this week – he only played 30 of 54 snaps and went 29 routes on 41 dropbacks. Unless it goes up, it has capped upside down. Washington is a tough game for tight ends, so it won’t always be this bad.
- Hayden Hurst and Mike Gesicki – We know who the main targets of this team are. And it’s not those guys. Chase, Higgins, Hill and Waddle are on another level, hurting the upside. At least Gesicki doesn’t have to face either Tyler Boyd.
Upside down games (Yang)
- Darren Waller – Darren Waller is still Darren Waller but conditions have changed. They now have Davante Adams and Renfrow Hunter. And he is also banged up. If he can regain his health, the advantage is there. But he no longer has to start.
- Evan Engram – We have been saying this for a long time. He’s a good player who plays more like a wide receiver. And that’s how it was used. After a tough little period, he had 10, 6 and 7 targets in the last three games. You don’t really get that anywhere else.
- Kyle Pitts – Kyle Pitts at 24.6%, has the second-highest target share of any tight end. Higher than Travis Kelce. But, if the team doesn’t throw, it doesn’t matter. So he continues to slide down that ranking until the Falcons prove they’re ready to get the ball rolling. Save us, Desmond Cavalier.
- Greg Dulcich – Dulcich once again has a decent turnout (72%). The offensive and QB situation stinks but the jerry jedy trade rumors are what raised him. If Jeudy is traded, Dulcich could immediately be the second target for this team. Assess.
- Taysom Hill – I can’t tell you when or where to start this drive. He is a complete joker. And you can’t statistically compare it to any other tight end. So whether to start it or not is entirely your call.
- Juwan Johnson – As long as Jarvis Landry, Michael Thomasand or Adam Trautman running out of time, it’s a viable option. That’s why he was a TE1 for us in our ranking last week. This guy does a lot of roads and he’s a converted WR, so he’s done a lot of them from a WR spot. James Winston love him (12 targets in the first two weeks), so we want Winston back.
- Logan Thomas – You really need an IR dot to hold here, but the other ends tight and Jahan Dotson are all messed up. The advantage could be there on the stretch.
Tight end handcuffs and the rest
- Harrison Bryant – With David Njoku absent for several weeks, Bryant steps into a viable role almost immediately. I would add it to any player in The Rest column. If you could start it this week I would honestly add it to Hurst, Gesicki and Tonyan as well. The opportunity is too great.
- Cade Otto – Cade Otto is a highly viable option at all times Cameron Brate is outside. In week 5 he played 94% of snaps and caught 6 of 7 targets. Last week, without Brate, he caught 4 of 5 for 67 yards. When Brate returns, he does not appeal.
- Probable Isaiah – We mentioned it, but Probably becomes viable immediately if Mark Andrews is excluded. Worth a speculative add-on if you bet on Andrews.
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