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Normally, this week is probably not the week that millions of fantasy football players would be scouring their league waiver wires for tight ends. The Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints are the only two teams on bye, and neither have a tight end fantasy owners will miss much.

But as you are probably aware, tight end has been a fantasy nightmare for many owners and fantasy teams this year. Between injuries, ineffective play, and lack of production - the tight end epidemic is real. It's more important than ever to attack viable tight ends on the waiver wire, and be on the lookout for those who may be emerging with more targets, volume, production and a role in the offense.

Without further adieu, here are the best tight ends to pick up heading into Week 6. Good luck RotoBallers!

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TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 6

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons – 50% owned

You never know this season which pass catcher Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan will make his top target. One week it is Pro Bowler Julio Jones. The next week it is talented rookie Calvin Ridley. Then Ryan will spend a game dumping countless passes off to his running backs. It is harder to figure out than a Bill Gates algorithm.

Hooper led the Falcons with a dozen targets and nine receptions for 77 yards this past Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While this does not mean that he will be aimed at more often than Jones or Ridley from here on out, it possibly means that Hooper and Ryan are finally developing a chemistry that will hopefully be more consistent as the season wears on. If Hooper gets the targets he has the skills to be a decent fantasy option, so pick him up and pray Ryan keeps looking his way. 

Geoff Swaim, Dallas Cowboys – 16% owned

Ladies and gentleman, do we have the second coming of Jason Witten on our hands here? No, I have not been sniffing any glue or smoking any of the wacky tobacky, but I am exaggerating a bit, that’s for sure.

On a team full of mediocre receivers, Swain has emerged as arguably Dak Prescott’s most dependable option in recent weeks. Swaim has 11 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown over his past three contests. Swaim is not Witten, but he will probably be a better fantasy option than an injured Terrance Williams or a healthy Allen Hurns, so sign him up and you could be on the receiving end of 35-60 yards per week. Swaim is facing Jacksonville this Sunday, and I just watched the Jags give up 100 yards to Travis Kelce, so do not be shocked if Swaim can muster 50 yards against them. 

Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers – 25% owned

If you thought Gates was closer to retirement than the end zone entering the 2018 campaign, you have probably been convinced otherwise by now. Gates is not his same self from his prime when he gave fantasy owners 900 yards and nine touchdown on an annual basis, but he is a better candidate than most others at tight end on the waiver wire at this point of the season.

Gates has 91 yards and one touchdown over his past three games, so he is not exactly lighting up fantasy scoreboards. He also has two running backs (Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler) a fellow veteran tight end (Virgil Green) and three high-quality wideouts (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams) to battle for Philip Rivers’ attention. But Gates can still get it done in the red zone and can still help fantasy owners in a pinch.

 

Other Tight End Options

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens – 27% owned

Baltimore’s 2018 first-round selection finally made his debut after missing the first four games with a foot injury. He only had one catch for seven yards and has to leapfrog Maxx Williams and Mark Andrews on the depth chart, but if you have time to be patient in a dynasty or keeper league pick Hurst up since he should be the Ravens’ top tight end before the conclusion of the season.

Nick Vannett, Seattle Seahawks – 8% owned

Seattle tight ends have been going down faster and harder than Lindsey Vonn goes down a ski slope. Vannett is the defacto starter for now with Will Dissly out for the season. Vannett caught four passes for 43 yards this past weekend, but just know that veteran Ed Dickson should return Week 8 and will probably supplant Vannett as the starter. 

More Options: C.J. Uzomah, CIN (26%), Ryan Griffin, HOU (0% owned), Niles Paul, JAX (0% owned)

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups


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