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Tight End Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 4

There are millions of fantasy football owners who probably need a tight end this week, one that can somehow replace one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

The first bye week is upon us, and many fantasy owners will take a J.J. Watt-like hit at the tight end position because San Francisco’s George Kittle, the guy who set the all-time single-season record for receiving yards for a tight end last year, is off. Luckily it is early enough in the season that there should be several available options on your league’s free-agent list.

Without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 4!

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TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 4

Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks – 45% owned

Dissly is no flash in the pan after following his two-TD Week 2 performance with six receptions for 62 yards and a TD against the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints. Considering he is available in more than half of the leagues out there, Dissly is undoubtedly the best tight end on the fantasy waiver wire. Those he shied away from Dissly during their drafts and auctions because of the season-ending knee injury he suffered last season are probably pulling a Gardner Minshew and hitting themselves with a hammer.

Dissly will be running routes against an Arizona Cardinals secondary that has allowed tight ends to tear them up. After allowing both Detroit’s T.J. Hockenson and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews to hang 100-yard receiving games on them, the Cards watched Carolina’s Greg Olsen rack up 75 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3. Penciling Dissly in for 75 yards and a score is definitely reasonable, and 100 yards and a pair of end zone visits is certainly not out of the question.

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills – 11% owned

Buffalo spent several million in the offseason on former Cincinnati Bengal Tyler Kroft in an effort to upgrade its tight end position. Unfortunately, the oft-injured Kroft has yet to get his feet on the field yet due to another injury. The good news is that the door has been opened for Knox to barrel through and lay claim to being Buffalo’s MVTE -- most valuable tight end.

Knox was virtually invisible the opening two weeks, but he had a breakthrough this past Sunday in his breakout game versus Cincinnati, snagging three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. The TD is especially noteworthy because Knox never scored one during his collegiate career.  Fantasy players can only hope Knox develops into an above-average tight end like another Ole Miss standout, New York Giant Evan Engram. His stock in dynasty and keeper leagues is already climbing and will go through the roof if Kroft continues to suffer setbacks and allow Knox more opportunities to produce.

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – 32% owned

Maybe Andrew Luck’s retirement wasn’t the death knell for Indianapolis’ offense after all. All Jacoby Brissett did this past weekend was complete 28 of his 37 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns, and the Colts offense looked like the same juggernaut it was when Luck and Peyton Manning were the starting signal callers in past years.

With No. 1 WR T.Y. Hilton dealing with an injured quad, Doyle should be the one counted on the most to move the chains when Indy needs a first down. Doyle has successfully caught seven of the nine Brissett passes thrown his way, and the pair had no trouble hooking up in 2017 when Doyle set career-highs with 80 receptions for 690 yards when Luck was sidelined. Doyle will have to fight fellow tight end Eric Ebron for looks, but if Hilton is out for a couple weeks I would pick up Doyle in PPR leagues and expect some six-catch outings in Hilton’s absence.


Other Tight End Options

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings – 19% owned

Kyle Rudolph might be the veteran tight end on the team who signed a multimillion dollar contract in the offseason, but Smith is becoming the better fantasy play as the season wears on. The 2019 second-rounder caught three passes for 60 yards in this past week’s victory over the Oakland Raiders, while Rudolph managed just one receptions for 11 yards. Smith’s stock will rise even higher if Rudolph gets injured and/or Kirk Cousins starts throwing the ball 30 times per game instead of the 21 times per game he has through the first three weeks.

James O'Shaughnessy, Jacksonville Jaguars – 4% owned

Jacksonville has some receiving depth these days, but the Jags do not have a bonafide No. 1 WR and certainly do not have a receiver who is a master inside the red zone. O’Shaughnessy will not win any track meets (9.4 career yards per catch) but could evolve into one of the Jaguars’ top targets down by the end zone thanks to his wide body. He is a better bet in touchdown leagues than PPR leagues.

Jordan Akins, Houston Texans – 4% owned

It is too early to tell whether the best game of Akins’ career (3-73-2) this past Sunday against the L.A. Chargers was a one-week wonder or a precursor of things to come. Akins had never reached the end zone before this performance, and is probably the fifth or sixth-best option in Houston’s pass offense. Feel free to grab him if you are desperate in a deep league for a TE, but you would probably be better off waiting another week to see if this was an aberration.

Demetrius Harris, Cleveland Browns – 5% owned

David Njoku’s broken wrist/concussion combination has led to Harris being elevated to top tight end status in Cleveland’s offense. While the Browns passing attack centers around 90 percent of the passes going to Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and tailback Nick Chubb, Harris could do well picking up the leftover scraps. His two targets this past Sunday night both came in the end zone, and he was able to catch one for a touchdown.


Don’t Forget About…

Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets – 34% owned

Fantasy owners have to wait until Week 6 for Herndon to return following his four-game suspension and New York’s bye, but he might be well worth the wait. The Jets receivers are not exactly flying down the field this season, and Herndon and franchise quarterback Sam Darnold had wonderful chemistry together last season as rookies. Herndon should be able to provide 30-50 yards per week and occasional touchdowns once he gets back on the field.

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens – 16% owned

Mark Andrews has been more lights out than David Spade during the first three weeks of the season, but do not forget that Hurst was taken two rounds ahead of Andrews when Baltimore selected both of them during the 2018 NFL draft. Hurst still has long-term appeal in dynasty leagues, but his short-term appeal in year-to-year leagues is still on the low side since Andrews and No. 3 TE Nick Boyle split the targets and catches with him.

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