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Week 16 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

It all comes down to this week in most fantasy football leagues, and if your league allows you to make waiver picks during Super Bowl week and you need a tight end, please look below!

Congrats if you are in your league’s fantasy finals! I am assuming you did not have David Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, or Sammy Watkins playing pivotal roles on your squad. While the majority of playoff teams in fantasy leagues probably got some decent numbers from their tight ends, many squads might have been carried by their quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. The bottom line (sorry to sound like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin) is if you need a tight end upgrade for your fantasy title tilt, there might be a player below that could help you out. And if you are looking for the perfect streamer for your DFS contest, the someone in the same crop could help you win a couple bucks.

Without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 16!

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 16

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams – 45% owned

The Gerald Everett Era was a short, sweet four-week run. But now that Everett’s injury has opened the door for Higbee to barrel through and become a surprising star in the fantasy world, fantasy footballers cannot believe how worthless he was for the first three and a half seasons of his career.

Higbee has racked up three straight 100-yard games the past three weeks in what has been the most impressive three-game stretch any tight end has had this season in the NFL (26 receptions, 33 targets, 334 yards and one TD). Higbee has to find cracks in San Francisco’s pass defense, which looked impenetrable until Julio Jones lit up the 49ers this past Sunday. I could see Higbee having to settle for six catches for 75 yards this week, but should still work wonders for fantasy players in a pinch for a tight end this week.

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans – 20% owned

It is obvious that Adam Gase is not the offensive mastermind the New York Jets thought he was when they gave him their head coaching position this year. Gase had Ryan Tannehill under his wing for two seasons in Miami and all the former first-rounder did was throw interceptions and get injured. Now Tannehill has thrust Tennessee into the thick of the AFC playoff race and has elevated the play of his skilled-position players, which is something he never did with the Dolphins.

Smith showed his speed and playmaking ability with the amazing 57-yard run he has against Houston this past weekend, which was the longest run for a tight end in over 40 years. Smith added five receptions for 60 yards and will next be up against New Orleans’ slumping secondary, which had allowed three of the last four quarterbacks it faced to throw for 300 yards heading into its Monday night matchup with Indianapolis. Unlike other tight ends at the top of this column, Smith should be available in most leagues and is deserving of a chance in a fantasy championship contest.


Other Options to Consider

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos – 44% owned

This super-athletic pass catcher is now on the same page with quarterback Drew Lock and making big-chunk plays downfield (six catches for 169 yards and two TD in past two games). Now the promising rookie plays a Detroit defense that was 30th against the pass coming into its game against Tampa Bay this past weekend and then proceeded to allow Jameis Winston to throw for 458 yards. Fant is a top streaming option and a top pickup candidate in standard leagues.

Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks – 40% owned

Hollister’s recent numbers do not matter. What matters is he is facing the worst defense in the NFL when it comes to covering tight ends, the Arizona Cardinals. How bad are the Cardinals? They just allowed Ricky Seals-Jones to catch two touchdown passes against then. Yes, the same Ricky Seals-Jones who has been a fantasy flop for three seasons now! Hollister may have a career day against the Cards.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – 39% owned

I am not sure if fantasy players should be happy that Gesicki managed four receptions for 47 yards against the New York Giants this past Sunday or disappointed he could not provide more against their Janoris Jenkins-less secondary. He has averaged 40 yards per game over the past month, however, and scored twice in his last four contests. Gesicki also has a favorable matchup against Cincinnati, so he must be considered as a pickup choice if the top five tight ends in this column are not on your waiver wire.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 21% owned

Mike Evans’ season-ending hamstring injury may have hamstrung Tampa Bay’s passing attack and offense, but it is helping, not harming, Brate’s fantasy worth. Brate has 11 targets over the Buccaneers’ past two contests and should do all right against a Houston defense that has allowed tight ends in back-to-back weeks to have 100 combined yards against it.

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals – 25% owned

At this point of their careers, Andy Dalton is a better quarterback than Ryan Finley. That is why it is better for Eifert’s fantasy value that Dalton has returned as Cincinnati’s starting signal caller. Eifert is coming off back-to-back 40-plus-yard outings, is slated to face Miami’s below-average coverage crop and is being targeted more while Bengals receivers struggle to get open.


Don’t Forget About…

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens – 16% owned

It had to be disappointing for Hurst hopers to see Mark Andrews return for Baltimore’s Thursday night whipping of the New York Jets after being hurt four days prior. This was just another roadblock for Hurst’s fantasy value. You never know what could happen in the volatile NFL. Might Baltimore move on from their 2018 first-round pick since the Ravens are stacked at tight end so they can upgrade another position? All I’m saying is it is too quick to pencil Hurst in as Andrews’ backup next year, so do not forget about him this offseason if you are in a dynasty league.

Matt LaCosse, New England Patriots – 3% owned

Tom Brady and the Patriots have missed Rob Gronkowski as badly as my wife misses me on an NFL Sunday. LaCosse is on a very modest two-game target streak where he has been aimed at seven times by Brady. I would guess that LaCosse will be hard-pressed to reach the 30-yard mark against Buffalo’s staunch secondary this week, but in some leagues he might be the only option available.

Josh Oliver, Jacksonville Jaguars – 9% owned

Jacksonville’s third-round pick this past April saw his season end almost as quickly as it started when he suffered a season-ending back injury. While his small sample size of stats (three receptions for 15 yards in four games) is not exactly awe-inspiring, Oliver has a decent chance of starting the 2020 campaign as Jacksonville’s No. 1 tight end, so picking him on the cheap in dynasty leagues may work depending on how your league’s rules are.

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