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Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end.

Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a tight end against the hapless and hopeless Arizona Cardinals, who have been the worst at covering tight ends all year long and are on bye as well. There are plenty of viable options at the tight end position on the waiver wire, however. Just do not shoot me for sounding like a broken record because many of these names have been featured in this column a lot over the past month!

Without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 12!

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TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 112

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos – 39% owned

Denver General Manager and Hall of Fame legend John Elway might not know how to pick the right head coach to lead his team, but he certainly picked the right tight end to be a focal point of his offense for several seasons to come.

Fant has had the two best games of his short season in back-to-back weeks. After racking up 115 yards and a touchdown in Week 10, he followed that up with four catches for 60 yards on a team-high 11 targets against Minnesota. Fant and super sophomore Courtland Sutton are the two-some that will lead Denver’s pass-catching posse for the remainder of the season, and for many years to come. Fant will have to work hard the next two weeks to get open against Buffalo and the Los Angeles Chargers, two of the top pass defenses against tight ends in the NFL, but he will see plenty of targets and should do well in the short term for fantasy players in year-to-year leagues and in the long term for those in dynasty and keeper leagues.

Ryan Griffin, New York Jets – 13% owned

The season-long soap opera of when/if Chris Herndon would return from his suspension and subsequent hamstring injury is finally finished.  Herndon has been shut down for the season, and Griffin will be the main man at tight end for Sam Darnold and the Jets from here on out.

Griffin has had 50 or more receiving yards in three of his past four starts and has reached the end zone four times over that month-long span. He also just had the first 100-yard game of his seven-year career and has completely clicked with Darnold since the quarterback returned from his battle with mononucleosis. Considering the next three defenses Griffin faces are Oakland, Cincinnati, and Miami, he probably has the most advantageous upcoming schedule of any decent tight end on the fantasy waiver wire right now. If you need a TE, sign Griffin up!


Other Options to Consider

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins28% owned

Gesicki could not crack Buffalo’s big-time backline in Week 11 (four catches for 18 yards) and also could not find the end zone (zero TD), but he remains a waiver-wire option simply because he is an up-and-coming tight end who is now targeted regularly (12 targets over past two weeks), and plays on a team that is usually trailing late in games and throwing much more than its running.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans – 50% owned

I think Fells has been mentioned in this column six of the past seven weeks. Until more than half of the fantasy community hitches their wagons to him, though, he is still getting featured. Fells is easily having the best year of his six-year career as he has already set new career-highs in receptions, targets and touchdowns, but after only catching two passes for 19 yards over his last pair of games fantasy players should be wary that he is finally coming down to earth.

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills – 19% owned

Knox has successfully fended off injury-prone veteran Tyler Kroft to remain Buffalo’s best tight end. While the Bills’ 2019 third-round pick is not getting the target totals starting wideouts John Brown and Cole Beasley get, he is making the most of the Josh Allen passes that come his way. Knox has a half-dozen receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown over his last two outings and faces a Denver defense this week that allowed two touchdowns to tight ends in Week 11.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – 52% owned

Rudolph is still available in nearly half of fantasy leagues despite hauling in five touchdown tosses from Kirk Cousins over his past five games. His Vikings are off this week, however, so that is one less week you will be able to utilize him. Rudolph will be back in time for your league’s playoffs, so scoop him up if you need a tight end upgrade for the postseason.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 19% owned

The fantasy football community should just throw its collective hands up in the air when it comes to how Tampa Bay head honcho Bruce Arians treats his tight ends. One week O.J. Howard is a main cog in the offense while Brate is completely ignored. The next week, Howard is benched and Brate is targeted 14 times after only being targeted 20 times in his previous nine games combined. It is hard to peg what will happen for Brate this week, though he is facing an Atlanta secondary that has had trouble covering all types of pass-catchers all season long.


Don’t Forget About…

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles – 36% owned

Goedert’s fantasy worth is stunted these days because perennial Pro Bowler Zach Ertz is Philly’s top tight end. Goedert’s value might increase in 2020, though, if he or Ertz is traded to another team because the Eagles have to address other areas of their roster. Goedert should be a starting tight end somewhere next season, whether it is for Philadelphia or another organization. He has amassed 214 yards and three touchdowns over his past five games and continues to be featured in the passing attack due to the Eagles receiving corps being ravaged with injuries.

Ross Dwelley, San Francisco 49ers – 7% owned

Who? George Kittle’s backup does not get much play in San Francisco offense when it's at full strength, but he came out of nowhere to score two touchdowns in Kittle’s absence this past week. Granted, those scores have to be taken with a grain of salt since they came against an Arizona secondary that is the worst at covering tight ends in the NFL. If Kittle misses another game this week and the tight end pool is shallow on your league’s waiver wire, consider Dwelley.

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings – 21% owned

Smith Jr. is on bye this week and might not have much value when Minnesota returns to the field since top target Adam Thielen should be back by then, but think about picking him up if he is available in your dynasty league. The second-rounder has shown flashes of talent recently with 20 receptions for 188 yards and his first NFL touchdown in his last five contests.

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