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Week 11 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football squad is still in the playoff hunt heading into Week 11, then congratulations on not being the Pat Shurmur or Freddie Kitchens of your league.

Fantasy football players will have to live without New York’s Evan Engram, Green Bay’s Jimmy Graham and Tennessee’s Jonnu Smith as their teams are on bye. The threesome have all been helpful in their own ways for fantasy purposes at different points of the season, but they will not be of any help this week. So if you have a gaping hole in your starting lineup because someone from this trio is your usual starting tight end, hopefully, this column will help you find a one-week option to get you by.

Without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 11! Warning – the waiver wire is as bare at tight end as the shelves are at a Kmart that is in the process of closing.

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TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 11

Darren Fells, Houston Texans – 45% owned

The only thing that could slow down Fells was Houston’s bye week. Before that he was in the midst of the most productive stretch of his journeyman career, racking up five touchdowns in a five-game span after never having scored more than three touchdowns in any of his prior five seasons. Fells has been one of the biggest surprises at the tight end position of 2019, if not the biggest.

Fells faces a Baltimore defense that has been in the bottom half of the pass-defense rankings for most of the campaign. Adding Earl Thomas at safety might have hurt the secondary more than it helped in some respects. There is no reason to think that Fells’ fantasy fortunes will fall on hard times this week. Ride him like the hot hand he is until he fails you.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – 33% owned

Now that Preston Williams is out of the pass-catching picture due to his season-ending knee injury, Gesicki has one less receiver taking his targets. The second-year Penn St. product has blossomed before our eyes over the past month-plus, catching 18 passes for 225 yards in his last five games. More importantly, he has been second in targets on the Dolphins in each of Miami’s last two outings.

Gesicki’s problem this week is he that is tasked with finding openings against a Buffalo defense that does not allow many gaps within its secondary. His other problem is he still has not scored a touchdown, so his fantasy value is neutralized until he makes as many plays in the red zone as he does between the 20s. Despite that, Gesicki’s short-term value and long-term potential still make him one of the more attractive gets at tight end on waiver wires.


Other Options to Consider

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos -- 34% owned

Many fantasy players may have forgotten about Fant while he was on bye. If you're like me and pound coffee and dark chocolate like Derrick Henry pounds linebackers who try to tackle him, though, your memory is probably pretty good, and you recall how Fant rumbled for 115 yards and a TD in the last game he suited up for. Denver's most-recent first-round pick is destined for big things, although they might not fully come to fruition until 2020 or 2021 once the Broncos figure out who their franchise quarterback will be.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – 44% owned

Rudolph’s fantasy worth has been damaged between Minnesota’s run-first offensive philosophy and rookie Irv Smith Jr. splitting the playing time and touches throughout the season. However, Adam Thielen’s hamstring pull has made Rudolph relevant again. Rudolph is earning the multimillions he made in the offseason by scoring touchdowns (four in his past four games) even if the yardage isn’t there (54 yards over his past three games).

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals – 26% owned

I could have beaten Eifert in a 100-yard dash during the first month of the season while he recovered from his umpteenth lower-body injury, and his 8.4 yards per catch solidifies the fact he has lost a couple of steps. Eifert is coming off back-to-back decent fantasy performances, however, and should be considered as a streamer or waiver wire pick this week since the Oakland secondary in charge of covering him has been decimated by the losses of Karl Joseph and Lamarcus Joyner.

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – 51% owned

The chemistry between Doyle and backup quarterback Brian Hoyer is electrifying. It reminds me of how Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski used to be so in sync. OK, I’m horsing around a bit, but the fact of the matter is Doyle has TD grabs in back-to-back games and is being featured more often. Doyle will battle Jacksonville’s defensive backfield this week, a group that has allowed tight ends to score three times over its past two games.

Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys – 10% owned

You could certainly make the argument that Jarwin is as valuable, if not more so, than teammate Jason Witten in fantasy leagues these days. Jarwin has caught two touchdown tosses and has had to games of 35 or more yards over Dallas’ past three contests. This week he is up against a Detroit defense that is so bad at defending the pass that it allowed Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky to throw three touchdown passes when he had thrown just five in seven games entering the weekend. Jarwin could be used as a one-week spot start if you are in a tight end pinch.


Don’t Forget About…

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills – 19% owned

While Knox has not exactly been burning up boxscores with his recent stats (6-69-0 over his past three games), he has been on the field more often than Tyler Kroft, so he is officially the Bills’ top tight end. With Buffalo playing at Miami this week, Knox could be a help in the present, but his talents and tools suggest he will be a bigger help in the future.

Demetrius Harris, Cleveland Browns – 8% owned

Harris will never be confused with Travis Kelce or George Kittle, but the guy has had 25 yards or more in three straight games, so it is not like he is worthless, especially in deep leagues. There are worse plays out there this week than using Harris against a Pittsburgh defense who covers wide receivers better than it covers tight ends, especially if Ricky Seals-Jones misses another Sunday due to injury for Cleveland.

Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals – 4% owned

Sample’s sample size has been smaller than a Lilliputian (five receptions for 30 yards), but I am not asking fantasy players in standard year-to-year leagues to pay any attention to him. Sample is someone that dynasty owners should be aware of because Cincinnati drafted him in the second round this past April for a reason. Tyler Eifert will probably not be back with the Bengals in 2020, and C.J. Uzomah is a block-first tight end, so Sample will undoubtedly play a larger role in Cincy’s offense in the years to come.

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