Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Week 12 Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

Fantasy footballers are not going to have the pleasure of using Travis Kelce this week.

The second and third-most explosive offenses in the NFL are off thanks to the Los Angeles Rams and Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs being on bye. The Kelce owners especially have a wrench thrown into their lineup plans as he is irreplaceable unless you happen to have San Francisco’s George Kittle or Carolina’s Greg Olsen as your backup tight end. While there are no Kelce clones available on waivers in fantasy leagues at this late stage of the season, there are some one-week alternatives that could help you out if you are in a major bind at TE.

Without further ado, here are the best tight ends to pick up heading into Week 12. Good luck RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 12

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 43% owned

Brate’s fantasy value has been ruined this year due to Tampa Bay’s two-tight-end offense since he is the No. 2 tight end behind O.J. Howard. Howard has been phenomenal when he has been healthy, but he will not be healthy for the remainder of the year thanks to the season-ending foot and ankle injuries he suffered this past weekend.

Brate has not had a 40-yard game this season, though he did score touchdowns in three consecutive contests earlier in the season despite Howard hanging around. With Howard sidelined Brate can now return to being Jameis Winston’s favorite red-zone option like he was the past two years (14 touchdowns in 2016-17) and he should be able to average 40-50 yards on a weekly basis. Brate immediately shoots up the waiver wire Hot 100 charts to be the best tight end available in most leagues in the wake of Howard’s unfortunate injury.

Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos – 25% owned

Denver went into rebuilding mode by dealing longtime No. 1 receiver Demaryius Thomas at the trade deadline, and that was fine for Heuerman. After only being targeted 19 times in his first seven games of the season, Denver’s top tight end has been targeted 21 times over his last three contests and has become a favorite of quarterback Case Keenum faster than you can say “John Elway owns a lot of car dealerships!”

Heuerman is not going to make many defenders miss with cement feet, but he has the perfect size in the red zone and has flashed above-average hands in recent weeks now that he is having more passes thrown his way. Heuerman does not have an easy game this week against a Pittsburgh pass defense that has come a long way since the opening month of the campaign, but he is still one of the best options available in most leagues at the tight end position.

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans – 12% owned

It takes pass catchers a little longer than other position players to adjust to the NFL game, and Smith is a prime example. It took the former 2017 third-round pick 23 games to catch 23 passes to start his career, but over his last three contests, he has 11 receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns. With Tennessee’s wide receiver corps consisting of Corey Davis and a bunch of inconsistent, unproven youngsters, Smith has the perfect opportunity to become the second-best option in the Titans passing attack.

Smith will face a Houston Texans pass defense this week that has allowed Washington’s Jordan Reed and Denver’s aforementioned Jeff Heuerman to have their best games of the season against them over the past two weeks. The only strike against Smith is the availability of starting signal caller Marcus Mariota, who left the Titans game this past weekend with another arm injury. Smith’s fantasy stock takes a hit if Blaine Gabbert becomes the quarterback throwing to him.

Lance Kendricks, Green Bay Packers – 2% owned

Bummed about Jimmy Graham’s broken thumb? Look no further for a fantasy replacement than his real replacement. Kendricks is a durable veteran who has never done much for fantasy owners in the touchdown (19 TD in eight seasons) or yardage (one season of over 500 receiving yards) departments, but he now gets the chance to be the No. 1 tight end in an Aaron Rodgers offense.

Just because I have Kendricks listed in the column does not mean I predict he will have a half-dozen receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown this week. Kendricks is not a game changer or a game breaker. But if Heuerman and Smith are not available in your league and you need a tight end whose odds of scoring a touchdown this week just went up, Kendricks is a worthy nominee.


Other Tight End Options

Ed Dickson, Seattle Seahawks – 7% owned

Dickson has hauled in two touchdown tosses in his first four games since returning from injury. He is slated to face a Carolina defense that has been prone to allowing tight ends to get in the end zone, so this could be a match made in fantasy football heaven this weekend.

Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers – 16% owned

Every time I think Gates should be put out to pasture, he takes a dip in the Fountain of Youth and surprises the fantasy football world with another great game. The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer is coming off his best outing of the season (5-80-1) and can be a spot starter for fantasy owners this week for his home game against lowly Arizona.

Follow Craig on Twitter @craigrondinone!

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!

More Recent Articles


Week 8 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

This was a REALLY difficult week to rank, because there are so many usable DSTs this week. There are usable options all the way down to Tier 4 this week, and you're going to have something available to you on the waiver wire in even the deepest of leagues. Below are RotoBaller's Week 8 defense... Read More

Week 7 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be great MNF game, at least it's a divisional game with some importance. This is what Jets fans need to tell themselves heading into their second Monday Night Football game of the season. With the New England Patriots coming to town off their annual semi-bye in which they... Read More

Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's Chase Edmonds' world, we're just living in it. Wait, what? Hopefully you added him, as suggested in this column the past two weeks, because even if David Johnson is deemed healthy enough to actually play, it's likely Edmonds continues to see action. In QB news, by the halfway point of Thursday night, we already had... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered planning for Week 8. Some of you are ecstatic with the level of production that has been delivered by your running backs. But many of you have been contending with unwanted developments at this position including injuries, inconsistent usage, and... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

We're heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. By now, some of y'all are getting a good sense of where you're at fantasy-wise, if you're heading to the postseason or playing for fun or, in a dynasty league, building for the future. This look at wide receivers is for all of you. As we... Read More

Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

A two-team bye week is a lot easier for fantasy football players to navigate than a four-team bye week. Fantasy owners are going to have to live without Dallas’ Jason Witten and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews in Week 8. If you have one of the those players as your starting tight end, the problem is that... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 8

Tragedy struck a few top quarterbacks this week, as both Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan left games with injuries. We already know Mahomes will miss 3-6 weeks, while more will be revealed about Ryan's status later today. Either way, owners of these quarterbacks will need a backup plan in place, and this week the waiver... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 8 Lightning Round

The better part of seven weeks is in the fantasy football books, making those early trends very real -- for better or worse. One must still consider the matchups played thus far and those to come, but usage and volume are becoming reliable. Week 8 sees the Ravens and Cowboys hit their bye week. To... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 7 Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss several weeks. Matt Ryan is out for the game with an... Read More

Week 7 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system.   NFL Matchup Ratings - Weekly Lineup Projections FLEX RB WR TE QB DEF K ** click column headers to sort table Player... Read More

Week 7 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 7... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Updated Week 7 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 7 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 7 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison are both active. Todd Gurley is officially active, Malcolm Brown is out. Christian Kirk is not expected to play this week. David... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 7

Welcome to our Week 7 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target in Week 7

In Week 6, Julio Jones didn't score, but he came through with a decent fantasy day, going over 100-yards receiving. Brandin Cooks brutal Week 6 showing was a little bit of a surprise given his 2018 track record against the 49ers, but the Rams offensive line was overwhelmed which led to a rough day for... Read More