Greg Olsen CAR vs Tampa Bay
Every other site told you to stay away from Olsen last week, but Fantasy Football Calculator had Olsen as a solid start. Nine catches for 116 yards and a touchdown later, we made our point. Some owners are hesitant still, with only one good game under Olsen’s belt and a “tough” matchup against a Tampa defense that has allowed the second fewest tight end points. But Tampa has allowed the most points to receivers, and Olsen is basically just a receiver for Carolina. And besides, the Bucs mostly just haven’t faced any good tight ends this year, ducking Olsen out injured and Gronkowski on suspension. They’ve played only four tight ends all year you might have used on your fantasy team (Engram, Ebron, Rudolph, and Seferian-Jenkins) and allowed 23 catches for 227 yards those four games. Olsen will have plenty of room and must be in every lineup this week.
Ricky Seals-Jones ARI vs New York Giants
Ricky Seals-Jones is the ultimate hero or zero move in your fantasy football Super Bowl. Seals-Jones had never even had an NFL catch a month ago when he burst onto the scene with a pair of touchdowns against the Texans, following it up with another score the following week. He hasn’t found the end zone since and has only 12 career catches, but he’s averaging five targets a game in that stretch and gets the league’s worst tight end defense this week. The Giants have allowed 13 tight end touchdowns in their 14 games, including a pair just last week. RSJ has only even played 89 snaps in his entire career and he’s barely ever on the field, but the Cards love to throw to him when he is. If you don’t have one of the top tight ends, he could be the guy that saves your title bid.
Vernon Davis WAS vs Denver
It’s tough out here at tight end if you don’t have one of the top five or so guys, but Davis is probably as good an option as anyone after that. Davis has been quiet over the past month but still has eight games with at least eight PPR points, so his floor is pretty safe. Denver is one of three teams in the league to allow 900 yards to opposing tight ends, and they’ve allowed the third most tight end touchdowns. Davis should be a safe fill-in if you just need some points.
Jesse James PIT vs Houston
Production for Jesse James tends to come and go without much pattern, but this could be another week where things swing in his favor with Antonio Brown sidelined against a terrible Texans pass defense. Houston has allowed over 300 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends over their past five games, and James put up a huge 10 catch 97 yard effort just two weeks ago. He’s definitely a bit of a dart throw, but the Outlaw has nice upside this week.
Tyler Kroft CIN vs Detroit
It’s important to monitor both season long and recent trends, and this is a pick on recency bias. The Lions have been terrible against tight ends, with five touchdowns allowed to Kyle Rudolph, Ben Watson, Adam Shaheen, and O.J. Howard over the past five weeks. Kroft has proven to be a nice red zone threat himself, though he’s also had more than two receptions only once over the past seven weeks so he’s probably TD or bust.