Streaming Tight Ends: Week 3 Targets
Through two weeks of football, the tight end position is as unpredictable as ever. Of the current top 12 PPR tight ends, just five were drafted as top 12 players at their position. In fact, just as many current TE1s were drafted outside the top 20 at the position, as TE1s drafted in the top 12. It’s this very positional variance that makes the Tight End By Waiver Wire (TEBWW) strategy, or tight end streaming, the go to option for many owners, even after just two games.
For those new to tight end streaming, the idea is to target a tight end that is available on waivers that has a reasonable chance, based on their matchup and recent usage, to put up TE1 numbers. The backbone of the streaming strategy is 4for4’s Schedule Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) metric, but the metric requires at least three weeks of data to truly rely on its accuracy. After four weeks, aFPA will be the primary reference for streaming targets, and the reliability of this metric only gets stronger as the season progresses.
Early in the season, targets, red zone usage and Vegas lines can help us spot under-owned tight ends that are likely to turn in productive fantasy weeks. No matter how early or late in the season, the ultimate goal of streaming is to find a player who can become an every week starter (hopefully readers of this column landed Jordan Reed).
In Week 2, our optimal streamer, Jordan Reed finished as the TE6 with 14.2 PPR fantasy points and all streaming picks averaged 11.8 PPR points. Through two weeks, our optimal streaming candidate has posted 16.8 PPR points per game, or TE5 numbers, and all TEBWW picks have averaged 10.2 PPR fantasy points, which equates to the TE15 on the season.
All TEBWW candidates must be available in at least 40% of Yahoo leagues in order to ensure that streaming picks are readily available in most leagues. As always, be sure to check out 4for4’s Rest-of-Season Rankings (available Tuesday afternoon) to make sure a highly ranked player isn’t available in your league before turning to a streaming option.
On to the tight end streamers for Week 3:
Jared Cook (STL) vs Pittsburgh
After two weeks, only nine tight ends have seen more targets than Jared Cook, who has 10, and Cook is also 7th among tight ends with 132 receiving yards. The Steelers have allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends, and though those numbers are skewed by a big game from Rob Gronkowski in Week 1, Vernon Davis turned in a TE1 performance against Pittsburgh in Week 2. With an over/under at 47.5 and a spread of just 1 point, this should be one of the higher scoring games of the week, and Cook is available in 85% of Yahoo leagues.