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Week 15 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football season is over, either because you did not make your league’s playoffs or because you have had enough of failing in DFS contests, then this column is not for you.

Congratulations if you HAVE qualified for your fantasy league’s playoffs! To reach the postseason you must have received some decent play from the tight ends on your roster, but if you need one for your championship run than there should be a couple on your league’s waiver wire that can help you this week. And if you are just looking to make a couple of extra bucks to add to your holiday spending budget, feel free to find a tight end below to stream in a DFS contest!

Without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 15!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 15

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams – 24% owned

It took Higbee 57 games to finally have his first 100-yard-game. It only took one more to get his second. Higbee has the look of a Hall of Famer after racking up 14 receptions for 223 yards and touchdown over the past two weeks. Many fantasy pundits chalked Higbee’s first foray into triple-digit yardage territory a fluke because it came against Arizona’s pathetic pass defense, but now that he repeated the feat against Seattle I think it is time to take notice that Higbee is onto something.

L.A. head honcho Sean McVay has worried less about getting passes into the hands of Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley this year and given those targets to Higbee and tight end teammate Gerald Everett, who has also thrived when he has been featured more often in the offense. But Everett’s knee injury has helped turn Higbee into a top-10 tight end in two weeks' time. Higbee will face a reeling Dallas Cowboys squad that allowed Chicago’s unknown duo of J.P. Holtz and Jesper Horsted to combine for seven catches for 92 yards last Thursday. Higbee should be able to post those numbers all by himself as long as Everett stays sidelined and the Rams continue designing plays for him.

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos – 41% owned

The quarterback carousel in Denver has caused Fant’s fantasy value to fluctuate on a weekly basis. Joe Flacco did Fant no fantasy favors, then Brandon Allen led Fant to his most productive stretch of the season, only to have Drew Lock bring it back down in his first NFL start. It looks like Lock and Fant are on the same page now, though, after Fant caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in Denver’s shocking upset over the Houston Texans this past Sunday afternoon.

I realize Fant does not have an attractive matchup this Sunday – at Kansas City against an improved pass defense that has a 3-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio over its last three contests and held Fant to one measly catch earlier in the season. Fant has just as much short-term and long-term fantasy value as anyone in this column and mostly anyone on waiver wires these days, however, so he has to be considered one of the top prospects at the position for the present and future. One note of caution – Fant left the game early on Sunday with a foot injury, so make sure he is healthy and suiting up for sure this week if you need him for your playoff game.


Other Options to Consider

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens – 13% owned

Hurst has been overshadowed by Mark Andrews since the two tight ends were drafted by Baltimore in 2018, even though Hurst was drafted in the first round and Andrews the third. But now that Andrews has a leg contusion and might not play this Thursday against the New York Jets, Hurst will definitely be thrust into an important role in the Ravens passing attack since quarterback Lamar Jackson loves tossing to his tight ends. Hurst had three receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown this past week and could do it when the Jets come to town.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – 38% owned

Gesicki has learned how to put his big body, soft hands and above-average speed to better use in recent weeks as he scored back-to-back touchdowns heading into Week 14. He picked the worst possible time to pull the fantasy plug on himself, however, as his one-catch, six-yard dud against a New York Jets secondary that was missing three starters might have killed many fantasy seasons. Give him another chance this week against a New York Giants defensive backfield that has been totally terrible throughout the campaign and Gesicki might reward you.

Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks – 39% owned

Hollister continues delivering solid fantasy performances even though he was stuck behind Will Dissly, Ed Dickson and Luke Willson on Seattle’s depth chart at the start of the season. Hollister has 24 receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns over his last five games and should do well against a Carolina team that appears to be giving up on the season now that Rob Rivera was canned as head coach.

Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers – 13% owned

Thomas filled in nicely again for the oft-injured Greg Olsen this past weekend, catching five passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. If Olsen is not ready to return from his concussion this week, Thomas gets to face a Seattle secondary that just made Tyler Higbee look like Tony Gonzalez in his prime. Just know that if Olsen is slated to come back that Thomas holds no fantasy value in standard leagues whatsoever since he had only caught one four-yard pass all season up until Olsen was injured.

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans – 19% owned

Smith has the athletic skills of a wide receiver, but you never know what you are going to get from him week in and week out. He looked like a Pro Bowl player when he hauled in a touchdown against Oakland this past Sunday and faces a Houston team that just allowed the aforementioned Fant to slice and dice their defense. Just know going in that Smith could break your heart as easily as he could make you cheer.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 21% owned

Brate needs the injuries or demotions of others to help create targets and opportunities in Tampa Bay’s offense for him. The latest open door comes via Mike Evans’ hamstring injury, which was key to allowing Brate to have 30 receiving yards and a TD this past weekend versus Indianapolis. If Evans misses this week’s game against Detroit’s bottom-of-the-barrel pass defense, Brate could be a pickup nominee in deep leagues as he will probably get three-to-six targets.

Jesse James, Detroit Lions – 7% owned

When James signed his $25 million deal with Detroit in the offseason, fantasy players probably thought the Lions were going to gift him with an important role in their offense. Turns out that role had much more to do with blocking than catching passes. First-round pick T.J. Hockenson got most of the tight end targets during the year but now that he is out with a season-ending ankle injury, James will see more passes thrown in his direction. Unfortunately, James can only be viewed as a longshot option, especially if Matthew Stafford is not the one throwing the passes.


Don’t Forget About…

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions – 46% owned

Speaking of Hockenson, the rookie burst onto the fantasy scene with six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown in his very first NFL game, but his value has gone as downhill as Lindsey Vonn since then. He was only able to add another 236 yards and one additional touchdown since Week 1 due to a shoulder injury, a concussion and tighter coverage from opposing defenses. Now that he is done for the season due to his ankle, take advantage of owners in dynasty leagues who set him free and pick him and stash him for 2020 and beyond.

Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys – 11% owned

Who knows if Jason Witten’s return from retirement was a one-and-done situation? He may want to beg for another shot at the broadcast booth after the fiasco this season has become for the Cowboys. If Witten does call it quits again, Jarwin would be Dallas’ top tight end in 2020 and could be poised for 600 yards and six touchdowns if he progresses at the position.

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