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Week 9 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

Week 9 will not be an easy week for fantasy football owners or tight end lovers.

Four NFL teams are on bye this week, and the tight ends who will be out of action are prominent and valuable. Atlanta’s Austin Hooper, who has been a top-5 tight end throughout the season, is the marquee name who will not be on the field this weekend. Los Angeles Rams up-and-comer Gerald Everett, New Orleans’ Jared Cook and Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert will also be watching this week’s games from home. If you need someone to step in for one of these guys this week on your fantasy squad, keep reading!

Now that we have passed the halfway point of the fantasy regular season, the waiver wire is as bare as a hungry bear’s cupboard. So just know that many of the same names will be popping up on a weekly basis in my column from here on out. Without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 9!

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TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 9

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans – 14% owned

It is harder to find a tight end with breakaway speed and big-play ability than it is to find a fine Antonio Brown has not had levied against him. Smith has been racking up big plays lately for a Tennessee offense that needs playmakers as badly as a piece of Swiss cheese needs holes. Smith has averaged 18.8 yards per catch and has had three games of 50-plus yards over his last four contests.

Smith has thrived as Tennessee’s top tight end while Delanie Walker has nursed a sore ankle. He should not be forced to give his spot up once the again Walker returns. Smith is slated to face an above-average Carolina pass defense this weekend, but as long as he keeps getting featured in the offense and Ryan Tannehill keeps finding him, fantasy players have to strongly think about picking him up.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans – 34% owned

I have been banging the drum for Fells as often as Taylor Hawkins bangs them for the Foo Fighters. All Fells does is produce. The veteran has finally found a home in Houston after pit stops in Arizona, Detroit and Cleveland during his career. He has four touchdowns over his past four games to go along with catching 16 of the 17 passes thrown his way over that juncture. Houston franchise QB Deshaun Watson has never been known to throw to his tight ends a lot in his short career, but that has changed recently.

One good game can be considered an aberration or an anomaly. A good four-game stretch is harder to ignore. Feel free to sign Fells up whether you need him to be your starting tight end the rest of the way or as a one-week streamer this Sunday against Jacksonville’s mediocre pass defense. I do not know what has brought this on, but keep riding Fells’ fantasy wave until defenses bring him back to earth.


Other Options to Consider

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos – 32% owned

Denver’s first-round draft choice should still be considered for possible fantasy employment despite the fact he is battling long snappers and holders at the bottom of the barrel in terms of fantasy value. Now that Emmanuel Sanders was sent to San Francisco, Denver is short on pass-catching options. Fant actually led all Broncos with eight targets this past weekend and should be one the team’s top targets from here on out --- if for no other reason than the receiving corps is basically Courtland Sutton and a bunch of no-names.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles – 33% owned

Goedert has been in a virtual dead heat in terms of targets with perennial Pro Bowl teammate Zach Ertz over the past four contests and has three touchdowns in his past five games. He would have made the main portion of the column if his Eagles were not hosting the Chicago Bears and their no-nonsense defense this week. 

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 25% owned

Brate filled in for an injured O.J. Howard this past weekend and saw a season-high six passes thrown in his direction. Howard most likely will return this week, which will stunt the momentum Brate has been building, but the Tampa Bay tight end has scored two touchdowns over his past four games and posted three 30-yard games during that span. For the love of god, this man scored 20 touchdowns in the three seasons leading into the 2019 campaign. Bruce Arians, please get Brate the ball in the red zone!

Ryan Griffin, New York Jets – 2% owned

We keep hearing that New York’s top tight end Chris Herndon should be returning from his injured hamstring one of these weeks, but he might as well take his time now that the Jets season is over and Griffin is playing his best ball of the year.  All Griffin did against Jacksonville this past Sunday was catch two touchdown tosses from injury-riddled Sam Darnold, which is pretty impressive considering Griffin had one TD between 2017 and 2018 combined. If Herndon’s hammy forces him to remain sidelined, Griffin is a one-week stopgap option, especially against the lowly Miami Dolphins.


Don’t Forget About…

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals – 28% owned

Eifert entered Week 8 with a yards per catch of 6.9, which was worse than the yards per carry of 14 college running backs. Eifert had his best game of the season against the Los Angeles Rams, though, setting season-highs across the board with his six receptions, nine targets and 74 receiving yards. He appears to be the healthiest he has been in a long, long time.  Just remember what I said in the opening -- he is on bye this week, so you are not getting anything from him until Week 10.

Ben Watson, New England Patriots – 15% owned

Four catches for 44 yards in two games is nothing to shout about on Instagram, but you have to give Watson a couple games to get back in game shape and used to being on the field again. Being Tom Brady’s No. 1 tight end can always pay fantasy dividends. The acquisition of Mohamed Sanu was not the best news for Watson’s fantasy worth, however, so we will have to see how that plays out in future weeks during red-zone opportunities.

Foster Moreau, Oakland Raiders – 10% owned

Moreau sounds like a character on The Bold and the Beautiful and he is the backup to lights-out fantasy stud Darren Waller in Oakland, but he has quietly scored two touchdowns in the past month and has average almost 30 yards per game during that timeframe.

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