Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
Jack Doyle vs TEN
Most of the talk about this Tennessee team has centered around the ascent of Marcus Mariota to whatever it is we’re calling him now. Not much attention has been given to the yards their allowing to the TE position, which is arguably a more real thing. Recently against the TEN defense Richard “the forgotten man” Rodgers was targeted 7 times. He did nothing with those targets because he’s Richard Rodgers, but something was causing his QB to look his way repeatedly. The Ghost of Antonio Gates had good game against the Titans (75 yards and a TD)
and even Julius Thomas had a touchdown. The last time these two teams faced off it was Swoope and Doyle getting the TE work, and both had over 50 yards with Doyle catching the TD. In summary the Titans are allowing 10.9 points per game to TE’s (according to fftoday.com’s scoring which is non ppr). Thinking more about the matchup, the Titans are a lot better against the run which should give the Colts the excuse they never needed to air it out. They also have the 11th best pass rush, but to be honest Luck is under pressure every week which may be why Doyle has seen 9,3, & 10 targets in his last 3 games.
Like many of the TE’s around the league, Doyle has some competition for targets. Dwayne Allen is back, but we’d have to go back to week 5 to find a week where he saw more than 2 targets. Swoope saw an uptick in opportunity in Allen’s absence but was only targeted once in week 9. I think it’s fair to say that Doyle has outplayed both of these two, at least in the pass-catching role. It’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow if you, like me, drafted some Dwayne Allen thinking that the departure of Coby Fleener made him the all-in-one TE. Apparently there’s just really something missing from Allen’s game that keeps the Colts bringing in these complimentary players. At any rate I think Doyle is a good play this week in what could be the highest scoring game on the slate
Julius Thomas v DET
If you’re old enough to remember when Julius Thomas was a premier weapon as a part of the Peyton Manning lead Broncos, then you’ve seen the upside of this player. A lot has changed since then, but Thomas has been useful in spots catching 4 TD’s on the season and seeing 5 or more targets in 6 games. Last week was the high-water mark with Thomas being targeted 10 times for 6 catches and a TD. As a bit of an aside, I really think Bortles might be in for a decent week here, but I’m not willing to take the leap to putting him in any of my lineups. Julius Thomas may be the lowest risk way to get exposure to this game.
The Lions have been rolling out the red carpet for TE’s. We have to go back to week 5 to find the last contest wherein the Lions did not allow either a TD or at least 90 yards to the opponent’s TE(s). The only concern when your offense faces the Lions is that you might not know where the points are going. They’ve been especially succeptible to attacks from “Other WR’s” (meaning not the 1 or the 2) and the TE, which tells me that their linebackers and or Dime and Nickel CB’s are not especially good in coverage.
The Jags offense is as pass heavy as they come throwing the ball on very close to 70% of their team’s plays. As a result of that Bortles has thrown 16 TD’s and is taking nearly 6 attempts in the red zone each week. That spells opportunity for Thomas. Unfortunately they’re averaging less than 20 points a game, but if they do manage to get into scoring position Thomas should be in play, as over 80% of the Jaguars’ team TD’s come out of the hand of Blake Bortles.
Charles Clay vs CIN
In weeks and years past we’ve seen that Clay has the ability to make a big athletic play, but as of late the usage seems to mostly be catching 3 yard dump-offs and immediately getting pushed out of bounds. If that was any different, Clay would be much closer to the top of this list.
Last week against the Giants, the Bengals allowed Will Tye 5 catches for 53, although the TE TD was caught by Jerelle “in nobody’s lineup” Adams. The previous week Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed were doing about what we’ve expected to see from Gronk and Bennett. According to the Harris Index, this defensive unit is actually giving the biggest bump to TE’s compared to their averages. The Bengals defense really seems to have cooled off since we saw them bottle up CJ Anderson and shut down Ryan Tannehill.
I’m expecting good things from Tyrod this week, and if that prediction is going to come true Clay may get to come along for the ride. He has been seeing reliable targets, and Taylor has looked his way 6 times in the redzone. Since the change at OC, Tyrod and the Bills passing offense hasn’t been nearly as starved for volume, as Tyrod has been throwing the ball closer to the 30 attempt p/g mark. It’s really about the matchup, and a little bit about a lack of serious weapons for Tyrod to target in this offense. Clay can be a nice addition to a lineup that might be missing an Antonio Gates or even a Hunter Henry
Ladarius Green vs CLE
Currently I’d say Ladarius is just a stash. If I was to pick him up, I’d want to see it first before I started him. For one thing there isn’t a great body of evidence suggesting that this Steelers offense really wants to target a TE any more than they are already. There are several systems that fit this very broad description as having a good downfield passing attack. The Packers, Cardinals, and maybe even the Raiders fit that in my mind, and none of them use a TE much. Clearly they see something in the guy, but I don’t think Jesse James is going anywhere just yet. We’ll see soon enough, if you’ve got players at the end of your bench who at this point in the season you know aren’t going to be starting, Ladarius may represent more late season upside.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker